Re: Wiki as a final output of the documentation?

Subject: Re: Wiki as a final output of the documentation?
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 08:34:49 +0900 (WST)

One of the things I like about wikis is that there is very little overhead for someone to improve the content. If it only takes a few seconds to correct an error or to log a comment, people are much more likely to do it. I'd be reluctant to lose that immediacy by going back to a 'gatekeeper' model where comments have to be logged formally as defects. Of course it depends hugely on your content and your audience.

We've been using Confluence wiki for a few months and so far I'm impressed.The tools for giving selective access and for tracking changes are very good and very easy to use. I believe it would be possible for you to lock down the structure at a high level while still allowing edits and comments at lower levels.

If you want to consider a combined DITA-wiki workflow there's a DITA-to-wiki project on SourceForge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/dita2wiki/

Perhaps you could maintain the formal content in DITA, publish it to a wiki, and allow readers to suggest updates and corrections by using the Comments field. There could be a separate area of the wiki where people can maintain their own personal and project-related pages and notes. I do this a lot when in the early note-taking and resource-finding stages of a project.

Good luck--let us know what you decide.

Stuart
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