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Open Source Software

After A Year, Emacswiki Alternative Shutting Down 127

About a year ago, someone decided that EmacsWiki was outdated and unorganized, to the detriment of the Emacs community. So, he started a new wiki (WikiEmacs, choosing Mediawiki instead of Oddmuse, and attempting to give it a saner organizational structure). In the end, his project failed to grain traction, and it's shutting down for the greater good of Emacs: "I want to extend a big public apology to Alex Schroeder for my harsh criticism of EmacsWiki. One year later I see that stewarding documentation projects and nurturing a healthy community around them is much harder than writing software. I’m but a humble software engineer and you’ll have to forgive me for my misguided actions. I hope that something good has(will) come up from all this drama. At the very least I urge everyone who cares for EmacsWiki to try and clean up, extend and improve at least a couple of articles on subjects that are of importance to him. I know that’s something I’ll be doing from now on."
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After A Year, Emacswiki Alternative Shutting Down

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  • by vovick ( 1397387 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:30AM (#42724529)

    Shutting down in less than a year because the project got too little attention is foolish as it takes years for most users to discover you. I had no idea it existed, if I knew, I would have tried it as I do believe that EmacsWiki has a fair amount of problems. Shutting down and dragging down all content and time that users were willing to contribute is just ridiculously irresponsible. EmacsWiki may not be perfect, but it has been around for years and I am fairly confident that the owner will not decide to shut it down tomorrow or next year on a whim like this guy.

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:57AM (#42724719) Homepage

    Aha, you want terminal war stories.

    On my year out from university in the early 90s, I worked for a big IT multinational. We didn't have direct internet access from the office. To reach my university's newsgroups, I had to telnet across the Atlantic to a gateway machine, log into that, then from there telnet back across the Atlantic to a university server, and run the tin newsreader there. There was a minimum lag of a couple of seconds, and every few minutes there would be a lag of 20 seconds or more, during which all my keypresses would buffer up.

    That's where I learned vi, probably to a higher standard than I've retained. Under those circumstances vi cursor movement is a real boon. You do not want to hit the arrow button 20 times to move 20 characters. You want to type '20', or '3w' to move 3 words, etc.

    On about three occasions I've sat down to do an Emacs tutorial, but it never makes sense. I forget which key is "Meta" and which is "Ctrl"; I forget the long command names; I give up and return to the safety of vi. There's always been `screen` for running multiple shells in a terminal.

    I don't tell other people what editor to use. I've just never wrapped my head around Emacs, while Vi made sense pretty much straight away.

  • The problem here... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:41PM (#42727467) the decision to go with MW. Seriously. Look at WikiEmacs [], then at EmacsWiki []. The main problem with WikiEmacs (the MW version) is that you are forced to read the content in order to find what it is you need. Compare that to EmacsWiki: Links are clearly defined, not embedded in a lot of cruft, and describe exactly what it is that the link points to.

    I've said this before: MW is overbloated and has a horrible UI, to the point where navigating most MW sites are excruciatingly painful. Anyone who thinks that MW is actually a user-friendly experience that promotes quick and easy navigation and drill-down is obviously a glutton for punishment and knows nothing about proper UI design.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta