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Programmer's Wiki

Programmer's Wiki:What the Programmer's Wiki is

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So what are we doing here anyway? Well it's a good thing you asked, because the useful content on this wiki is somewhat narrower than what gets contributed.

Negative parametersEdit

Let's define what the Programmer's Wiki is NOT before we go into what it is, because of course we would like it to be the be-all, end-all resource for programmers. Unfortunately that goal is much too ambitious, especially when we haven't reached critical mass yet.

Not WikipediaEdit

This wiki must be fundamentally different from Wikipedia. Very little encyclopedic content is warranted here, and that only because either 1) it's too specific for Wikipedia (see the first item at the previous link) or 2) we need to interweave such content into an article from Wikipedia. That second reason is a slippery slope and must be employed sparingly; in every case we must start out with a soft redirect to the Wikipedia article and expand it only when there is overwhelming consensus that the content is not appropriate in any local article.

Positive parametersEdit

That same list of factors serves as useful for cherry-picking. The following are things which we should keep in common with Wikipedia, not all of them from that list:

  • Academic style: Despite not exactly being an encyclopedia, this is still something of an academic resource.
    • NPOV (and No advertising): We shouldn't express personal opinions regarding languages, tools, or other topics within the article namespace.
    • Verifiability and no original research: We do not currently have any type of content which warrants breaking from the linked Wikipedian policies. Accordingly, everything should be either obvious or sourced. However, we have a higher threshold for what needs to be sourced because of our specialist scope.

On the other hand we can take advantage of these aspects of Wikipedia by contrasting with them:

  • Detail: Obviously we are about programming; we can include what would, on Wikipedia, be overly didactic texts such as tutorials or an excessive number of lengthy source-code examples.
  • Linking policies: We can link prominently to other useful wikis.
  • Community building: We should take advantage of our small size and get to know each other.

ConclusionEdit

Based on the above analysis, we should limit ourselves to building a directory of wikis specific to programming languages, and provisional homes for languages which lack wikis. We should link liberally to the specific wikis and become involved in their communities. We could also fill in some details such as language comparisons and categorization of languages by features.

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