It's been a while now since we've had the ASM Wiki Book project up and running. I am really curious to hear from moderators and users, how much they think the project has been successful. Could you also provide your reasons?
Posted on 2007-12-20 15:53:47 by XCHG
I have no opinion as to whether it is a success or failure, just how I am affected, I do not check it often (or really at all in any research sense). I find the wiki format cumbersome, the subject titles uninformative and so much information missing that I have little use for it. Of course that is just myself and I am pretty hard to please and am not terribly interested in searching aimlessly though a wiki for a particular subject that was easily found on the board. As a result I visit this board less and the wiki even more rarely, it seems the direction of the board and what I am looking for in a programming forum have diverged and that is unfortunate.
Posted on 2007-12-20 20:01:32 by donkey

I have no opinion as to whether it is a success or failure, just how I am affected, I do not check it often (or really at all in any research sense). I find the wiki format cumbersome, the subject titles uninformative and so much information missing that I have little use for it. Of course that is just myself and I am pretty hard to please and am not terribly interested in searching aimlessly though a wiki for a particular subject that was easily found on the board. As a result I visit this board less and the wiki even more rarely, it seems the direction of the board and what I am looking for in a programming forum have diverged and that is unfortunate.


We've barely made a dent in the total conversion that would be required. Maybe 100-200 posts have been converted so far... and that is being generous. All posts, even the redundant ones, take time to compile, organize and refine in order to form complete subjects. The amount of work needed is daunting and there is very little momentum going... really none lately.

With that being said, and including the restored posts that date things back to 2000, over 99% of the original content is still on the forum with search capability.


It's been a while now since we've had the ASM Wiki Book project up and running. I am really curious to hear from moderators and users, how much they think the project has been successful. Could you also provide your reasons?


Not too successful. I "wish" (see below) I had more time to work on it, but it is literally at the bottom of my "todo" list. Moreover, barely anyone else seems to be interested in contributing to it, probably for reasons that donkey stated above.

The bigger concern for me, is even with the amount of content that this site/forum offers, we are virtually non-existent in common search engines. There are two reasons for this. First reason is that there is very little content on the rest of the site as compared to this forum, in which the site has almost always been simply a "container" for the forum. The second reason is how search engines tend to treat generic/massive open-source CMS/Forum systems.

So, my priority is in developing a custom and search engine friendly forum software. Such an effort actually commenced almost 2 years ago, but was interrupted by being forced to move to a sub-optimal hosting provider. The hosting issue has been rectified and now I am free to continue the original development plans. I have not announced it prior to now since it seems it will be "yet another" project I won't finish within the amount of time I want. However, it is coming...
Posted on 2007-12-20 22:53:42 by SpooK
I like wikipedia more than I should admit (have even contributed, but it got deleted, lol). It's important to look at the larger topic of x86 culture. Who writes in x86 and why?

Take a look at the x86 IRC channel, and alt.lang.asm.

Does a wiki have a chance in that/this culture?

(The phrase about herding cats comes to mind.)

Maybe, with the right leader it could gain some momentum?
Posted on 2007-12-21 02:35:06 by bitRAKE
I like Wikipedia and I have a tremendous respect for people contributing. However, my time is so scarce that I, for the most time, hack my own existing projects into doing what I want for the quick fix leaving obvious bugs unfixed forever.

I wish we could add more tutorials to the Wiki, extend the Custom Controls Section to more than a page having a couple half@ssed links, fix the 'Wiki-Book' by outsourcing most of the HLA stuff* and much much more.


But truth is - I have no time.

*(I accept HLA to live around other assemblers but I believe it to be completely off place in the asm wiki-book as it confuses more than it helps)
Posted on 2007-12-21 07:42:50 by JimmyClif
All-in-all, don't get too attached to the current Wiki (SMF mod) system. People are encouraged to still contribute to it, as we won't lose any of the actual content. However, a more refined/robust version is scheduled to shortly follow the custom forum software.

Also, I kind of agree with JimmyClif about the HLA stuff. We should probably encourage redirection to Randall's documentation. This Wiki is supposed to be more for what hasn't been formally organized and covered.
Posted on 2007-12-21 08:36:19 by SpooK

Maybe, with the right leader it could gain some momentum?


Yeah, that would pretty much mean having Art Sands come back as he was the most enthusiastic about it :P
Posted on 2007-12-21 10:47:13 by SpooK

... I find the wiki format cumbersome ...


I, one hundred ten percent, agree with you on this. I think we have to support plain HTML or even something simpler? What could be simpler than HTML? hmm

We've barely made a dent in the total conversion that would be required. Maybe 100-200 posts have been converted so far


This might be completely incorrect but in my opinion, knowing that you guys are extremely busy as we all are, you shouldn't had made the decision to make the ASM Wiki Book in the first place. The reason is that users in this forum are users. I for example, as a user, don't have to contribute to the Wiki book but I would be more than happy to do that (I believe I've already said this before). There are two reasons I have not done this so far is:


      [*]I don't get encouraged by other people's contributions as there are almost no contributors to the project.
      [*]I don't like the Wiki's format


What, in my opinion, should be done is for a more consistent, relevant and easy to use format for the Wiki Book. Perhaps a format that allows moderators or even users to simply copy and paste a thread in the forum into the Wiki and BAM! We've got a new topic in the Wiki. It should be as simple as that.

The bigger concern for me, is even with the amount of content that this site/forum offers, we are virtually non-existent in common search engines.


I think you are right but funny thing is that I have, many times, searched for "XCHG" for example in Google and come across pages from this forum. I don't think that is our main problem (to be on search engines). I think the content of the website and the forum matters the most to people. I for example did not find this website through search results. I found it as a link in another website (I don't remember which website it was though).

As a conclusion, I think these are the things that have to be done to improve the current situation:


      [*] A more relevant and easy-to use format for the Wiki.
      [*] A more visible way of getting users to the ASM Wiki Book project. Do you really think that small tiny link on top of the page is enough?
      [*] Moderators' contribution to the Wiki Book as an encouragement to users to put their own Wiki pages up and running.
      [*] A more prominently organized table of contents. The current TOC reminds me of a maze.
      [*] Give users a reason to use the Wiki Book. If they are all going to ask questions here and get the answers although the answers already exist in the Wiki Book, what is the point?


These are just my opinions. I don't know if you guys agree or not but don't try to kill me if you don't agree with them Okay?
Posted on 2007-12-21 14:54:37 by XCHG


... I find the wiki format cumbersome ...


I, one hundred ten percent, agree with you on this. I think we have to support plain HTML or even something simpler? What could be simpler than HTML? hmm


HTML will not be allowed for the same reasons it isn't allowed in CMS/Wiki/Forum software... security. Next thing you know you got misfits attempting to use this place to perform cross-site scripting, information gathering and to compromise the integrity of this server.

A more appropriate suggestion would be to utilize the same BBCode that this forum software uses.


We've barely made a dent in the total conversion that would be required. Maybe 100-200 posts have been converted so far


This might be completely incorrect but in my opinion, knowing that you guys are extremely busy as we all are, you shouldn't had made the decision to make the ASM Wiki Book in the first place. The reason is that users in this forum are users. I for example, as a user, don't have to contribute to the Wiki book but I would be more than happy to do that (I believe I've already said this before). There are two reasons I have not done this so far is:


      [*]I don't get encouraged by other people's contributions as there are almost no contributors to the project.
      [*]I don't like the Wiki's format



Perhaps, but we will continue to bite the bullet for caring enough to try in the first place :)

I am with you on the Wiki format, although it doesn't help that the Wiki mod I started has not been completed, taking away some vital features that would make things a little easier :sad:


What, in my opinion, should be done is for a more consistent, relevant and easy to use format for the Wiki Book. Perhaps a format that allows moderators or even users to simply copy and paste a thread in the forum into the Wiki and BAM! We've got a new topic in the Wiki. It should be as simple as that.


A common mistake that people make when trying to make something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

XCHG, if it were really that easy, why would we need people to do the copying and pasting in the first place??? I would have written a script to do most of this already, but by the time I would get done accounting for all those tiny little exceptions, I would probably run close to how much time it would take to organize things manually.

The best you could hope for is some sort of keyword analysis of this site to help expedite the organization process.


The bigger concern for me, is even with the amount of content that this site/forum offers, we are virtually non-existent in common search engines.


I think you are right but funny thing is that I have, many times, searched for "XCHG" for example in Google and come across pages from this forum. I don't think that is our main problem (to be on search engines). I think the content of the website and the forum matters the most to people. I for example did not find this website through search results. I found it as a link in another website (I don't remember which website it was though).


You just contradicted yourself. You had to find this place through some potentially obscure link. Imagine that you are just 1 person that actually found this place out of 10, and this is where showing up in places like Google becomes important... not critical, but important.

We have the content, but we are virtually locked away in a small tiny obscure corner of the internet. We could generate more attention if we addressed the issues that are causing our obscurity. Content is not one of those problems, but the accessibility of the content is... in which I think is a common point in this thread all around.

In all honesty, when you search for "Assembly Language", this place should be one of the top 10 pages to show up. This will be my focus for the site.


As a conclusion, I think these are the things that have to be done to improve the current situation:


      [*] A more relevant and easy-to use format for the Wiki.
      [*] A more visible way of getting users to the ASM Wiki Book project. Do you really think that small tiny link on top of the page is enough?
      [*] Moderators' contribution to the Wiki Book as an encouragement to users to put their own Wiki pages up and running.
      [*] A more prominently organized table of contents. The current TOC reminds me of a maze.
      [*] Give users a reason to use the Wiki Book. If they are all going to ask questions here and get the answers although the answers already exist in the Wiki Book, what is the point?


These are just my opinions. I don't know if you guys agree or not but don't try to kill me if you don't agree with them Okay?


You can't give your opinion without risking certain death... I mean... c'mon... we can't fully enjoy ourselves that way :roll:

Seriously though, many of the overall issues will be resolved with the rewrites I have restarted. I know the attempts to arrest the downfall of this site haven't been very encouraging so far, but I wouldn't give up hope quite yet ;)
Posted on 2007-12-21 17:51:25 by SpooK
I just had my first look at the wiki book (or should I say 'pamphlet' :)). A bit sparse, and the part I looked at - the boot process - had a couple of little 'um, is that right?' bits in it.

Anyway, just the name 'wiki' puts me off, since a hell of a lot of data on wikipedia is either rumour, opinion or just plain wrong.
Posted on 2007-12-21 19:10:26 by sinsi
I think the wiki book is great and i hope you guys keep adding to it
Posted on 2007-12-21 21:31:30 by shadyike
wiki is what we make it.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance - and this extends to wiki.
We are responsible not only to check the 'facts' we find on wiki, but to correct obvious mistakes.

Technical wiki pages are not generally subject to abuse and misinformation, but should not be taken as gospel - check your facts !
Posted on 2007-12-22 05:55:45 by Homer

With that being said, and including the restored posts that date things back to 2000, over 99% of the original content is still on the forum with search capability.


Yes, but for the most part the code attachments are missing and everything is pretty much dumped into main making searches with too many hits to be useful, then again it's still better than the other forums with far too many subforums to search in. These days I pretty much stick to the GoAsm forum and do my own thing.

Donkey
Posted on 2007-12-23 17:04:49 by donkey
Btw, as for useless searches: we might want to use the ZillaRank search mod developed by WordZilla from the DonationCoder community - it has worked wonders for the search results over there!
Posted on 2007-12-23 17:12:41 by f0dder


With that being said, and including the restored posts that date things back to 2000, over 99% of the original content is still on the forum with search capability.


Yes, but for the most part the code attachments are missing and everything is pretty much dumped into main making searches with too many hits to be useful, then again it's still better than the other forums with far too many subforums to search in. These days I pretty much stick to the GoAsm forum and do my own thing.

Donkey


Between the hacks and the forum software switching, we've taken a beating on file attachments :sad:

I am glad you are doing well with GoAsm. I recently helped Jeremy track down and eliminate a moderate GoLink bug that involved static/dynamic linking. The Go Tools is a neat little project that I hope keeps improving and growing :)


Btw, as for useless searches: we might want to use the ZillaRank search mod developed by WordZilla from the DonationCoder community - it has worked wonders for the search results over there!


It may be a good idea, but I would like the re-emphasize the fact that I will not be using SMF for much longer. I will probably be rid of it by March in favor of custom software. If people still want ZillaRank in the mean time, I can install it.

The main site has already been redesigned within XHTML standards to work the same on different OS/browsers along a layout that even search engine spiders will find more approachable.

The forum is next. Actually... it is already being developed in a top secret location :shock:
Posted on 2007-12-23 18:53:46 by SpooK

I am glad you are doing well with GoAsm. I recently helped Jeremy track down and eliminate a moderate GoLink bug that involved static/dynamic linking. The Go Tools is a neat little project that I hope keeps improving and growing :)


I really like GoAsm, I am currently translating the PSDK header files to GoAsm syntax, a monumental job but I have about 100+ done and almost all (but 3) of the Windows.H dependencies are completed and available at the header section of my website. I am hoping to make the most complete set of equates available for GoAsm, including all COM interfaces and GUIDs. As far as I'm concerned GoAsm's low level coding style and the way it handles imports fits my programming style to a tee.

http://www.assembler.ca/goasm_headers.htm

Donkey
Posted on 2007-12-23 19:08:56 by donkey
SpooK: I hope you won't switch the forum over to the new & custom stuff until it's thoroughly tested and has all the needed functionality. I don't know how much work it is installing ZillaRank, but I would expect it to be easy... might be nice having non-broken search until you go for the custom forum codebase :)
Posted on 2007-12-24 03:03:59 by f0dder

SpooK: I hope you won't switch the forum over to the new & custom stuff until it's thoroughly tested and has all the needed functionality.


I'll take that as a rhetoric "no duh" statement.


I don't know how much work it is installing ZillaRank, but I would expect it to be easy... might be nice having non-broken search until you go for the custom forum codebase :)


Yeah, I'll do that.
Posted on 2007-12-24 11:27:24 by SpooK
I'll have to retract that, that SMF Search Engine mod doesn't seem to work well with the modifications I already have.

However, I'll study the package and keep the searching methods in mind for the custom form... assuming that they are anything extraordinary to being with.
Posted on 2007-12-24 11:47:05 by SpooK

I'll have to retract that, that SMF Search Engine mod doesn't seem to work well with the modifications I already have.

Too bad.


However, I'll study the package and keep the searching methods in mind for the custom form... assuming that they are anything extraordinary to being with.

Dunno about that, but it's extraordinarily nice that it's actually possible to find anything at all with it, unlike the default SMF search. Too bad SMF wasn't really written for (easy) extension (drop-in modules) but requires manual editing of files... Vanilla is better in this regard, but it's not suitable for a forum of our kind.
Posted on 2007-12-25 08:31:18 by f0dder