Scott Hanselman

ASP.NET Wiki Beta

February 8, '08 Comments [17] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Microsoft
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imageOne of my first projects when I started working here is an ASP.NET Wiki. ScottGu had the idea and my team had to make it happen. The Beta (finally!) launched today. A lot of work went into the development and seeding of this project.

The idea is that folks spend a lot of time trolling the blogs, googling live-searching for answers to common "How To" questions. There's piles of fantastic community-created and MSFT-created content out there, but if it's not found by a search engine and the right combination of keywords, it's often lost.

Search is great, but for targeted answers you can't beat the one-two punch of search plus human  editing. I spent a long time looking for content and seeding the wiki, but there's still piles to do. Hopefully it won't be just me editing it.

What's the point:

  • To provide a targeted, categorized, human-hand-edited, and living Wiki for finding answers to ASP.NET questions.

You can leave comments on the content, there's RSS feeds, and you add your own updates and make it better. You'll also get recognition points if you're a member of the http://www.asp.net community.

image

You can get there from http://wiki.asp.net/ and it's also been added to main tab menu of http://www.asp.net. Folks are already starting to discover the site and make changes. I hope you find it helpful!

Thanks above all to my friend Ward for inventing the Wiki in the first place!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Friday, February 08, 2008 8:59:55 PM UTC
Right after receiving the link of this blog from you I read it. Will the contents or "How To's" provided by MSFT will be published in this section or others can also participate. Well it seems to be a nice idea, now lets see how much it will benefit others.
Faraz Shah Khan
Friday, February 08, 2008 9:25:02 PM UTC
Quick question on the features for the wiki: does it support a way to indicate if the content is specific to a partical .NET framework version or version of Visual Studio? Being able to filter a search to just VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 or VS 2005 and .NET 2.0 would be very useful. I know MSDN has a feature to jump between versions of the framework but so far I have not seen a good way to search for content. Simply being able to limit the result to content created after/before a certain date would be quite helpful. I often pop something into the general search engines or even MSDN and I still get results from blogs for .NET 1.1, like when I searched for "C# change Desktop image" last night.
Friday, February 08, 2008 9:53:16 PM UTC
Great idea, Brennan. I'll talk to the MSDN folks and my boss.

Faraz - Everyone can participate with good content from everywhere.
Friday, February 08, 2008 10:39:54 PM UTC
What Wiki engine are you using? I am looking into implementing a wiki here at work, and have been disappointed (for various reasons) with the ASP.Net wiki engines that are available.
Matt
Friday, February 08, 2008 11:05:36 PM UTC
Speaking of MSDN and wikis, what's the intended relationship between this and the MSDN community content wiki-like feature?
Saturday, February 09, 2008 12:30:17 AM UTC
I think this is an excellent idea. It will be nice to have one place to go for tips/tricks instead of "trolling the blogs" as you say or trying to find my way through MSDN.

Thanks!
Kevin Babcock
Saturday, February 09, 2008 2:11:14 AM UTC
Nice work Scott, That's awesome!!
Saturday, February 09, 2008 3:31:28 AM UTC
Matt,

It's running a customized version of a Wiki we (Telligent) first created for http://docs.communityserver.org. We're going to release another version in the near future that anyone can use :)
Saturday, February 09, 2008 5:37:08 AM UTC
Nice work here Scott. This will prove to be a great resource I know! And the presentation looks terrific, so kudos to the Telligent folks too.
Saturday, February 09, 2008 2:08:38 PM UTC
The wiki is nice but the workflow model needs some work. The page on Code Access Security has a bunch of old and broken links. I would try a link only to find out it was broken/old. So after finding the correct link, I went and edited the Wiki page. Great. Now I went to the next link, found the correct target again and went to re-edit the page - Sorry, the page is pending moderation and can't be edited. So instead of fixing several incorrect links, I have corrected one. Given my ADD, it is unlikely I will get back to the page anytime soon to finish the needed edits. If you want the wiki to work, then you need to lower barriers to editing. As the community grows the number of "moderation collisions" will grow as well which will actually discourage contribution.
Saturday, February 09, 2008 7:15:04 PM UTC
Great start for Wiki. This will help tremendously to cut down research time. I look forward to helping in any way I can. I really like Bendan Stehling's suggestion, because I spend a majority of time sorting through search engine queries based on time period and .net version. I always felt that we have a really great community on asp.net, but or main issues are information sorting and integrity. Most of us in the community spend our time answering some of the same questions over and over again. I have some suggestions, but I will hold off for a few weeks until I really have an in depth knowledge of your guys efforts.

Thank you for all that you do to make our jobs easier.
Sunday, February 10, 2008 12:07:46 AM UTC
I'm optimistic, Scott. Having just come back to ASP.NET after a long time away (haven't touched it since 1.1), I'm excited to see what kind of great info I can find in the wiki for which I previously would have had to do some down-and-dirty googling.

Joe Brinkman's comment concerns me though. I understand MS wants to make sure malcontents don't screw with such a useful information source. But I don't know if moderating every edit is the way to go about it.
Sunday, February 10, 2008 5:04:51 AM UTC
Matt: I use Screwturn as my personal wiki. If you have used it, what do you not like about it?

Abdu
Monday, February 11, 2008 4:09:05 AM UTC
I've quickly skimmed the wiki, and will be digging into it in more depth this week. If kept under control (considering Wikipedia and the like), I think it would turn out to be a very useful and directed resource. It is tough to find specific .NET information through the standard search engines, so a more specialized site would get much use from me.
Monday, February 11, 2008 3:25:30 PM UTC
They should fix all the forum bugs that were reported numberous months ago prior to adding new enhancements (obviously)!
Monday, February 11, 2008 6:38:45 PM UTC
Scott,

I just signed in, clicked your ID under Top Wiki Contributors, then clicked Recent Posts... the resulting page had your numeric userID in the search box which looks hackable although under the covers might be perfectly innocent, but it had no results. I was expecting a list of the most recent of your 59 contributions.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:31:27 AM UTC
This is nice, but i would like to know, if there is any module , by which i can point the existing weblogs posts to wiki, rather posting it in there all again.

Thanks,
Mehfuz.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.