Wiki as a documentation delivery system

Subject: Wiki as a documentation delivery system
From: "Carol Kiparsky" <carolk -at- satmetrix -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 15:31:44 -0700

Have you had experience using a Wiki as a means of delivering
documentation and getting input from your customers? I am planning such
a project, but have no experience beyond reading wikipedia! I plan to
start with our internal implementation guides, then expand to external
docs on the wiki for internal review, and finally open the external docs
on the wiki for customer use and feedback.

I think putting docs on a wiki is a wonderful idea, but I have some

1. First of all, formatting and navigation. Our current documentation
is WebHelp and PDF, and the formatting used is very valuable in
conveying information. Wiki pages have minimal formatting, at least as
far as I have seen. I am not happy at the prospect of recasting all
this documentation in Wiki format. Nor would it be a good idea to open
the source files (HTML, so technically possible) to direct editing by
others. Have any of you dealt with this issue?

2. What about context sensitive help? Does it figure in the wiki in some

3. I guess what I would like is the best of both worlds: The
interactivity of the wiki, with the rich formatting and navigation of a
more usual help system. Maybe it would be best if reviewers (internal
and external) could comment by annotation instead of directly revising
the text. Does a wiki support this? Or is it not a good idea?

I would appreciate suggestions and tales of your experiences.


Carol Kiparsky


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Re: OT: Wikipedia as a reference source: From: Dick Margulis

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