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What's stopping you from contributing to the Knowledge Base?

Talk about stuff specific to the site -- bugs, suggestions, and of course praise welcome.
old np
 
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 8:24 am

The Knowledge Base is (or is supposed to be) the central support documentation site, where all channels of user support (IRC, forums, newsgroups, etc.) can look to get answers. If certain fixes are kept solely in one channel, the other channels don't benefit.

The info in the sticky thread "Virus/Worm that says "Use IE you dope..."" isn't in the KB. The info in the sticky thread "java console not supported" in 2.0.0.x was only added a few days ago, but some useful information has been known since March.

So I'm here to ask, why isn't content like this being added to the KB? I'm not here to blame anyone for not doing it, I'm just trying to understand the reasons and see if I or someone else can do anything about it.

Some possible reasons I can see:
-Not familiar with how to write KB articles
-Don't have a KB account
-Don't see the reason to
-Don't have the time to
-Don't want to see what I write mercilessly edited
-Bad past experiences
-Don't feel such content is appropriate

malliz
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 8:33 am

Well I found the KB interface to be less than user friendly. It's pretty much a dogs breakfast.
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Tony-E

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 8:42 am

1/ No KB account - I've sent you a PM to overcome this hurdle
2/ Not familiar with how to write KB articles, though that is mainly due to reason 1. Is there any tutorial on modifying or setting up articles?

BenoitRen

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 12:29 pm

The Knowledge Base doesn't seem too inviting. People rarely really talk about it, so it seems dead. It's also quite a mess in some places.

Personally, I've had the idea of splitting pages like Profile_Folder into a page for SeaMonkey and a page for the rest, but I'm afraid such a change wouldn't be accepted.

Alice

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 12:42 pm

BenoitRen wrote:Personally, I've had the idea of splitting pages like Profile_Folder into a page for SeaMonkey and a page for the rest, but I'm afraid such a change wouldn't be accepted.
It would be great if people from the SeaMonkey forums could add some feedback to the new article, http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_SeaMonkey which I set up a short while back, either on it's discussion page, http://kb.mozillazine.org/Talk:Profile_ ... _SeaMonkey
...or by starting a new topic here (this forum is also for feedback on individual KB articles, for people who don't have KB accounts).

I was initially against the idea of separate articles but I can see the advantage now, after having worked on the SeaMonkey article and finding a couple of mistakes and omissions in the combined article. I just wish that more people could have contributed to the discussion that took place here.

np wrote:The info in the sticky thread "java console not supported" in 2.0.0.x was only added a few days ago, but some useful information has been known since March.

For the record, if you check the history of the Java KB article you will see that the Java console disabled - Firefox section was added on March 25 by Tanstaafl. I editied the section a couple of times recently, to add the Sun bug report and related information.

I'm not sure why more people don't contribute to the KB but I would guess the lack of a KB account and hassle getting one is part of the problem. When I first got my KB account, all I needed to do was sign up for one, like you do with any online account. That was before the intervening step of sending a PM. The formatting is not all that hard once you get used to it. If you don't want to write an article yourself there are other ways to bring up current issues and solutions so that others can find them more easily; however, you need a KB account for both:
1. Add a link to a forum thread to one of these articles:
* http://kb.mozillazine.org/Issues_with_Firefox
* http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_FAQs
2. Add your idea to http://kb.mozillazine.org/Requested_articles
Last edited by Alice on June 4th, 2007, 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Don Corleone

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 12:46 pm

Q - "What's stopping you from contributing to the Knowledge Base?"

A - Maybe people read this thread? http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic ... 68#2652668

Alice

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 1:28 pm

np wrote:The info in the sticky thread "Virus/Worm that says "Use IE you dope..."" isn't in the KB.
No it isn't but I did add the issue with links to the related forum threads, here:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Issues_with_Firefox#Other


Don Corleone,
You bad boy ;)

Daifne
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 1:52 pm

BenoitRen wrote:The Knowledge Base doesn't seem too inviting. People rarely really talk about it, so it seems dead. It's also quite a mess in some places.

Personally, I've had the idea of splitting pages like Profile_Folder into a page for SeaMonkey and a page for the rest, but I'm afraid such a change wouldn't be accepted.


tanstaafl already made the split.
Profile folder - Thunderbird - MozillaZine Knowledge Base
Profile folder - SeaMonkey - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Alice,
Don Corleone has a very good point.

Alice

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 2:12 pm

Daifne wrote:Alice,
Don Corleone has a very good point.
Which was what ? That heated disagreements about article content (such as "Lucy/Majken and the Lost bookmarks") explain why people don't contribute to the KB?

In case anyone didn't know, I was the person Lucy was complaining about when she mentioned her "battle" with another editor (which is why I called Don Corleone a bad boy).
Last edited by Alice on June 4th, 2007, 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alice Wyman

Daifne
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 2:19 pm

About certain KB/Mozilla peoples' attitudes towards volunteers.

old np
 
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 5:49 pm

Can we be a bit more specific? malliz, what about the interface makes you not contribute? Is it the interface to edit articles, or something else? Don Corleone and Daifne, which "attitudes" are you referring to? I realize there's a linked to thread, but if you could summarize the "attitude" that turns you off contributing, that'd be good.

Daifne
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 6:01 pm

I would rather not rehash all this in public again.

malliz
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 8:44 pm

np wrote:Can we be a bit more specific? malliz, what about the interface makes you not contribute? Is it the interface to edit articles, or something else?
I just didn't find it very polished, You have to realize I spent 18 years working for a typesetter, so my standards are somewhat higher than most peoples. But it is still very crude. The whole KB needs a damned good visual refresh as far as I am concerned. But that's just nitpicking, I guess. But having worked with experts in book design who had pride in how things should look and that they should be reader friendly. I have to say The KB is neither
Last edited by malliz on June 5th, 2007, 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
What sort of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
"Terry Pratchett"

Nitin
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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 11:11 pm

I dont spend much time here these days, but back when I was, the reasons were:

1. Mediawiki UI just plain sucks. Now even though i dont believe in the whole 'web 2.0' concept, there's certainly something to be said about outdated UIs.
2. Lack of organization. I didnt like the way there were category pages and not a properly maintained list sorted in order of relevance.
3. Too much information about irrelevant stuff. If I'm a user and i'm searching for how to do stuff in firefox, i'm not looking for how to do it on seamonkey or thunderbird or songbird. (about:config or profile articles). While this may help people writing the article (avoid duplication), it does nothing for the end user.
4. What's the point. New users would follow the first support link. If that's not the KB, it is irrelevant anyway.
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old np
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2007, 8:34 am

While a bad UI and poor information are bad things about the KB, are they really the reasons you don't contribute? They seem to me like things that would make someone more likely to contribute (to fix them).

I can see a bad UI for editing or a feeling that existing users don't want to fix the poor information being things that would stop someone contributing.

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