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A discussion on New Tutorials

PostPosted: 20. Jul 2008, 02:38
by TerryE
This topic is to provide a discussion and feedback for the general issue of how we might create some tutorial material to answer some of the common questions that keep coming up on the forums. OK, a wiki structure is probably a better model but the current VirtualBox Wiki is a closed wiki — that is users cannot give feedback or collaborate on the development of new pages. Until we can change this I have proposed as a working model using the phpBB topic structure to create some tutorials and have put up an example of how this might work at Tutorial: All about VDIs which uses a Q&A style with one post per Question. The discussion and feedback is on a separate topic.

What I wanted to use this topic for was a wider discussion on whether members thing that this structure and approach is an improvement, alternative suggestions, and thoughts on any other areas that are crying out for tutorials.

PostPosted: 20. Jul 2008, 12:47
by ghr
For phpBB, all posts are equal. Now (given the VDI example for instance) we'd like some posts to be more equal than some others... So how to organize that ? "Just" a FAQ is too vague, perhaps a 'wiki' with subsections like VB internals, OS installations, How to's on bridging/file sharing etc. might be a better idea. Where I find the VB manual (to some extent) inviting to read it self this does not hold for the forum pages - basically the ony way to access it is via searching....

PostPosted: 20. Jul 2008, 13:55
by TerryE
I agree that a wiki is the obvious paradigm, with a version of the manual included so that users can discuss issues and the community can extend the content. OK, you might want to moderate this and you might want to limit it to contributors with a minimum level of VBox expertise to stop innocent beginners filling up the content with irrelevant material. However, the VBox project currently uses Trac which is mainly a Bugtrack system, but with limited Wiki functionality. What you would really want to use is MediaWiki or the like.

OK in six months time or whenever the team might have the free effort to set up a Wiki, and when that happens I will welcome it. However, this was really a strawman to see if we can do something in phpBB in the interim. I agree that the phpBB logical model is very constrained: forums have topics which have posts, but you can use the sticky attributes to denormalise this to forums have articles which have sections. By locking the article and providing an unlocked discussion section, this allows the moderators to control the content whilst allowing general community to contribute. The Q&A approach is just a way to index into the sections. Once the Wiki is available we can always migrate any content that we've developed.

I could list off the topics that would be good to cover, but I wanted to open this discussion first.