It seems to me like wiki-based systems for collecting information on specific things are significantly more preponderant than proper official documentation on specific things, despite the fact that (based on my experience) such wiki-based information stores are often worse at being informative (most commonly due to a lack of comprehensivity and a disorganized unoptimized nature to the information). So why are they more common than proper official documentation on specific things?
official documentation takes effort to produce and is thus often not provided. wikis are an effective way to collaboratively produce content and can be quite high quality if done right.
well, I'm not really an expert in this. I think it just comes down to being administrated well.
a wiki needs a community. You need people to think "yes I want to add this data to the public wiki" when they see something. This is easier with the general arts than it is with code. Emacs is a good example of how great community documentation can be, and how such a project should be moderated. Initial stages of public documentation are always messy. keeping it that way lets more people get involved. later you want to aggregate info and organize all of that together. this is what I've seen in the jsoftware wiki, (and k wiki, which has pretty much 99% of its work completed by me).
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