[CentOS-docs] Merging Documentation and Help pages

Wed Jan 7 18:47:43 UTC 2009
Dag Wieers <dag at centos.org>

On Wed, 7 Jan 2009, Karanbir Singh wrote:

> Dag Wieers wrote:
>> That was the main motivation to have a single entry-point for people
>> looking for information. Whether it is something that is solved by
>> documentation or not.
> All of what you said here makes sense, but then surely its the other way
> the merge should take place - people who want help are more likely to
> look at a 'Getting Help' page rather than a Documentation page - And we
> should then change the tab's and url's to point at that page. Perhaps
> Documentation can be a part of that page itself.

Karanbir, I don't mind what the name is of that page. So sure call it 
GettingHelp and redirect Documentation to it by all means. For me that is 
basically the same. (Although I like Documentation more because with the 
current naming of pages GettingHelp is a word Google does not understand)

Basically we used Help / Learn as entry-points because those are much more 
generic and friendlier than "GettingHelp / Documentation". Maybe we should 
make Help the name of the page ?

The redirect takes care of people getting to the wrong one anyhow.

> One thing that we dont highlight enough is that its often a good idea to
> talk to the local LUG or peer's who might already be using Linux. In
> other cases, its a good idea to talk to the people who sold you a
> specific solution as well.

Is this advice we should give on the Help/Learn page ? I was thinking in 
the car today to make some sort of 10 commandments page for CentOS/Open 
Source with the 10 things we value the most from community members.

Much like the 10 commandments they would give clear and short instructions 
(with and elaborate explanation if you click on them). Something like this 
may give us some media attention as well if we play it well.

> On the flip side the docs page could be expanded quite a bit as well to
> have deeper links into things like the  deployment guide /
> virtualisation guide etc so people know whats on the other end. Eg. look
> at the present Documentation page, think of someone who has not used
> CentOS before - what would be the most apt url to click if you want to
> find out howto install the distro. I stared at the page for a few
> minutes and failed, so took the first option listed there which is to
> search the wiki. Searching for 'install' on the wiki has interesting
> results. none of which are really relevant :D [1]

> [1] I wonder if its possible to get rid of all those extra Moin pages
> that seem to come up with every search :/

Doing the same, I think we should remove all the MoinMoin specific pages. 
Someone searching the CentOS wiki should not find MoinMoin related pages.

Secondly, we could for specific search items like 'install' create 
seperate pages. Although in this case I would personally make the Search 
form use Google with site:wiki.centos.org (and maybe a button with 
site:centos.org). And if we add some more info for Google we even might 
earn something for the project.

There is a possibility to make a specific CentOS search (I created one to 
test) with a list of specific URLs about certain topics. That's a 
possibility as well.

> Once we can get a resonable Documentation page in place, we could then
> divert www.centos.org/docs/ page to the wiki page. ( but leave the
> manuals where they are )
> Btw, that 'Learn' url on the wiki.centos.org could be  changed to
> something that is more relevant. Getting Help might be a good option for
> that as well. At the moment, its 'Learn' pointing to a page called
> 'Documentation' that is really a Getting Help page.

We have both Help and Learn on that first page because it may attract to
different people. Some people are looking to learn something, others need 
help for something specific. In both cases the list of items on the 
Documentation page is on topic.

Personally I don't see a good reason to have the same (named) tabs on top 
as on the main wiki page. That's why I thought it was started to keep the 
one on top called 'Help' (always visible for people who end up somewhere 
else on the wiki and want to click through) and the 'Learn' link will 
attract to wanderers who are interested in anything, but not somethin 

So shall I go round and remove those MoinMoin pages. (Not redirect to the 
MoinMoin website since that would still trigger them on a search)

--   dag wieers,  dag at centos.org,  http://dag.wieers.com/   --
[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]