Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Since nearly day one, a large chunk of Ubuntu documentation and support has taken place in the official Ubuntu "wiki". For those who don't already know, a wikipronounced "wik-ee"is a Web site where any viewer can add, remove, or edit content. The first wiki was created by Ward Cunningham in 1995, and wikis have shown themselves to be an extremely effective tool for collaborative writing in recent years. The term is shortened from "wiki wiki"Hawaiian for "quick." Many wikis have been created. Most famous among these wikis is the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which now contains more than a million articles in the English version alone.

The primary Ubuntu wiki is at http://wiki.ubuntu.com. It can be edited, added to, or reorganized by anyone in the Ubuntu community. Edits are unrestricted. By requiring registration, each change can be traced to a particular user. The wiki has, over time, grown to include a variety of information useful in support, development, and documentation. Currently, the wiki contains more than 6,000 documents and pages.

Unlike other documentation that ships with Ubuntu, anyone can fix an error, inaccuracy, or out-of-date fact in the wiki. As a result, there is no good way to determine if information in the wiki is correct. It cannot be subjected to the same type of quality assurance workflow that a document such as this book might be. However, it is also much more likely to be upto-date in the quickly changing world of Ubuntu development, where there is a new release every six months. The wiki provides a venue for this level of upto-date information with a low barrier to entry and, as a result, acts as an invaluable resource for the community.

To use the wiki, one can either search or browse it. Searching is the most commonly used way to get information from the wiki, and users can easily search either titles or the full text of the wiki. To achieve the best results, it is usually best to search titles and then the text to ensure that you look for more relevant information first. For people who prefer to browse, the wiki is explicitly divided into a number of categories that include:

• Documentation
• Community
• Events
• Resources
• Releases
• Non-English Information
• Policies

Most of these categories are relatively self-explanatory. The "policies" section consists primarily of largely technical information that, for the most part, describes the processes by which the Ubuntu archive is divided up. Also worth noting is the section that includes non-English information. While the front page of the Ubuntu wiki is in English, there are also many pages in other languages. The wiki page on language support (http://wiki.ubuntu.com/LocalSupport) provides both links to pages within the wiki that include documentation and information in languages other than English and links to more than a dozen other wikis that are in another language entirely. Users looking for wiki pages in a language other than English are advised to visit this page.

Source of Information : The Official Ubuntu Book

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