[ros-users] ROS versioning & wiki structure

Mike Purvis mpurvis at clearpathrobotics.com
Sun Nov 23 20:16:04 UTC 2014

An interesting starting point here might just be some basic analytics to
understand the scope of the work.

For example, having a list of all the tutorials sorted by traffic and
marked by last edit date would help focus community efforts. Like, "hey, if
you have a few hours to contribute to ROS, pick a high-traffic tutorial off
this list, and run through it to make sure it's still solid."

If the raw traffic data for the wiki can be made public by OSRF, it's
possible myself or someone else could take this on at some point.

On 23 November 2014 at 13:36, Dirk Thomas <dthomas at osrfoundation.org> wrote:

> While MoinMoin is not a great piece of technology the current wiki does
> provide us with several options:
> * having a single page and mention in the content for which ROS versions
> it has been confirmed to work
> * using the distro specific tabs to make minor adjustments for each ROS
> version
> * generating subpages for each specific ROS version to completely separate
> the content
> Generally I don't think that enforcing a specific approach for all pages
> makes sense.
> The "best" choice basically comes down to:
> * how much the content changes with each ROS version and
> * personal preference of the people maintaining the content
> Imo the major reason why the tutorials are not in a better shape is not a
> technological one.
> It simply takes **a lot** of effort to maintain them - also because we
> have so many of them (which is a great thing).
> And this maintenance work is done by a very small group of people.
> While it makes sense to consider enhancements to the wiki macros etc. i
> don't think that they will ever on their own "solve" the problem.
> We must encourage way more people to (write / ) maintain / review
> tutorials in order to spread the load and increase the coverage.
> (May be a technological enhancement which enables gamification might help
> to motivate more people to contribute.)
> - Dirk
> PS: Please also keep in mind that whatever change you propose must be
> implemented by someone.
> And if that change requires more maintenance of the wiki page content we
> need to have people actually doing that.
> So as good as it sounds to review each and every tutorial for a new ROS
> version I have a hard time believing that it is a realistic approach.
> On Sun, Nov 23, 2014 at 7:55 AM, Paul Bouchier <bouchier at classicnet.net>
> wrote:
>>  +1 for the idea of relegating old content to a history museum to reduce
>> maintenance.
>> There can be other transitions in a package's life which change it so
>> dramatically that it's not worth maintaining the previous content. However,
>> the previous version is still there - in the version history.  Perhaps
>> there could be a  macro that let's an author refer to a history tag and
>> display a message something like "The version of this page prior to <XYZ>
>> his <here>, where <XYZ> could be "catkin" or "groovy" or "API version 2.0"
>> or "new-sensor-version" etc. etc. This could work for tutorial pages too.
>> Paul Bouchier
>> On 11/22/2014 08:24 PM, Rud Merriam wrote:
>> As someone new to ROS I find it very frustrating to have the pre-catkin
>> documentation in the Wiki.
>> I would suggest you quickly move the pre-catkin material to a separate
>> Wiki for those still using those versions. Then begin a rolling update
>> system for new releases. You might keep three release in the main Wiki
>> while rolling previous releases into a historical Wiki separate from the
>> pre-catkin Wiki. That might entail too much work, I realize. Maybe a
>> diff/merge through a version control system would work? I suggest that
>> anyone working with versions 3 years out of date probably can figure out
>> the documentation even if it is not perfect.
>> - 73 -
>> * Rud Merriam K5RUD *
>> * Mystic Lake Software <http://mysticlakesoftware.com/> *
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