Well, a wiki did seem like a good idea…

I’ve taken down the BorCon 2004 wiki. If you want a good overview of everything that happened at the con, read Erwien’s summary on BDN.

A conference wiki, where everyone could post their conference notes in one place and compare notes and organize everything to be all nice and pretty, certainly did seem like a great idea. But it would have been a community site — and community sites don’t really work without a community, which just takes time.

(And it might have helped if the idea had occurred to me before the conference started, instead of halfway through.)

And then there’s the wiki spam. I subscribed to the wiki’s RSS feed and figured that would take care of it; I’d get notified any time someone tried to edit the wiki and stuff in a bunch of link spam. But I forgot that out of the box, UseMod‘s RSS feed doesn’t actually notify you of each and every change — it just notifies you that the page changed on this date. If somebody edits the page, and I fix it, and somebody edits it again later in the same day, I never know about that second change, so spam kept creeping in and not getting swept back out. I was just so used to the wiki we use at work (which started life as UseMod, but that we’ve hacked a fair number of tweaks into) that it never even occurred to me that I wouldn’t see every single change in the RSS feed.

(I also forgot to edit the BorCon wiki.pl to remove the “This change is a minor edit” checkbox. Even the hacked UseMod wiki we have at work only reports major edits. I meant to take out that checkbox, but I guess I never did. Oops.)

We really should publish our UseMod patches sometime. There are quite a few interesting ones, like the RSS feed tweaks, the shorthand syntax for <nowiki>, the “Edit” link at the top of the page, the “Save” button at the top of the preview, the tag for two-column layout (a bit cumbersome, but often very useful), and the many tweaks to the auto-link regex to make it nicer for people who are using the wiki to talk about Delphi code (e.g., “TDataModule” is not automatically linked, because the two leading capitals are a clue that it’s probably a Delphi class name, not a WikiName).

Of course, it was only recently that Sam set up CVS and put our wiki source code into it, so reconstituting the patches for any of these changes would be a lot of work. Ah well — someday, in my copious spare time.

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