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Feature request: Glossary/Wiki

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Forum topic by A.W. "Pappy" Ford posted 10-11-2007 04:36 AM 1001 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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A.W. "Pappy" Ford

98 posts in 2534 days


10-11-2007 04:36 AM

Has any thought been put into running a wiki-style glossary of woodworking related terms that the community as a whole could maintain?

As a newbie woodworker I constantly run across terms and phrases that leave me scratching my head: Greene & Greene, any number of joint types (especially certain European and Japanese joints), the differences between when I should use this type of plane or that, etc. With the volume of expertise contained in the brains on LumberJock I could see where a feature like that would quickly become the defacto reference many people would turn to first, and might prevent a lot of us newbies from constantly pestering all you experts with a lot of the same questions repeatedly.

This might also enable other features to be added to the site, such as custom “reference tags” in blog, forum, project and workshop posts. For example, if I’m discussing a problem changing the blade in my table saw I might include the tag {ref=”table-saw-arbor”}arbor{/ref} that would automatically generate a link to the appropriate wiki article. Just brainstorming at this point, but I think you get my drift.

The reason I ask is because I was considering adding a wiki to my site so as I research all these wonderful new woodworking terms I could maintain my own personal reference library. I’m a software development manager by trade, and have a decent amount of experience implementing several different wiki engines. I’d much rather offer any help needed and see something like this spring up as a community project than do it on my own just for personal use. I’d be willing to donate time towards working on something like this if extra manpower were needed…

Thanks for running the absolute best woodworking community online, bar none.

-- --==[ Pappy ]==--


30 replies so far

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2689 days


#1 posted 10-11-2007 05:07 AM

That’s a good idea!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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WayneC

12290 posts in 2750 days


#2 posted 10-11-2007 05:08 AM

I agree. Please Martin!!!!

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2813 days


#3 posted 10-11-2007 01:28 PM

I think the wiki idea was brought up last spring. Martin probably has it on his big list of ideas somewhere.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2615 days


#4 posted 10-11-2007 03:31 PM

I assume we are discussing a “Wiki-pedia” type program. I don’t have any idea what it would take to implement this. Might just be a good idea. As to being bothered by questions, I don’t think any of us are. I think we’re just a bunch of old curmudgeons who enjoy a little attention once in a while. We all learn from the answers and pick up different points of view. That has been the beauty of this site; the wilingness of the members to treat all questions as valid and worthy of comment and the benefit of the little experience we may have. I would hate to see that sense of community involvement be put aside. I once heard that it is hard to help someone up the mountain if you are not standing above him. Reaching back to help someone up to what ever level you are at is basic to this group. We learn as much by teaching as any other way. So, go ahead with the encylopedia but please don’t stop asking questions.
Tom

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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WayneC

12290 posts in 2750 days


#5 posted 10-11-2007 03:41 PM

Wiki is a tool that would allow us to document the community’s knowledge. We could collaborate to build information on woodworking related topics.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2615 days


#6 posted 10-11-2007 06:43 PM

Well, Wayne, it sounds interesting. A good reference source, right?

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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WayneC

12290 posts in 2750 days


#7 posted 10-11-2007 07:19 PM

Exactly. And one where information is easier to find than digging it out of individual posts. It is something we could build over time.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Dadoo

1764 posts in 2643 days


#8 posted 10-11-2007 07:27 PM

I’m all for it.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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woodgizmo

42 posts in 2556 days


#9 posted 10-11-2007 08:14 PM

Great idea for a very useful tool.

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

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A.W. "Pappy" Ford

98 posts in 2534 days


#10 posted 10-11-2007 08:56 PM

Exactly. The idea isn’t to replace the sense of community or personal interaction at all, but instead to take some of the results of that knowledge and personal commitment to each other and distill it to a degree.

For example, if I’m trying to learn how to do dovetails (one of my next things to tackle that intimidates me), I have several options to help prepare at the moment:

1. Buy a specialty book or video on the subject. Nothing wrong with this at all but at $30+ per topic it can get very expensive very fast, compounded by the number of topics us newbies need help with

2. Search the forums, blogs, Google it, etc., and then try to pull a lot of little nuggets together into a semblance of instruction and guidance. This is what I do now, and I absolutely love it, but I’m a reference geek, so I turn all that interaction into little documents for myself to look back at six months down the line so I don’t have to repeat the research again later. Very time consuming and only I reap the benefits of the distilling process.

3. If I don’t find answers to my questions asked previously by other people, then I ask the question myself. With close communities like this, this is actually usually the first choice of action, and that’s fine, but as the community ages often this becomes fairly repetitive, and sometimes a source of contention. I’ve seen it suck the life out of vibrant online communities in the past on other subject matter. I hope that doesn’t sound like a judgment on anyone here, it’s just been my personal experience on other sites.

I guess the best example of this I’m guilty of myself. I went to one of the other woodworking forum sites about 3 months ago and posted ”I’m new, have no tools, have about $1000 to start with: what are the bare minimum essential tools that I need to begin my journey?” About half the responses were very helpful. The other half were complaining because I hadn’t read the previous posts where the same question had been asked to death a hundred times before. There was a palpable frustration and the result was it didn’t enhance their community and made me feel afraid to participate for fear of showing off too much ignorance, or bothering the “experts”. Had all those great helpful answers been compiled using some methodology, the results might have been much different, and my questions might have been much more specific.

I’ve certainly seen a far different mentality, maturity and level of personal wisdom to the folks here – yet another testament to what an awesome group of people you all are.

Wiki-like projects can be managed lots of different ways, but the key component to their success is that they are a product of community. There is no real individual author, just lots and lots of contributors and editors. The content is already all here, mostly what would be enhanced is the compilation and cross-reference capabilities.

Did I warn everyone that I’m usually long winded and ramble a lot? :)

-- --==[ Pappy ]==--

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WayneC

12290 posts in 2750 days


#11 posted 10-11-2007 09:02 PM

Your rambles are appreciated. Ramble on…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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A.W. "Pappy" Ford

98 posts in 2534 days


#12 posted 10-11-2007 09:07 PM

That’s the same advice Led Zeppelin gave me years ago… it’s worked so far, so why not, eh?

-- --==[ Pappy ]==--

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2813 days


#13 posted 10-11-2007 10:38 PM

oh yes, the “we’ve already talked about it .. go read it”—what that is really saying is “you aren’t part of our group”. I hope we never get to that point.
So far I’ve seen links to previous content as an ADDITION to support or AS a support.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2615 days


#14 posted 10-11-2007 11:23 PM

Yes, those kind of remarks smack of eliteism. Something I hope never invades this space. Wayne is usually the one who points the direction to previous posts on the same question. He and Tom(Mot).(sorry if I overlooked anyone). This method is non offensive and adds to the questioners knowledge. I think you may be on to something great here.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3125 days


#15 posted 10-11-2007 11:46 PM

Hey folks… just want to let you know that I’m following this discussion ;)

-- Martin, https://woodworkingweb.com

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