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Re: [alpine-devel] Improving Alpine Linux documentation

From: Oliver Smith <>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:14:00 +0000

Hi there,

I like writing documentation in wikis (I'm less interested in man pages, though I
think it's good to have them).

> On 15:36 Tue 12 Dec, A. Wilcox wrote:
>> Is this channel available on Matrix as well?
> Honestly, I don't know. It was not me who created it.
clandmeter said he could "fix" this after the matrix server is migrated to
new hardware. I'd also like to join the chat once the matrix channel is up
and running.

>> This is how we do it in Adélie. It seems to work well.
> Do you have third-party (non-core) contributors? I believe that this
> model adds additional complexity for the regular folks. It would be nice
> to have a positive example.
I see it the same way, I'd much rather edit a wiki by clicking on "edit",
changing something, looking at a preview, and then saving it. There are more
arguments, which in my opinion, make MediaWiki a superior choice for Alpine,
when compared with a git repository:
* It's used for a lot of good distro wikis already (e.g. Arch, Gentoo) and people
  coming from those distros will have it easier to contribute content.
* It's easier to edit when you don't need to make a pull request for everything
* You have actual previews
* You can search the wiki easily
* It is possible to use templates and categorie

>> I'm glad that Alpine core still realises that. I have been worried
>> lately that there is too much buy-in to GitHub from the Alpine
>> developers. Do we really want all of that valuable discussion about
>> PRs and such locked away in a corporation's databases? How long will
>> GitHub stay afloat before turning to ads, pay-to-use, or even just
>> plain disappear from the Internet?
> Well, it's Git. If GitHub goes dark, there is gitlab / bitbucket / etc.
> The migration will be instant. But still, it's better to have the tool
> that you can control yourself.
>> Reduce, but not eliminate. Honestly, the only true way to eliminate
>> spam is to have closed registrations (you have to poke an Alpine
>> person to get an account on the wiki). But that adds a lot of work,
>> so it probably isn't a good solution. Requiring valid email will take
>> out 80% of it so I suppose that's a very good start.
> Actually, I want to have a chat with Archlinux wiki maintainers about
> the spam-reducing. They solved this problem somehow.

I think the Arch wiki has a clever registration questions, which reduces
a lot of spam accounts from being created in the first place. Right now
they have (I don't know if/how often they rotate these, and pacman is
their package manager, so you'd need to run Arch Linux more or less to
answer this one):
> What is the output of "pacman -V|base32|head -1"

So we could do something similar with `apk` and/or busybox instead of pacman.

Source: <>

Meanwhile, Alpine's questions are autogenerated and in the form of:

> Given the number three hundred forty-four million one hundred thirty thousand
> two, what is the seventh digit?

Source: <>

Not fun to answer, less effective because you can answer it without having Alpine
running. And it could be that bots already know how to answer these automatically
(unless Alpine wrote a specific plugin for this).

But if all that does not help with the spam problem, I have found an extension
that might be suitable. Citing from <>
with updated dates:
>> How does it work?
>> 1. Every edit (or image upload) by a new user is being sent to moderation.
>> 2. Until the moderator approves this edit, the page is unchanged. Pending
>> edit is neither in page history nor on RecentChanges.
>> 3. The user can see his/her edit and continue editing his/her own version of
>> the page.
> From what I can tell they have a maintained code base (last git commit was on
> 2017-11-06, last release on 2017-10-16), some test cases and also use it in
> production (that's what they say on the MediaWiki page). Looks good to me, but
> I have not tried out the extension myself or reviewed the code.

PS: I don't think requiring a valid e-mail address helps at all. It's just annoying
and very easy to work around.

>> I don't think any of this should be stored on the wiki. All of this
>> should be on the main site, and never on the Wiki. It certainly won't
>> change very often, so there's no reason to need for the community to
>> be able to edit it.
> Yeah, sure, why not. Archlinux an Gentoo just keep this stuff on the
> site directly. This opens a question: what else may be considered
> sensitive enough? If nothing more than that, than (in my opinion) Wiki
> is the perfect match for now, if the spam problem will be solved.
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Oliver Smith

Received on Thu Dec 14 2017 - 00:14:00 UTC