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The focus of this wiki is simply a convenient place to collect information useful to competent Unix administrators and software developers. This is the point of the site.

It is meant to be a collection of things like:

  • Brief overviews on program or library usage.
  • Procedural descriptions of how to do a particular task.
  • Tips and tricks.
  • Links to obscure but important information on other sites.
  • Elegant solutions to common problems.
  • Procedures that are difficult to remember.
  • Simple descriptions of tasks that are over-documented everywhere else (such as Installing Mediawiki).
  • How to use several programs together to solve a particularly difficult and important problem.
  • Configuring one program to work properly with another program or on a particular platform.

Pages should generally be short, perhaps even as brief as, "The most useful option set for the program foobar is -x -y -z. The manual for foobar is at ...". In the context of this site, less detail is usually more useful. If someone wants the gory details, they can follow links in the article to related documentation that contains these details. A great example is Compiler Options for Creating Odd Binaries. The information in it is difficult to piece together, and it is not a copy or rehash of information found in the manuals for the related tools. It concisely describes only what is necessary to complete the task, and yet it is not vague.

This is worth emphasizing: this should not be a beginner's guide for Unix or software development. Generic instructions on how to install unix is not an appropriate topic. The audience should have a reasonable understanding of these things. If you don't, this site is probably not interesting for you, and others will probably not be interested by your edits. On the other hand, if you fit this audience, don't be shy about adding content.

Don't mirror

This is not meant to be a collection of manuals already published elsewhere (although adding links to them is usually useful). Generally, content stored directly on this wiki should not be content that is maintained elsewhere. Such content will become outdated quickly, and may risk copyright infringement. In other words, this should not be a mirror site, so if the content is unique, store it here; otherwise, just link to it. A reasonable exception would be if the only place you can find this content looks like it won't have the content available forever and you have permission to republish it under a free license (please note the copyright and license at the bottom of the page in question, if appropriate).

Supplemental, not primary documentation

This wiki should be a supplemental source, not a primary source for project documentation. If you start a new project, put your documentation on a site like Sourceforge rather than here. If you are working on a project and you feel the urge to make notes here, consider that it may be better to put your notes in your project's manual. However, if your project somehow simplifies a task described here, by all means edit the article to describe how and add a link to your project.

Not a source repository

Devpit is not a source repository, so posting raw source code is inappropriate. On the other hand, it's often very appropriate to use some short examples of source code to clarify how something works. Use good judgement. Perhaps a good rule of thumb is: if the source code is short (less than 20 statements) and useful in many programs it's appropriate, but if the source code is a patch to a program or an entire program in itself, it's inappropriate. For the latter, find another host (such as ) for the code and link to it from here.

User pages

Your user page can pretty much be whatever you want, within the obvious restrictions (don't store illegal data, copyright-infringing material, pornography, your mp3 collection, high-traffic data, etc here).

Since any index is likely to be more useful if it's personalized to the person looking at it, you may find it useful to keep links to articles on this wiki and other sites on your user page, like Bilbo does. This may be a convenient way to keep bookmarks for yourself, and this can serve as a useful start-page for your web browser.

See Also