- It'll take me a week or two, but once I'm finished I'll have every major component in the ReactOS Components category, and every file related to them in sub-categories.
- Right now I'm starting by going through every changelog and adding the information to each file page (as best I can) to establish a brief official history. I am also adding a link to the revision log for every file.
- Next, once I've worked my way up to the 0.3.14 changelog, I will go filepage by filepage, determining exactly what that file does, including a detailed explanation, what components it fits into, any external references,a rostests list, and any current bugs (see Explorer.exe for an example bug list).
- This should have wide-ranging benefits not just to ReactOS but to the Windows community as a whole. If you google for most Windows Files, you find a lot of junk out there that's not helpful. By including quality information, the ReactOS google rank should go up, then links to the wiki should go up, and the project will get more attention and visitors.
- This is a little more forward thinking, but if it works as well as I hope, I've been thinking of ways to make the Wiki more useful for developers - perhaps a link in the source code folder for components which have a page in the wiki (e.g. a "explorer.roswiki" file in /trunk/reactos/base/shell/explorer/ with the contents "http://www.reactos.org/wiki/Explorer.exe", the user could have their browser open it by default); Some ways the Wiki could be more useful:
- Developers could post reminders and notes on the Wiki
- Links to good references
- Status of that component
- TODO lists
- Plus each page would include any bugs it could find and quick links to the history
- Think of the Wiki as the one-stop shop for everyone
- Also, the Wiki is pretty light on material and cross-links (internal and external). It's not always easy to navigate to the ViewVC page, or the SVN HTMl interface, or other important pages (but hopefully that will change with the website overhaul).
- Editing the talk pages of ancient change logs definitely doesn't seem helpful. Changelogs are final - that's why their pages are locked in the first place.
- Just because the changelogs are final doesn't mean they will never need updated again. For example, there are tons of names that are linked to but have no other presence on the wiki (the ones that do I've given redirects to); in the future I'm hoping to get higher access to the wiki to fix that - it makes this page useless and a bunch of bad links doesn't look very good
- Whoever did the changelogs for 0.2.2 and 0.2.3 was a bit lazy. If you compare ChangeLog-0.2.2 and Talk:ChangeLog-0.2.2, and ChangeLog-0.2.3 and Talk:ChangeLog-0.2.3, you can see what I mean.
- Please be careful when editing/adding pages directly related to a specific person. Some people might take such manners personally (it's not unheard of for people to edit their names out of pages etc). Their wishes should be respected.
- Take note that I have only created pages for users that already had a presence on the Wiki (are on the People page or have their own page), and only for people linked from the changelogs. If I could, I would convert the broken author links in the changelogs to bold text, like this
- ... I'd write about the "Recent changes" page becoming less useful with so many edits here, but I guess that's the price of change ;)
- I've gone in the preferences and set my changes to minor by default (since most of them are), so you can click the link "Hide minor changes"; While you're there, take a look at the other preferences (such as turning the navigation box on, which I much prefer, and setting the initial edit box size to one you specify, since it kept shrinking on me); there's also an option to show the preview for a page on the initial edit.
- The only other thing I can think of is a mod that adds a new user category (maybe "Contributor" or "Editor" or "Frequent Updater") that is excluded by default from recent changes, with an option to show it if desired (like bots)
My heavy editing will only last for a few weeks (hopefully), and then I'll just make regular changes. Unfortunately the Wiki has been somewhat neglected. Here are some changes I've made:
- Put almost every page (except ones I'm working on right now) into a category of some sort (would love to see This page in the sidebar)
- Incorporated content from various sources into the wiki (various FAQ's, about pages, info pages, some forum posts)
And here's what I plan to do:
- Go through every newsletter and add/link to any useful information
- Go through the entire forum and incorporate any useful information into the wiki
- Add lots more helpful tutorials
- A completely new user to ReactOS should have a guide available that will walk them through anything they want to do - download the latest release, which one to download (the differences between dbg and dbgwin are not explained), installing it, installing a virtual machine if needed, exactly how to report a bug, exactly how to get a backtrace and anything else needed to file a proper report (I still don't know how to get raddr2line, seems like you may have to compile it yourself, and a fresh user will be turned away almost immediately by having to compile something)
- Provide as much cross-linking as possible to lead users to new content
- Update every page at least once initially
- Even if I have to sit in the IRC channel and ask the same question over and over and over
Remember, as a Developer (and someone who has dedicated themselves to ReactOS for some period of time), you probably have a very different view of the project than a casual user like myself (even though I've done a bit of testing and filed a few bugs). For example, the current status of anything is hard to find and, I imagine, unrecorded in many instances (for example, USB support, ext2 support, networking and wireless support, the ARM3 subsystem, explorer_new (which doesn't even run last time I checked, and is supposed to replace explorer, yet all the work seems to be done on explorer and not explorer_new), newcc, rbuild, so on and so forth - see how up to date the info is in the wiki, and how much there is). This is important information that should be readily available, but is not. If it was (and I hope to make that happen), I think the project could get a lot more attention, and development could proceed at an even faster pace (which is hard to imagine, the pace seems to have already increased dramatically).
Feel free to let me know of any other comments or concerns, but I do ask that my current project (documenting the OS in detail) be allowed to proceed to its conclusion before any decisions are made on that.
P.S. I would personally test every single program in the ReactOS database and file bugs if ReactOS ever dedicated a month or two to getting all those applications to install and run (at least open their main program window without crashing). To be honest, I would be testing every application in the database right now, but you guys are making so many commits that it feels like it would be pointless - by the time I finished, ReactOS would jump up by 1,000 to 1,500 revisions. BrentNewland 03:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)