Linguistics, Music, Finance, Management, Judaic Studies
B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University.
Sloan Masters Fellow (MSc in Management), London Business School.
Curerent: Developing software in the personalized medicine space
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Improving MediaWiki documentation (from 2007)
One of the problems I've noticed with the MediaWiki documentation is that information on customization is scattered and missing some important matters. This is a real pity because as I've gotten to know the code base I am increasingly impressed with the organization and customization options.
This lack of documentation has two disturbing side effects that are likely to become increasingly problematic as MediaWiki gains attention and more companies start using it for their intranet and websites:
- Underestimation: From time to time on the support desk there are people who say "The problem with MediaWiki is that it doesn't do X". Of course, MediaWiki does X, but the information is hard to find. As a sometimes support helper I find myself frustrated because I can't even point the user to a Manual page.
- Hacking: I've had a chance to look at most of the extensions. Some of them unnecessarily patch core code and I strongly suspect that lack of documentation is the reason. Documenting the hooks in Manual:Hooks and its sub-pages is an important start, but people new to the system also need how-to articles that list the hooks they need to consider when they want to do X.
I am trying to do my bit to improve things, mostly by working on customization overview articles and improving the categorization of extensions and articles on customization. I bring to the table three skills/loves that I hope will help:
- a love of teaching and the learning process
- fluency in reading source code in many different languages
- 20+ years working on and off as a software project manager, hands-on developer and system administrator.
If I make mistakes, please be patient with me and add your thoughts to my talk page or the appropriate article. MediaWiki is a complex bit of software and it has a rich community of developers, administrators, and users with many different understandings of the software, how it should be used, and how it should be understood by others. It takes time, effort and lots of feedback to get it right. Thanks.
Projects on Wikipedia, 2007-2008: User: Egfrank/Workroom.
Projects on MediaWiki, 2007-2008: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Egfrank~mediawikiwiki.
Old MediaWiki Talk page: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User_talk:Egfrank