Is It Time for an Hosted Wiki? Wiki Proposal

Jessica Thornsby

Alex Blewitt sees a lack of “how can I use / why should I use…?” documentation.

Do you struggle to find answers to “how can I use…” and “why should I use…” amongst all the vendor-specific documentation out there? Alex Blewitt has proposed a new hosted wiki, to answer these very questions.

In his opinion, such a wiki is needed, due to the limitations of existing documentation. Documentation such as Request for Comments describe the contract of the service provider, not the end user; and specifications tend to focus on behaviour and ignore how end users might tailor it to fit their partiular needs. Other information readily available on the web, tends to be restricted to runtime-specific examples, and wikis that currently exist in the community are mostly vendor-specific. Therefore, Blewitt argues that current documentation fails to address the big questions of “How can I use…” and “Why should I use…” He envisons a single place where users can go to gain this information, regardless of technology and vendor.

Alex Blewitt raises several questions that need to be answered before the wiki can be launched, including issues surrounding whether copyright contributiions should be assigned to the OSGi Alliance, or whether copyright should be retained by the contributors. Another concern is whether it should be licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, or one of the Creative Commons licenses. Alex Blewitt also queries the wiki’s terms of use, and whether it would be possible to hook the wiki into an existing authentication provider using OpenID. He believes that if community members already had an ID, they would be more willing to contribute to the wiki.

Alex Blewitt urges that anyone interested in the project – or with opinions on the licensing, copyright and terms of use questions – should leave their thoughts in the comments section at his blog.

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