Hot answers tagged

59

Forgetting things is normal. Not remembering some tricks that helped you in the past is also normal. This is the first step one should acknowledge. Then there are some ways you can "store" knowledge for further revision: Find time and blog about it. The future-you will be very thankful to the present-you; Work with tiny demos and archive them in some way. ...


46

Direct answer to your question: Yes. Wikipedia has tons of non-IT editors. Longer answer: Your IT vs non-IT distinction here is a red herring. All people, IT or not, will still ignore a wiki if it isn't presented to them as something they should care about. Introducing a new data management system is always non-trivial to sell to people because you always ...


18

My key is Variety Repetition. Once can be fleeting. Seeing the 100th occurrence makes a difference! Memory by fingers. I remember code much better when I've actually typed it a few times. Code Library - Keep a personal stash of code and tricks you have used and seen. Centralization. I keep 1 file with all my usernames (hundreds) on 1 pc. I apply ...


12

Is WIKI really appropriate to store document for software development? Instead of writing docs, pdfs and other kind of files, why don't you unleash the WIKI's full potential as a collaboration tool? You can write your documents there, attach your diagrams and even better: if you use Fitnesse, you can turn your wiki pages into really useful and living ...


11

It depends on the wiki software. Generally non-IT people will prefer a wiki with a WYSIWYG editor and might not like wikis which require any kind of markup editing, even if the markup is very simple. For your bonus question: MediaWiki does not provide a native WYSIWYG editor. You can see which ones do in Comparison of wiki software.


9

Yes, that's sound a good solution, if you organize the page in a simple structure, easy to browse. Choose a wiki with a simple syntax. ( Dokuwiki is a simple one and not require a DB ) Edit: if you use a version control system, that is SVN or BZR, try Trac, where you can define milestone, keeping bug and features request, and define your own workflow to ...


9

Don't focus too much on getting a perfect structure up front, better let it grow organically. It's the communication culture and process that matter. Below are some tips to maintain team wiki. fundamentals value feedback Ask for, collect and record any feedback you can get - mail, wiki page comments (most convenient btw), messenger, conversation. ...


8

Since multiple answers point to Trac as a suggestion I'd like to suggest a similar, but better in my opinion, alternative: Redmine. Redmine is a project management solution, including Wiki, Document Repository and version control integration. It's also written in Ruby on Rails and way easier to extend and hack than Trac, in my experience. More than ...


7

Over the last year Evernote became a program I could not do without.I copy everything into Evernote. Code Snippeds, Screenshoots, Contact data, Version History and so on. So I don't have to remember so much details. I just know it's in there somewhere. The basic version is free. So try it!


7

Having all documentation in one system instead of two can be a real advantage. Things like backup & restore, versioning, global search, global search&replace, cross-linking, and, as you wrote, putting all docs in one final document, will typically work with less "friction" when you don't have to maintain two different systems with overlapping ...


6

We're using LaTeX and SVN. Since LaTeX documents are just text files, it plays well with version control, unlike some binary or partially-binary formats. You get all the advantages (and disadvantages, admittedly) of version control you're used to from using it with your code. LaTeX takes a little setting up (to define your own styles/class), but once ...


6

In my organization, we have a very successful wiki implementation. It is based on MoinMoin, which is a Python wiki package. To make it successful, however, it took years of dedication in staff training and singing its praises. For an organization of around 80 full-time employees, I had to hold a number of beginning and advanced training sessions, plus spend ...


6

Sherlock Holmes once said something like "A man's mind is like an attic. If you fill it up with trivialities, there is no room for anything truly important. For all of these details, we have the encyclopedia." Unless you have a photographic memory, and the problems therein, you won't remember everything. Build a set of resources, a personal library of both ...


5

I think that a wiki can be a great approach to the organizational problem you're facing. I also believe that non-technically oriented users are very capable of learning the wiki features with some caveats. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment about user acceptance being vital. You are more likely to face the "I'm not going to use it" or "It's just ...


5

Two types of answer Pessimistic view Corporate ordinary employee is lazy, passive, lowbrow executor, not interested in quality work, only in quantity. If he know Office, he haven't interest to know and use more Realistic view Contrary to code, historical aspects of "active" documents have a lot less value - every time only "now state" make sense in ...


4

Some wikis (eg. Ikiwiki) have the ability to store their data in Git, as you mentioned. Given that, you can link the documentation as a Git submodule under your regular source repository. With the above setup, pulling the source and updating the submodules would pull the latest copy of the documentation. Offline, you can edit each one at will. When you ...


4

Yes, wikipedia proved it. It require users to comply anyway, which isn't always easy, even if it is in their interest. People will resist to change.


4

There are various "single source" solutions for documentation out there. A number of teams I've worked with have had great success with Madcap Flare. I especially like how it integrates well with source control and provides support for creating context-sensitive help. Full disclosure: I have NO relationship with Madcap, not even as a reseller. But I have ...


4

Personally, I really like Tiddly Wiki. It has a pretty complete wiki syntax, is a self contained single html file and works well with a variety of web browsers without the need for a server. It even has an extensible plugin architecture which allows you to add plugins to do all sorts of interesting things like encrypting tiddlers or adding footnotes.


4

Well, maybe my case is particular ... but : I have every scrap of software i wrote since 76 on my laptop, programs, scripts, configurations, etc. So over time (must confess), my memory burden has shifted from remembering 'stuff' to remembering meta-data about stuff. Sure, a lot of it is not relevant anymore, but what i find that the hard part is having the ...


4

Like others, I keep track of things using bookmarks. I used to use Delicious, but have now moved to Pinboard. But I don't use this way as much as I used to. It seems like every programming problem I come across is a small google search away. And in the last year or so, I've started using Stackoverflow as one of my search terms! Whenever I come acoss a SO ...


4

Use Code Documentation, first. Add Wiki & other methods, if possible I know, that is going to be difficult, to maintain it. Practical answer: In practical terms, the first thing that developers do, its check the code. As a developer, I like to have external documentation, like Wiki (s), manuals. But, the first thing I do, it's to review the code ...


4

First, it is important to choose a good Wiki. Choose one that: Is well maintained and has good support. Supports user authentication and has access control on documents or namespaces. Tracks changes to documents and provides a history. Allows E-mail notification of document changes. Has a good editor, preferably WYSIWYG, and supports lists, tables and ...


4

Whenever possible, reduce or eliminate the need for documentation by writing clearly understandable code instead of writing documentation to explain obtuse code. Keep the documentation as close as possible to the actual code it describes. In most cases, that means putting the documentation in the code itself. Some development platforms (e.g. Visual Studio) ...


3

"Remember the painting, forget the fine strokes" It is absolutely normal not to remember the finer details. However what you should worry about is forgetting the major things. If you fixed a bug you should at least have a conceptual idea about what the issue was. Bookmarks, blogs, notebooks are all fine for storing away those finer details. But ...


3

It makes sense to store the documentation in the same repository as the source code. Sphinx seems like a good option to me. it takes reStructuredText files as input, which is easy to edit and diff it generates hyperlinked output (HTML, PDF, ...) you can reference your source code (Python, C, C++, JavaScript)


3

I do see a drawback to using MediaWiki: it can get quite complicated and does take some time to learn. It can be overkill for your documentation needs. My company is using the wiki that comes with Google Apps, which is very simple to use, and has a WYSIWYG interface. However, you do loose out of some of the categorization that comes with MediaWiki, ...


3

As an addition to everything mentioned here - I'm afraid you will have to spend some time setting up the structure, collecting documents and uploading, sorting, and tagging them. I used to try to convince people to use these or that pieces of software or technologies, like Jabber conferences, adblock rules, pieces of JavaScript code, certain window ...


3

There is a database of wiki patterns and wiki antipatterns on Wiki Patterns. Still, my experience with wiki usage in projects was not so successful. People were quickly frustrated with the wiki usage in the beginning, because it required effort to maintain and to update articles. Then there were fights about who should organize the structure of the wiki, or ...


3

For Microsoft platform, TFS (Team Foundation Server) integration with SharePoint is just what you're searching for. By creating a new team-project, you can choose a template encompassing almost every aspect of software development process. It gives you a portal in which you can define team members, assign their roles and security permissions, upload, share, ...



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