[linux-dvb] [Proposal] Unification of the v4L & dvb wikis

CityK CityK at rogers.com
Mon Jun 4 05:57:10 CEST 2007

Hi Folks,

Just thought I'd beat the drum a little more and bring everyone up to

There wasn't a whole lot of discussion generated by the previous emails,
but the encouraging news is that what feedback was received was indeed
all positive in nature.  At this point in time, it looks like we will
eventually press forth with the merger.  If there are any dissenters to
this proposal out there, now really is the time to voice your opinion
(i.e. from my perspective, consider ye fairly warned and that last call
has now been sounded). 

Now then, here's the general state of affairs on the matter:

I've been very, very busy the last little while, and although things
have let up some what, I reckon that I will continue to be engaged with
enough things for the near future to limit my efforts here in regards to
pushing forth the merger.  On top of that, I intend to spend much of my
free time enjoying all the niceties of the summer --- which implies that
I won't be spending as much time indoors sitting in front of a computer
screen.  Now, with those things said, I'm still committed to carrying
through with the proposal.  But its obviously going to (from my end)
proceed at a slow pace for a little while.

Behind the scenes, Johannes, David and I have had a couple of
discussions about how to proceed.  As well as highlighting the issues
touched upon in those conversations, I will try to address a few other
issues in the following points.

1) Licenses ... V4L wiki is GPL and DVB wiki has none .. the fallout of
this, unfortunately (and Johannes' analysis certainly sounds correct),
essentially means that merging the wikis would create a gpl violation
unless every contributor was contacted and agreed to the change ...
which obviously is  impractical (and if this isn't obvious, then trust
me, it is impractical, if not impossible)  ... So we're left in a
difficult spot on the matter -- on the one hand, we want to respect the
license, but on the other hand, absolute adherence to the license
effectively impedes our  ability to push forward/progress....It was our
consensus that we should continue forward, setting up the new combined 
wiki under a GPL licence and to make a formal announcement (both on the
m/l's and on the wiki itself) that elucidates the licensing conflict.
The content of the message itself will inform, for those who object to
change, that we are more then willing to remove any abstainers
previously submitted contribution from wiki.  While we really don't
anticipate anyone to contest to the issue, its good to be up front about
the matter, as we will technically be in violation of the license
otherwise.    And while that certainly isn't the most perfect solution,
there just doesn't seem to be any easy or other way around the issue. 
In any regards, I think most would agree that the positives deemed from
a merger would far outweigh any negative on the matter. We hope that we
would have the support from the community on the matter.

2) the merging process ... Johannes tested out the Mediawiki import
function, but unfortunately found that it left much to be desired.  So
presently we have just tossed around a few potential ways of proceeding,
but more investigation is needed here.  I intend to contact the
MediaWiki guys to see what insight or ideas they can provide.  This is
probably the most important background item that needs to be addressed
right now.

3) I still have to clean up my template/sandbox of the proposed wiki ...
this includes adopting some of the suggestions others made, as well as
addressing the important considerations such as establishing copyright
notices on images I've used or intend to use,  as well as the same with
templates etc..

I'd also like to mention that if anyone feels like trying to spruce up
the mock design in my user/sandbox page, please feel free to give your
hand a try --- I'm not a wiki expert by any means, or graphics designer
or anything remotely like that --- so I whole heartedly welcome further
refinements etc. 

4) A couple of people expressed interest in helping out.  I apologize
for getting back to you much later then anticipated.  We likely will
need help (at the sysop level) with the merger.  Presently, I don't have
any particular tasks that need accomplished for the merger.

However, that said, there are plenty of areas in both wikis that need
attention.  So I would encourage you to tackle the current content. 
Items that I think are probably of primary importance are those articles
or areas that could be deemed instructive or introductory to "newbies". 
For example, I've been slowly trying to organise and prune the
introductory articles (like scan, zap, testing your dvb device etc) in
the dvb wiki for the last little while.  But then again, a lot of
content in the device articles is badly dated.  There is also a lot of
content that was written in the first person -- personally, I believe
that this content should be re-written in an objective, 3rd party voice
-- such as like you find in articles on Wikipedia etc.  .... there is
simply no shortage of little things that need to be addressed.

Someone also previously mentioned the idea of coming up with a standard
article template.  I had initially thought that might be something for
down the road, but on second thought, developing something like this now
for, say the device articles, might be a really good project.  For
example, what would be a good order to present information about the
devices components, firmware, quirks, etc etc .... and then start
applying this framework to all the device articles.

If you are interested in helping with such "trivial" tasks, please set
forth.  If you feel or find it absolutely necessary to have sysop
abilities to help carry out some of the clean up work, then I don't have
any objection to granting those "powers" to dedicated individuals,
provided Johannes and David don't have any objects to your "promotion"
either....I will not, however, be handing out "licenses to delete" to
everyone and their grandmother.  

5) I may have had some other thoughts but can't think of them now ...
I'm not particularity quick at the keyboard, so its taken me a while to
draft this -- and of course, my mind starts to drift off elsewhere in
the meantime ... you know how it is :)

So, in conclusion:   I/we would like to press forth with the merger,
provided their isn't any overwhelming, and convincing, eleventh hour
voice against such an undertaking.  In any regard, movement towards end
this is going to progress at break-neck-glacier-speed for a little while
to come.  Nonetheless, every little contribution that can be done
presently will definitely help with the final product.

If you have any further questions, interest, suggestions, or feedback,
please feel free to post them.  I (and I quite imagine Johannes and
David) would love to hear them.


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