Proposal to create Wikihowto, that will replace all previous attempts:
- we will use a more clean style with less editing rules on simple pages (there will be only suggested presentations and more complex editing rules will be used for complex portals only).
- we will rather not use categories for simple pages (using categories is unofficial and optional: anyone should be able to find the content pages without using the categories).
- we will impose only a few rules for the creation of pages.
This proposal is intended to evolve over time, with its final version defining a position that most people can live with. It should learn from past errors and to create a better howto wiki. The wiki will be named Wikihowto and will be hosted first at en.howto.wikia.com but later we hope to make it an official Wikimedia project.
It will have 3 types of pages: content pages, object pages and later portal pages. From these pages, only portals will be structured into categories.
Content pages Edit
Content pages will be of two types:
- HowTo pages will be pages where we do know the tools, and we want to know how to use them. This pages are the know-how part of WikiHowTo.
- Guides will be pages where we do know what is our goal, but we need a list of tools to reach that goal. These pages are the solutions provider part of WikiHowTo. The idea for the guide is to have a broader topic and briefly introduce specific parts and link to the specific howtos and/or external solutions of any type - which may, or may not, be in the form of a howto.
The naming of a page is without restriction, but we suggest that it should have a complete and descriptive name. Guides should begin with Guide to and HowTos with How to. Inside a content page there may be links to related howtos and guides.
Anyone may edit as they like for stubs, but as the page gets bigger:
- HowTo pages have a suggested standard format (proposed by ZyMOS), but we do not impose that on small pages. Only when the page gets bigger we ask you to try to make it looking like a standard HowTo page.
- Guides will have also a model (inspired by Wikisolutions pages), but, for small pages, it's not necessary to follow that model.
You should not include content pages in any category!
Examples of HowTos Edit
- How to use find with grep to search into files in unix-like operating systems
- How to create a presentation with Open Office
Examples of Guides Edit
They will be similar to the pages in Wikisolutions. But if you have other type of guides, you can create your own model.
Object pages Edit
Objects are to categories what tags in gmail are to folders in normal mails.
Object pages will be only lists of HowTos and Guides. This allows people to find howtos very easily.
What should be on an object page? Well, this is simple. If there is a page on Wikipedia with the same name you are allowed to create an object page, if not, the page is not allowed! This way each object page will have a link to the corresponding page on Wikipedia, if there is no corresponding link, then you are not allowed to create that page. For example, you are allowed to create an object page "computer", "os" and "monitor" but you are not allowed to create "computer_cooling" because "computer_cooling" does not exist on Wikipedia!
The names of objects are not without restriction. They must be the same as in Wikipedia, disambiguation pages are allowed. You should not include objects in any category!
What kind of howtos and guides should be linked from each object? Only pages related to the current object more than (or as much as) any other object. Or if you want, they should go THERE where people will search for them first. For example:
- "guide to upgrading a computer" will go to "computer"
- "How to cool you computer" should link to both "computer" and "Heat sink" because it is related as much to each (and we may have a disambiguation link from "cooler" to "Heat sink" as in Wikipedia).
- "how to install debian GNU/Linux" will link to "linux" and to "debian" and to "GNU" because it is related to all the 3 equally (but it would not link to "computer" or "apt" or "sex" because it is not directly related to those).
How to group links inside an object? Usually you do not need to. Optionally, if there are many links (more than 30), you can try to group them by portal in which they belong (if any), or by category or even using the idea described by Inyuki here. BUT, by default you do not need to be concerned about this.
Portal pages Edit
Usually howtos do not belong to any catgory. The only way to find them is by a google search or through a link from an object page. When there are many howtos and guides on a subject, we may put them into a portal.
Unlike Wikipedia, we will have 3 types of portals:
- Portals about a precise very specialized theme (like "cooking" or "hardware")
- Portals for the needs of some genre of expert people (like "python experts" or "airplane experts")
- Portals about a family of products or services (like "hosting solutions")
Like Wikipedia, we do not create portals for any specific howto or guide. In order to create a portal you MUST have many pages related to it, more than 30. Even if you have, we suggest discussing this with other people, and only creating the portal after giving careful thought about what it should contain and what is the best name.
Eventually the name of portals may be subject to approval by vote.
Ideally, a portal will have a description, a faq, guidelines about the requirements of included howtos and guides (quality, subject, etc.) and a section with links to similar portals.
Only portals will be included in categories, this way we will have only a few categories and will still be able to find howtos and guides using objects. Note that you can use Wikipedia to find the name of the object, and then come back here and go to that object.
To begin we will not have any portals and do not expect any for some time. Also, including portals in categories will be discussed later (possibly in 2007/2008), when there are a large number of portals.
Past history Edit
WikiHow: started a few months before original howto
- good: clean with quite many pages already
- bad: it was not GFDL at the same time
- bad: still too simplistic
- bad: pages were not linking to each other in a wiki-style
Original howto: started by Inyuki on February 2005 or so, it was intended to make a web site that is about "how to engineer from scratch in natural environment". But finally it was abandoned with only a few pages and was not edited for months.
- good: it was the first howto web site in a GFDL license and using MediaWiki, compatible with Wikipedia
- bad: it had only 10 pages, no real content
- bad: it was abandoned by September 2005
Wikisolutions: started by moa3333 on 8 Mai 2005 on Wikibooks, it was intended to make a good site for solutions. It merged with the old howto in September 2005.
- good: it implemented quite well the idea of a guide (while still a little complicated)
- good: it was composed of more than 400 content pages
- bad: it was build for guides, not for howtos
- bad: it had too many categories, too complicated
The howto2: In January 2006, Inyuki has started to relaunched the web site while simplifying some pages.
Pages from old attempts Edit
From HowTo by Inyuki:
From Wikisolutions by moa3333:
See the original proposal.
See the proposal after a few modifications
Or use the following bash script (linux/unix only):
cd . #chose an EMPTY directory (it can contain the script back.sh only) rm -rf ./old_backup mv ./new_backup ./old_backup mkdir new_backup cd ./new_backup/ wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/cur_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/old_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/brokenlinks_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/categorylinks_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/imagelinks_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/image_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/links_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/oldimage_table.sql.bz2 wget http://en.howto.wikicities.com/dbdumps/site_stats_table.sql.bz2 du -sh ./* #will print the size of each file of the current backup cd .. du -sh ./* #will print the size of the current and old backup
See the supporters.