[Nitro] A Nitro Challenge

James Britt james_b at neurogami.com
Wed Jun 29 21:03:46 EDT 2005

There's been some discussion on the ruby-doc mailing list over the 
relative difficulty in getting new or fixed documentation through the 

For the most part, there have been a fairly small set of people who have 
taken the time to pick some core or standard libraries and fix or create 
the documentation.  They then bring it to the attention of someone 
responsible enough to approve the docs and get it committed into the 
main CVS tree.

It seems to have worked well enough for most cases, but lately there 
have been problems.  People come along, enthusiastic about contributing 
documentation, but do not know where to start.  They do not know if 
anyone is already working on some set of docs, or where to send the docs 
for review, or how to tell if anyone is even paying attention.

There was a proposal to have some sort of proto-docs repository, such 
that people would have a place to store works in progress, see if there 
is already work being done, and read or add comments.

Part of me thinks a wiki might be sufficient, but I fear the possibility 
of work getting lost due to wiki spam or abuse. I think I'd like to see 
a system where main contributors would need a user name and password 
issued by an admin, but with a fairly open system for reader comments.

Naturally, someone suggested that some sort of repository would  be easy 
enough to knock out in Rails, and I'm sure that's true.  However, I've 
been gradually developing a reworking of ruby-doc.org using Nitro, so 
would prefer a Nitro solution.

And I think it might make a nice showcase for Nitro as well.

Anyone feel up to this?  Any suggestions on design, basic function, 
development path?  I shouldn't be at all complex; just some basic 
features that are easy to use but hard to abuse.

James Britt


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