Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 05:01AM
Something which bugs me for quite a while is that some groups apparently don't feel comfortable with the RepRap community and open up sort of a sub-wiki inside the general wiki. For non-english groups this is somewhat understandable, because they speak a different language. Still we have mechanisms to write multi-language wiki pages, so there's not really a need for sub-wikis.

I'd like to discuss on reasons why this happens, what makes these groups feel uncomfortable and how we can get back the comfort. Separating groups also separates knowledge and if this continues, distinct groups no longer share their achievements.

Any opinions?


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 07:59AM
i think the language barrier is still a big part of the sub wiki thing, i also suspect there is differing opinions wtih regards to layout and such for specific printers eg the situation with the I3 rework and the others,




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Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 08:36AM
BTW., the page which triggered the discussion is this one: [reprap.org]


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 09:23AM
..... why on earth has that been done ? , it's all in English why not just link the existing one ?

since it's already been created i think instead of deleting it, the content (eg the links to suppliers) should be merged with the main one and a forwarding link place on that page that way we don't break any links,
looking at the rest of the pages, the whole sub wiki seems to give and very narrow and somewhat outdated view i think in the long run we will likely be looking at modifying more than just the filament suppliers page ,




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Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 10:37AM
Take a look at [reprap.org] and [reprap.org]

Sometimes "editing a wiki page" is part of coursework and used for class credit. If so, [reprap.org] seems like clear plagiarism of [reprap.org]
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 12:33PM
Quote
DaveX
Sometimes "editing a wiki page" is part of coursework and used for class credit.

Yes, that's excellent and I'd love to see this in the, uhm, 'main' wiki.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 02:02PM
I tagged the buyer's guide page with {{Merge|RepRap Buyers' Guide}}

Could [reprap.org] : Pages_to_be_merged (munged w/ extra spaces)
be linked on [reprap.org] : SpecialPages (munged w/extra spaces) under Maintenance Reports or something?

And is there a way to make it so this forum doesn't render colon-P as a tongue sticking out smiley, colon-S as confused smiley or parse links including colons into image markup?

Links like ages_to_be_merged" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Categorytongue sticking out smileyages_to_be_merged are awkward and useless.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 03:56PM
I think rather then focusing on why, we should focus on what to do about it. Reprap is at the point that it really needs some people dedicated to it 100%. That includes seeking funding, maintaining the wiki, maintaining the forum and continuing development, etc.. If we had someone who was working on the wiki full time they could easily merge pages and improve content, There is a lot of outdated information and half written pieces that could use some work.


WWW.ZATOPA.COM - Your Place for high quality 3D Printing Filament and accessories
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 25, 2014 07:55PM
Quote
Traumflug
BTW., the page which triggered the discussion is this one: [reprap.org]

I suspect that this sentence from the above page is your answer - "Our classroom RepRap printers usually use PLA of 3mm." My guess is that the Penn State folks have created localized information for their own reference, in this case where students should buy 3mm filament in the USA that are compatible with their specific classroom hardware. Although it is a great table, it appears to be localized to North American suppliers...and adding other region suppliers would defeat the whole purpose of creating a localized page.....
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 26, 2014 06:12AM
Quote
jzatopa
Reprap is at the point that it really needs some people dedicated to it 100%. That includes seeking funding, maintaining the wiki, maintaining the forum and continuing development, etc.. If we had someone who was working on the wiki full time [...]

If you find some funding opportunities I'm all ears.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 26, 2014 06:19AM
Quote
vreihen
adding other region suppliers would defeat the whole purpose of creating a localized page.....

The question is, what's the point of having localized pages beyond a picture of the facility and pointers to the printers available. What's the difference between a Wallace printing at PSU and a Wallace printing in the UK, in Japan or India?

My point is, they're all the same and if you describe experience on a local page only, it's a loss for the rest of the community. Every experience has to be made in each location, totally counterfeiting the purpose of a worldwide community. If the Bath RepRap group had acted the same, PSU likely wouldn't even have printers today. Sharing information and experience is cruicial.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 26, 2014 08:36AM
Quote
Traumflug
The question is, what's the point of having localized pages beyond a picture of the facility and pointers to the printers available. What's the difference between a Wallace printing at PSU and a Wallace printing in the UK, in Japan or India?

The page that you cited met your example of a localized page, IMO. The difference is that users of the Wallace printers in the UK, Japan, or India would probably *not* be ordering filament from Amazon or any of the other North American vendors listed on the page in question.

I didn't look at any of the other Penn State pages beyond this one to see how much they've "forked" the wiki, but think that they should be given some credit for sharing their stuff on the RepRap wiki instead of hosting their own on a different server and disjoint search engine.....
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 27, 2014 12:06AM
The bulk of [reprap.org] appears to be the US subset of [reprap.org]

Forking two copies of the same chunk of info seems like an invitation for making both child sets less useful. Which list of US suppliers of filament will be better maintained? Is anyone going to even attempt to keep the data in sync? The original page already lets people sort and find a US subset, so I'd think that pointing to the original and telling folks how to find the relevant subset would be cleaner and more maintainable. If breaking up the table by continent is a value-added operation, it would be a value-added operation on the original page.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 27, 2014 01:44PM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
jzatopa
Reprap is at the point that it really needs some people dedicated to it 100%. That includes seeking funding, maintaining the wiki, maintaining the forum and continuing development, etc.. If we had someone who was working on the wiki full time [...]

If you find some funding opportunities I'm all ears.

let me think about it and get back to you. Has anyone looked into grants or other money from the government or schools? One problem I see is that reprap as a foundation isn't very formalized. When people donate money they want to know who it is going to, what it will be used for and why.


WWW.ZATOPA.COM - Your Place for high quality 3D Printing Filament and accessories
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 27, 2014 03:50PM
Quote
jzatopa
When people donate money they want to know who it is going to, what it will be used for and why.

We're about a dozen admins and Adrian Bowyer is still there, so it shouldn't be a problem to form something. The main reason there's not much so far is, there's no money and therefore no need for a formalized entity.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 28, 2014 12:30AM
Dear Markus,

First: Thank you for your support and effort. Our appreciation for it cannot be stressed enough.

Others have already pointed out the motivation for the post which seems to have sparked this: The main purchasing page is meant to be general, but what was desired (in the mind of the student) was a page which had just the relevant (and updated) information for purchasing which students in the US might use (many of them go on to build their own printers after realizing that such a thing can be done, and so they appreciate this information). The global body of purchasing information as it was was not useful and the student opted to make a sub-page with the content of interest rather than reforming the main page to be US-centric (I mention this because the student is from the EU, so while I may be in my own little universe, I think they were cloning and modifying the page content in an effort to be respectful of the source of the information.) They informed me of the result of their edit (you really scared the shit out of them), unsure of what to do.

You bring up an interesting point which perhaps deserves more discussion: What pages are suitable for a local non-specialist to modify and how would they know where those are? Their experiences are limited to the designs with which they are familiar. They often do not have the background that most of the earlier editors had when including content, but are trying in earnest to give back to the community with their time and attention. I have often wanted to direct my students to more general wiki pages for improvement, but I face the same difficulty when asking them to improve our own additions: To what do they add? Where do they start? How drastically does their experience differ from those using other designs elsewhere? When are they qualified to give a useful answer? (this is the question they ask themselves , sometimes to the point of preventing any contributions at all). I think there's a real logistical problem here and i'm at a loss for a solution. This is an issue for all of us, so I welcome any wise suggestions which might be offered.

All the best!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2014 12:31AM by EtherDais.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 28, 2014 12:08PM
Quote
EtherDais
Dear Markus,

First: Thank you for your support and effort. Our appreciation for it cannot be stressed enough.

Others have already pointed out the motivation for the post which seems to have sparked this: The main purchasing page is meant to be general, but what was desired (in the mind of the student) was a page which had just the relevant (and updated) information for purchasing which students in the US might use (many of them go on to build their own printers after realizing that such a thing can be done, and so they appreciate this information). The global body of purchasing information as it was was not useful and the student opted to make a sub-page with the content of interest rather than reforming the main page to be US-centric (I mention this because the student is from the EU, so while I may be in my own little universe, I think they were cloning and modifying the page content in an effort to be respectful of the source of the information.) They informed me of the result of their edit (you really scared the shit out of them), unsure of what to do.

You bring up an interesting point which perhaps deserves more discussion: What pages are suitable for a local non-specialist to modify and how would they know where those are? Their experiences are limited to the designs with which they are familiar. They often do not have the background that most of the earlier editors had when including content, but are trying in earnest to give back to the community with their time and attention. I have often wanted to direct my students to more general wiki pages for improvement, but I face the same difficulty when asking them to improve our own additions: To what do they add? Where do they start? How drastically does their experience differ from those using other designs elsewhere? When are they qualified to give a useful answer? (this is the question they ask themselves , sometimes to the point of preventing any contributions at all). I think there's a real logistical problem here and i'm at a loss for a solution. This is an issue for all of us, so I welcome any wise suggestions which might be offered.

All the best!

I think almost* all of them are suitable for a local non-specialist to modify, if they can identify what they perceive as an improvement. There are a number of previous editors with varying degrees of background and experience, but one of the strengths that new, novice readers bring to documentation is fresh eyes and the ability to identify what is particularly confusing to new readers. If some bit of documentation is unhelpful, you can edit it, and if folks feel your edit is unhelpful, they can revert or modify it.

In the particular instance of the filament supply page, it sounds as if the existing table is too global in scope, to large to be easilty maintainable, and perhaps too light on information to be readily useful. One ways I see of approaching that problem is by breaking it into continents, and pointing from part of the RUG page to a US section, (As a non-working example: [reprap.org] ). Also, a way to use the local group's experience to add value might be to collect reviews from RUG users and pointers to them in the original page's review column. (Another non-working example: [reprap.org] )

My particular issue with forking wiki pages is that some sorts of information on wikis degrade rapidly, lists of external links, like printing suppliers, are particularly prone to bit-rot. For example, the "Future is 3d" link should probably go to [indimension3.com] since the company seems to redirect the name towards there. Maintaining lists like this could be low-hanging fruit for people seeking to contribute, since it doesn't take deep knowledge or experience to check or update a link, and an updated link would help any future user googling for "reprap material suppliers"

Wikis are sometimes hard to manage. You might have your students think of them as documents a shared filing cabinet with a bunch of electronic links. You can update what is wrong if you notice it, you can add pictures and detail to documentation that seems confusing, and you can write up your own notes and jam them in the file cabinet too. Some starting points: [pecialPages" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">reprap.org]

*The exceptions being the ones that are explicitly locked to administrators only
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 29, 2014 10:31AM
Hello, my 2 cents.
As the admin of the Italian section I want to say that I made a page on the Wiki which listed the Italian vendors by regions.
You could tell me that I could have just added the italian vendors in the international vendors page without creating a new one but I would like to explain that there are some reprap users which doesn't know English very well, also it's very helpful to look and find a vendor at the next door. I think everyone prefers a "face to face" speech instead of a mail. This is just an example.

Another point, editing/learning the Wiki isn't so easy and there are so many pages to translate and edit that I get lost; an example is the page about Extruder, if you go directly to the Glossary, which is the best way, in my opinion, to get-to-the-point, you've got this page: [reprap.org]
But if you search "Extruder" in the search field you get this page: [reprap.org]
Don't you agree with me that is better the second one?
The same with Cold End and Hot End, the first one doesn't have a description where the second one has. Both pages have a list of XXX Ends but there's no technical information about the Cold and the Hot Ends, finding those tech info is an adventure...

I'm not here to judge the Wiki "workers", just sharing my thoughts since I'm slowing translating to italian everything, I started with the Glossary this is why I cited it. smiling smiley


---- "Let me make my move" ----
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 29, 2014 02:05PM
Language is clearly a natural high-level division for documentation. Translating pages into user's languages adds value. I don't see anywhere near the same added value in forking identical data. It seems like it duplicates the requirement for maintenance, while the benefit is questionable (to me.)

On the glossary, I do agree that the [reprap.org] page which redirects to [reprap.org] is the better link than the [reprap.org] link which redirects to another specific example of an extruder. I made changes to Glossary and Category:Cold_End accordingly.

Sometime wiki format is confusing and difficult to work with, like the redirections, the category tags and being able to link to them versus mention/link to them, or editing long tables like the filament supplier table. For instance, I am\\\was not sure how to link to a Category:Cold without accidentally including the referring page in the resultant category listing......Oh: [en.wikipedia.org]

I think wikis are best thought of as group-shared filing cabinets with multiple, disjoint methods of organization. I don't think I remember ever clicking on the glossary before reading your message. I typically google something like 'reprap extruder' for that sort of question.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 29, 2014 11:01PM
Given the nature and state of the Wiki at this time I think that devoting this much energy to this particular edit could very well result in less participation not just from these student but from others. The critical mass has moved from a self replicating machine to a DIY 3D printer. Much if not most of what is discussed or listed these days has less to do with Reprap and more to do with general DIY 3D printing. These types of resources are best lead by strong leaders with a sense of mission and most importantly a goal and vision. There is no central leadership or sense of community purpose at least not enough to drive the structural changes and implementation of an information structure. Looking at other open projects in history, Linux, mySQL and Apache Foundation projects they all have one very important thing in common. A goal with a more or less benevolent dictatorship leading and many times deciding the way to go. A true free form structure without at least a bit of top down leadership won't work well for something like this. Without Linus Linux never would have made it this far even though many, many very smart people work on it. With Adrian effectively removed from interaction in this community I don't see a natural leader to take the reins. I don't even see an informal cabal. Markus and the admins do a great job but the role which I mention is more than just being an admin or an implementer.

I think the students did a fantastic job in identifying an area in which to share information and exercising the personal initiative to do something about it. That is what learning should be about. Learning how to think rather than just repeat whatever the prof says. Given that the Wiki contains outdated info, contradictory info and some just plain wrong info focusing on this edit is disproportionate to me. I think it could serve to do more to discourage participation rather than encourage participation. The students and young people are not only the future of this community but the community of the world as a whole. We, particularly those of us with more life experience (ie. old folks... winking smiley ) need to foster and encourage gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge regardless of whether or not it fits into any preconceived notion of how the information is structured.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 30, 2014 07:18AM
What vegasloki said, x2.....
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 30, 2014 07:43AM
Quote
vegasloki
Given that the Wiki contains outdated info, contradictory info and some just plain wrong info focusing on this edit is disproportionate to me. I think it could serve to do more to discourage participation rather than encourage participation. The students and young people are not only the future of this community but the community of the world as a whole. We, particularly those of us with more life experience (ie. old folks... winking smiley ) need to foster and encourage gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge regardless of whether or not it fits into any preconceived notion of how the information is structured.

I had hoped to make clear this one edit is just an example of a broader development. Solve this to the satisfaction of everybody and many others can follow.

Myself I'm one of the old folks, too (49 yo). To date I come more and more to the conclusion I simply see the world with very different eyes than many younger people. If there's an explicit invitation to everybody to edit pages and I see something in need of improvement, I hit the edit button without any hesitation. Fix a typo, add a formula, remove a duplicate, all stuff resolved the minute I find it.

From others I get requests to change even rarther simple things. They see something wrong, usually even know what the correction would be, but also think it needs an "expert" or some kind of presidential permit to change text. As such requests are likely just a small percentage of all spotted misalignments I'm very eager to find out what holds these people back. They write excellent blogs, they put excellent articles and descriptions into existence in their separated area, so what is holding them back to do the very same in the general area?


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 30, 2014 07:56AM
Quote
Gordie
I think everyone prefers a "face to face" speech instead of a mail.

As a vendor I always try to keep a bit distance to customers, because immediate availability brings in this tendency to ask too many questions. In the lines of "why think about it myselfs if I can just ask?". As a customer I don't care about location for every shop out of bicycle distance. But that's my personal view, of course.

To me it looks like we should put up a map with shop locations. From the german section I know many germans prefer dutch shops. For me, Zürich or even Milan (foreign countries) are a lot closer than Cologne or Hamburg (same country). A map could solve this and get rid of this ancient idea of "borders".


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 30, 2014 01:07PM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
vegasloki
Given that the Wiki contains outdated info, contradictory info and some just plain wrong info focusing on this edit is disproportionate to me. I think it could serve to do more to discourage participation rather than encourage participation. The students and young people are not only the future of this community but the community of the world as a whole. We, particularly those of us with more life experience (ie. old folks... winking smiley ) need to foster and encourage gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge regardless of whether or not it fits into any preconceived notion of how the information is structured.

I had hoped to make clear this one edit is just an example of a broader development. Solve this to the satisfaction of everybody and many others can follow.

Myself I'm one of the old folks, too (49 yo). To date I come more and more to the conclusion I simply see the world with very different eyes than many younger people. If there's an explicit invitation to everybody to edit pages and I see something in need of improvement, I hit the edit button without any hesitation. Fix a typo, add a formula, remove a duplicate, all stuff resolved the minute I find it.

From others I get requests to change even rarther simple things. They see something wrong, usually even know what the correction would be, but also think it needs an "expert" or some kind of presidential permit to change text. As such requests are likely just a small percentage of all spotted misalignments I'm very eager to find out what holds these people back. They write excellent blogs, they put excellent articles and descriptions into existence in their separated area, so what is holding them back to do the very same in the general area?

Point taken Markus. I see this more as an issue of where the content should be placed not so much as an issue of using being able to edit the Wiki. A Wiki is more or less a free form structure of information and I'd argue that the format leads itself to these types of edits/forks of content. The good thing about the Web is that everything is one click away from something else be ti this Wiki or a blog or an Instructable on how to do things. The search capability and open form of the information structure on this Wiki doesn't lend itself well to fining relevent information. I know where the info is so if asked a question on a build I can point them toward it. Those that are new find it tougher to get the info and many times find outdated (as in info for a previous interation) or conflicitng or info presented in an obscure manner. That's not to discount the value of the Wiki as it's an excellent source of information, but like other information stores it's only as useful as the ability to retreive the information for which one needs at any particular time.

As for info being on blogs, etc, I noted in my post RE: OSHWA survey that the respondents preferred to host the info on spaces they control and aren't using a Wiki format. One of the reasons I joined the OSHWA is to keep abreast of information standards and best practices for distributing that info. That is what I think one of the leading issues in the DIY 3D printer movement and I'd like to work to help address it. Most of the info is available but finding the relevent info is difficult for new builders. I don't think a Wiki, or Guthub or even something like Instructables are the best method. It's outside of the scope of this thread to discuss but they are related in that the free form structure of the info on this Wiki I think contributes to people building pages such as these students did. Those of us that provide manufacuturing capability for DIY builders are in a position to help and being that we are selling open designs I think it fitting and appropriate for us to contribute. A great example is how you've documented the Gen 7 package. It's complete, concise and very helpful. I think the goal should be more documentation like that.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
April 30, 2014 03:17PM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
vegasloki
Given that the Wiki contains outdated info, contradictory info and some just plain wrong info focusing on this edit is disproportionate to me. I think it could serve to do more to discourage participation rather than encourage participation. The students and young people are not only the future of this community but the community of the world as a whole. We, particularly those of us with more life experience (ie. old folks... winking smiley ) need to foster and encourage gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge regardless of whether or not it fits into any preconceived notion of how the information is structured.

I had hoped to make clear this one edit is just an example of a broader development. Solve this to the satisfaction of everybody and many others can follow.

Myself I'm one of the old folks, too (49 yo). To date I come more and more to the conclusion I simply see the world with very different eyes than many younger people. If there's an explicit invitation to everybody to edit pages and I see something in need of improvement, I hit the edit button without any hesitation. Fix a typo, add a formula, remove a duplicate, all stuff resolved the minute I find it.

From others I get requests to change even rarther simple things. They see something wrong, usually even know what the correction would be, but also think it needs an "expert" or some kind of presidential permit to change text. As such requests are likely just a small percentage of all spotted misalignments I'm very eager to find out what holds these people back. They write excellent blogs, they put excellent articles and descriptions into existence in their separated area, so what is holding them back to do the very same in the general area?

I apologize if I seem harsh or discouraging. I mean to say that efforts would be more appreciated and possibly better spent updating the existing pages, rather than in forking new, similar pages.

I've had to read enough bad documentation that I don't feel bad about patching up broken documentation when I notice it, whether on a wiki, real-life book, or on tape or permanent marker on a switchplate or machine. If you are making a controversial change, (e.g.: tearing down a "no nut producs" sign on a common fridge,) I can see a reason for hesitation or approval-seeking, but if there is documentation out there that falls short of the providing the help that it is its ultimate purpose, fixing the document (e.g., s/producs/products/) seems like one of the more worthwhile reactions.
Re: Why do some groups try to shell out from the RepRap community?
May 01, 2014 06:57AM
Quote
DaveX
if there is documentation out there that falls short of the providing the help that it is its ultimate purpose, fixing the document (e.g., s/producs/products/) seems like one of the more worthwhile reactions.

Yes, without doubt. What I see is less an actual reason for hesitation, but some sort of a feeling which leads to hesitation. I'd like to get rid of this feeling. I'd like to make people to not only be, but also feel free.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
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