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 Post subject: The wiki is low quality (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:23 pm 
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muazzam wrote:
Try http://www.codecademy.com/ tutorials on Python and JavaScript (You might find JavaScript easy). These tutorials are interactive, hence good and have community support. Official guides are often not beginners-friendly.
Note: I am not advertising anything, I just find it helpful.

Python is an excellent language; pretty well formed, and most importantly, it doesn't takes backwards-compatibility into account (see C++11...). But I would go against starting programming with JavaScript/ECMAScript. First of all, let's remember that (although it has a broad ability for generic computing) it's a DSL (Domain-Specific Language). DSL's are not good for starting programming.

Let's say a novice programmer starts with ECMAScript. He would probably have a harsh time trying to OSDev (or use the C family, let's not even talk about assembly). He'll have similar moments when trying to study any other programming language that's not ECMAScript. For short, go with Python and leave ECMAScript for those who already know what they're doing.

BTW, haven't you (I'm saying everyone in this forum) a higher frequency of appearance for posts all but related to OSDev'ing? Also, we frequently loose members of the community after they fail (several times) to write some NTFS/ext2/SATA/IDE/... (i.e. I/O and FS related) driver. This place is slowly becoming something it wasn't intended to be. Just a few projects have suceeded, and most of them have been "abandoned" (not actually being active, but foreseen by their creators).

Let's accept something. Apart from the basic tutorials, http://wiki.osdev.org/ is complete crap that sometimes even doesn't redirect to actual formal specifications. Let's take as an example the Network Stack article. It doesn't describes the most minimal stuff about the stack itself. The only real specification it references to is the TCP specification from September 1981. Not even the IP specification from the same date, although it's the most basic and simple protocol I've ever seen.

We shall do something, or everyone of the 9504 (some math must be done with this number to strip down the inactives and non-OSDevers) will loose their final objective, that is, the exciting and hardcore experience of writting, debugging, running, and sharing your own operating system made by yourself, with your own code, your own decisions, and everything else you want to add as topping.

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 Post subject: Re: Lists and Slicing in Python
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:07 pm 
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It's a Wiki. If you think it's crap then improve it, don't just criticise and expect someone else to do the work.


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 Post subject: Re: Lists and Slicing in Python
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:21 pm 
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iansjack wrote:
It's a Wiki. If you think it's crap then improve it, don't just criticise and expect someone else to do the work.

I'm not expecting someone else to do the work. I'm just saying that it's generally of a bad quality, considering this site is ~10 years old. And I'll continue to say it's (by now...) crap.

Just see the forums! If the wiki would be more complete, begginers won't have the difficulties they always have, and they're have the same ones! Anyway, it's just a bad excuse to say "If you think it's crap then improve it." You're missing a point that affecting all of us, that is, the wiki is dangerously incomplete. If I have the full right to criticise something I don't like (and I have), and that I think that must be repaired, the wiki is such a thing.

It's not just a personal opinion of mine ("If you think it's crap"), it's an actual fact! Most forum topics (at least nowadays) are about "How to write the FS driver"? Can you answer me why in ~10 years (+ those of TokioSomething and osdever.net) there is NOT a single good article in the wiki about I/O and Filesystems? The wiki doesn't helps nor advices anyone past the Meaty Skeleton tutorial (basically a more real Bare Bones). There are *lots* of Bare Bones in the wiki for some pretty diverse programming languages and architectures, that's good and excellent! But the excitement ends right there :| .

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Hello World in Brainfuck :D:
Code:
++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.


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 Post subject: Re: Lists and Slicing in Python
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:47 pm 
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So who do you think should repair it? What are you going to do about improving that TCP/IP bit?

Anyway, this is completely off topic and in the wrong forum. Make a proper post about it if you feel strongly. And do something about it if you feel strongly.


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 Post subject: Re: Lists and Slicing in Python
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:22 pm 
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iansjack wrote:
So who do you think should repair it? What are you going to do about improving that TCP/IP bit?

Anyway, this is completely off topic and in the wrong forum. Make a proper post about it if you feel strongly. And do something about it if you feel strongly.


It's true, it's completely off-topic, and such a conversation shall be moved to another place.

Anyway, I'm not talking (and won't) about who would "repair" the wiki (after all, all of us should). I'm talking about what the wiki, with its high potential, has to be completed and/or improved. I was actually thinking on improving the network stuff once I finish my TCP implementation (or at least I understand the full specification). Right now, I'm creating the Internet Protocol article.

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Happy New Code!
Hello World in Brainfuck :D:
Code:
++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.


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 Post subject: Re: The wiki is garbage (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:14 pm 
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KemyLand wrote:
We shall do something, or everyone of the 9504 (some math must be done with this number to strip down the inactives and non-OSDevers) will loose their final objective,

Don't bother. We're doomed anyway. And if you really go look up the numbers, the size of the wiki is inversely correlated with the forum activity, so we might just as well delete the wiki altogether before doomsday does it for us. :mrgreen:



Ahem. Don't go hijacking unrelated threads.

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 Post subject: Re: The wiki is garbage (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:23 pm 
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Combuster wrote:
KemyLand wrote:
We shall do something, or everyone of the 9504 (some math must be done with this number to strip down the inactives and non-OSDevers) will loose their final objective,

Don't bother. We're doomed anyway. And if you really go look up the numbers, the size of the wiki is inversely correlated with the forum activity, so we might just as well delete the wiki altogether before doomsday does it for us. :mrgreen:


Well, talking seriously, are we doomed? The numbers say it all. The Statistics article article says that there are 1022 registered users in the wiki, of who only 28 have moved a single finger on 30 days.

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Happy New Code!
Hello World in Brainfuck :D:
Code:
++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.


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 Post subject: Re: The wiki is garbage (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:59 pm 
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1. It's not about the pure number of contributors, it's about the changes made. Further, minor tweaks to the text, sometimes as simple as exchanging "recommended" for "required", can change the whole meaning of the page.

2. The wiki is not meant to be a full guide to your own OS or to contain every single aspect of anything; it's there for summarizing the most important things. For more information, you have to use Google and search for the spec.

My thoughts about your example about file systems: there is more than 1 spec. The bigger, more imporatant problem are VFSes. With little idea what it is, how to implement it to support things like procfs, while still being able to use 1 or more physical file systems at once, it's very, very hard to succeed there. Getting over such problems makes you a real OSdever.
The wiki not being complete (or being garbage, from your POV) is not an obstacle at writing your OS, it's still a help. It's better to have a incomplete wiki with accurate information than not having one. Just my 2 cents here.


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 Post subject: Re: The wiki is garbage (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:43 pm 
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no92 wrote:
1. It's not about the pure number of contributors, it's about the changes made. Further, minor tweaks to the text, sometimes as simple as exchanging "recommended" for "required", can change the whole meaning of the page.

2. The wiki is not meant to be a full guide to your own OS or to contain every single aspect of anything; it's there for summarizing the most important things. For more information, you have to use Google and search for the spec.

My thoughts about your example about file systems: there is more than 1 spec. The bigger, more imporatant problem are VFSes. With little idea what it is, how to implement it to support things like procfs, while still being able to use 1 or more physical file systems at once, it's very, very hard to succeed there. Getting over such problems makes you a real OSdever.
The wiki not being complete (or being garbage, from your POV) is not an obstacle at writing your OS, it's still a help. It's better to have a incomplete wiki with accurate information than not having one. Just my 2 cents here.

My POV is *not* saying that the wiki is garbage (who did wrote the topic's title?). I'm not saying you shouldn't read the specs instead of the wiki. I don't like to do that! But the fact the wiki lacks important, vital, and crucial information for OSDeving is just frustrating. By my side, there's no problem. I usually go and read a spec and that's it. And that's what everyone shall do. But there are known pitfalls that some out here do know.

That information can benefit others, as the specs do. It's not about "you're a "real" OSDever because you read the specs yourself", but rather "you're a real OSDever because you look for information and implement it, either from specs, or from others' knowledge". Let's think about it, should everyone re-invent the wheel (re-re-re-reading the specs), when someone who has already understood it can share some information that can help you? Let's remember that both wikis and forums are types of virtual communities. The idea of a community is to progress together, and the wiki is not doing such a thing.

It's true that the wiki is simply vital for bootstrapping OS development (where else on the whole Internet do you find such a thing?), but it's incomplete. It's simply hypocrite to say that "it's better to have something that to have nothing" instead of "it's better to have something better than to have something". You also claim the wiki has "accurate information", that's true until you go out of Bare Bones and friends.

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Happy New Code!
Hello World in Brainfuck :D:
Code:
++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.


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 Post subject: Re: The wiki is garbage (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:04 pm 
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I get the impression that your comments were initially predicated on the number of trivial questions being raised of late. In reality, most of those questions could have been answered by consulting the existing Wiki in the first place, so I don't think they are result of any failings in the current status quo.

I agree that the Wiki doesn't provide a good in-depth description of all topics, but I'm not convinced that it should. It certainly provides enough information to get people thinking and to give them ideas as to what they should be Googling for. I don't think a "Painting by Numbers" Wiki would be a useful contribution. People have lots of different ideas about OS development and they should perhaps be left to develop thos ideas rather than being given the step-by-step instructions that some demand.

But I take your point that it is sparse in subjects such as TCP/IP. You seem to know a lot about that so why not put your money where your mouth is.? As for numbers, I'd guess that most forum membership follows the iceberg pattern. And, again, most forums have a number of users who just ask questions and another set who just answer questions. That's just the way it is.


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 Post subject: Re: The wiki is garbage (was Lists and Slicing in Python)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:01 pm 
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iansjack wrote:
I get the impression that your comments were initially predicated on the number of trivial questions being raised of late. In reality, most of those questions could have been answered by consulting the existing Wiki in the first place, so I don't think they are result of any failings in the current status quo.

It's true, that's the origin of my comments. If you/I see the questions from ~2007, you'll find more interesting ones, with more diversity, more theorical stuff, etc etc... And it's true that most of those answers are easily answered by the existing wiki. But topics related to I/O or Filesystems or Network (I would say about 20-30% of new topics) are simply lacking in the wiki, or pretty wrong and inaccurate (Select your cup of tea here)

iansjack wrote:
I agree that the Wiki doesn't provide a good in-depth description of all topics, but I'm not convinced that it should. It certainly provides enough information to get people thinking and to give them ideas as to what they should be Googling for. I don't think a "Painting by Numbers" Wiki would be a useful contribution. People have lots of different ideas about OS development and they should perhaps be left to develop thos ideas rather than being given the step-by-step instructions that some demand.

Sorry if I gave a wrong impression. I'm not intending to have a "step-by-step Wiki". That's just a stupid idea. Let's put the TCP/IP stack example. In what I think would be a better wiki, there would be a Internet Protocol page (was writting that yesterday, I'll upload it later). That page would summarize the IP header (pretty simple...) and some comments on what each member does, including pitfalls. Details (not important ones) would be redirected to the specification. Now let's put another example, the Transfer Control Protocol (TCP). The geniuses who designed the stack back in 1981 decided that TCP would do all the hard work, and it's true, it's a pretty more complxe protocol. Its wiki page (as far as I know, no one is writting it) would contain essential and summarized information, i.e.: what is its purpose, basic port concept, the holy header, etc etc... But always refering to the RFC as a first resource for completeness. That's the idea, having completeness through references. There shall not be any information outside of what's simply true and what the protocol mandates. No "step-by-step" or "tutorial" stuff.

iansjack wrote:
But I take your point that it is sparse in subjects such as TCP/IP. You seem to know a lot about that so why not put your money where your mouth is.? As for numbers, I'd guess that most forum membership follows the iceberg pattern. And, again, most forums have a number of users who just ask questions and another set who just answer questions. That's just the way it is.

Completely true.

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Happy New Code!
Hello World in Brainfuck :D:
Code:
++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.


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