This isn’t a BrewPi-specific topic per se, but since there are a lot of BrewPi fans who’ve snuck a fermentor into a cooling chamber…
I went through a rather lengthy investigation when trying to locate an upright freezer to fit my Blichmann 25g fermentor into (14g+extension). A lot of frustration had to do with the lack of available data regarding the interior dimensions of commercially-available freezers, if the freezer’s compressor involves a big bulge at the back of the chamber, if the interior has a flat floor, etc. I also don’t want to adversely “pimp” my freezer, in case I ever decide to sell it (and move up to a bigger one of course, like this!)
So I figured I would create a Wikipedia article, mainly just a sortable table, where people could contribute their own combinations of [freezer + fermentor]. Unfortunately the gods (editors) of Wikipedia feel that my page is not sufficiently encyclopedic but rather is more of a How-To, and are thus aiming to delete the entry. Not sure I have the power to stop them although I am giving it the ol’ college try.
So I figure I would ask this community: what’s the best alternative for hosting a Wiki page, with strong representation from the international brewing community, where myself and others can contribute their working examples? The homebrewtalk.com Wiki literally has zero pages so it seems not to be a decent candidate. The BrewPi forum supports wiki functionality, but honestly I’d rather not see the BrewPi forums morph into a general purpose brewing board.
The biggest issue is a lack of people to help structure and maintain it I think. I also don’t really like the standard mediawiki format, which is one of the reasons we started doing our documentation in Sphinx with restructured text.
There might be better wiki alternatives and I could spin up a new web server easily, but in the past we had:
wiki, docs, Q&A, forum, blog/main site. The information gets a bit scattered all over the place.
I really like how easy to use Discourse is, so I would not mind having more info on the forum. Perhaps a collection of wiki topics with a central sticky index topic?
The benefit is that users have a central search box when looking for answers, which can be a wiki post or normal forum post. I can transform any post into a wiki by clicking the wrench icon. I don’t know if the topic starter can do it him/herself.
One nice thing about MediaWiki is that it has a rich markup language, which seems a more core requirement in a wiki than in a forum.
For example the main feature of that endangered Wikipedia page is a sortable table, which is useful when the table grows to 100+ rows because people have different columns they’ll want to sort on (fermentor brand or capacity, fridge capacity, etc.).
But I’ll look into the markup capabilities of Discourse and see what level of table support it has.
I think that the markup demands of the page I have in mind probably constitute a corner case. Having seen how Discourse-based forum posts can be easily morphed into Wiki pages, and considering how this would be useful to the BrewPi community, the utility of having a single data store which allows for search over both forum posts and Wiki pages trumps the needs of my envisioned page.
Plus if Elco were to spin up a separate server based on something like pbwiki, then you’d effectively have two independent repositories which I suspect would lead to reader confusion, or more likely to one being largely neglected in favor of the other (witness the sleep-inducing wiki on HomebrewTalk.com vs. the massive forum participation there). I would certainly move my page onto HomebrewTalkk if that wiki had any life to it.
That said, if anybody wants to lobby for the allowance of the Wikipedia page, in the OneBox below is the page where comments are being taken. The main complaint against the page is that it represents “unencyclopedic original research”.
I am trying to get a grip on this somewhat circular line of argument: that original information is unattractive, but it’s OK to create a page in Wikipedia which is nothing more than a set of links to other pages in Wikipedia.
I’ve been seeking out good examples of original research, e.g. a table of unverified discoveries by amateur astronomers, which are the functional equivalent of [fermentor + chamber] combinations. If I can find a glaring example, and it has a page in Wikipedia, then I feel the new page ought to be allowed.