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Ticket #619 (new task)

Opened 13 years ago

Last modified 13 years ago

[RFC] Enhancing usability of compatibility list

Reported by: mrenzmann Assigned to: mrenzmann
Priority: minor Milestone:
Component: website Version:
Keywords: Cc:
Patch is attached: 0 Pending:

Description

Introduction

The compatibility list is getting bigger and bigger, and thus more and more uncomfortable to use. While looking for supported cards is not that complicated, adding information about a not yet mentioned card (or adjusting existing data) is awful.

A look back

A while back we already had a discussion of improving the compatibility list somehow. At that time back the idea was to split the list up based on some criteria, for example providing one page per vendor. The main objection was that such a structure would make it hard to explore the list based on other criteria (bus type, availability of a port for external antennas, and so on). The only solution that came to mind was duplicating the same info on different pages in order to provide different "views" on the same information - which is quite unefficient. Then the discussion ceased more or less.

The idea

While looking through the available extensions at trac-hacks.org, I stumbled across the following ingredients:

The Tags Plugin allows to tag wiki pages with none, one or more tags. The TracHacks? Plugin provides code that allows to list pages which match a tag (would need to be slightly modified for allowing to specify a set of tags, but that's no problem). And the Discussion Plugin enables users to add comments to the page without the need to edit the whole page - similar to the way comments can be added to tickets.

The idea is to split the compatibility list up such that we have one wiki page per reported product. Each of these pages get at least three tags: compatibility (to identify it as a page that is part of the compatibility list), the name of the vendor (each vendor needs a well-defined tag then) and the type of bus (minipci, cardbus, pci, ...). Compatibility then provides a general introduction and provides links to subpages which implement the different views we would like to offer on the compatibility list. One of these subpages could list products grouped by their vendor, another subpage could list products based by the bus, and if we add other tags that represent other hardware properties we can provide other views as well.

This way we still have one dedicated place that holds information about a product (ist wiki page), while providing different ways to "find" the provided information. The tags add the necessary flexibility.

Once we have that, the Discussion Plugin comes into play. Currently users usually add their experiences by writing some lines into the table. Sometimes this makes it harder to distinct between more or less static information (hardware facts) and quite dynamic information (user reports). The comments would help to improve this, I think.

I'm aware that converting the current compatibility list to the suggested model is a nice amount of work. But I'm convinced that this adds a lot to the usability of that list.

Suggestions and comments welcome.

Change History

05/12/06 17:21:03 changed by dyqith

I think this is a great idea, It would be nice to have an easy way to do search and browse the list. Maybe also have one tag for the type of chipset it is, if its needed.

10/02/06 15:19:16 changed by Prolag

New about the idea ?

10/02/06 19:16:29 changed by mrenzmann

Due to a lack of time I have not done anything about it. I plan to spend more time to website-related stuff during the next weeks (as soon as I'm back from vacations), and this will definitely will be one of the things I will try to take care of.