5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2008
Wikipedia's unique amongst web applications in that it's core functionality is pretty stable and unchanging, meaning that printed guides to its use are actually pretty useful and don't dte quickly like many manuals for web services.
The real strength of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is not so much the features and physics of utilising Wikipedia, but the etiquette of writing, citing and editing content collaboratively, responsibly and accurately.
The book is divided into five sections on...
1) Editing, creating & maintaining articles
2) Collaborating with other editors
3) Formatting and illusrting articles
4) Building a stronger encyclopedia
Of these sections, the second and fourth are by far the most valuable as it moves the user beyond the mechanics of Wikipedia and into the creative and editorial qualities required for constructing good quality wiki content.
on 9 August 2013
This is a very useful book for anyone setting out to contribute to the phenomenon that is Wikipedia. It caters for the absolute beginner, right through to arcane matters of dispute resolution. In between, one realises the extraordinary amount of thought that has gone into the development of Wikipedia. I found it very useful in preparing my first article. It doesn't contain anything not available on the Wikipedia Help pages, but the book format is easier to use. In its nature, Wikipedia is subject to change, so this book published in 2008 does not always reflect current practice, which is why it gets four stars instead of five.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book as I found wikipedia's web-based documentation a bit tedious, and used so much screen space that even on a two-screen system, it got in the way of my work.
I have spent the past three months developing a Mediawiki system - a wiki system based on the same software as wikipedia. However, this book doesn't ever get past the public user interface. As such it has proved to be almost useless to me. For example, it covers article templates in only the most basic manner; it doesn't really even get into advanced editing; and never mentions plugins, multiple language support, third party editors, security... etc etc. Any reasonably competent web develper or technical author will figure out how to make and edit wiki articles quite quickly without this book.
One other thing - the book falls apart! Yes, despite its use of "RepKover" binding, the pages are simply falling out all over. So far, about half of the index pages are floating around loose in the back of the book. Useless!
If you are new to wikipedia, and to editing wiki articles, then this book has a lot to offer - even if 99% of it is already available free in the wikipedia help system. If you are developing a wiki system and need to know what's going on at the server end of it, then give ths book a miss.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
This is the problem with Wikipedia. Editors and administrators are anonymous. There is no transparency or accountability. It is nothing more that a noticeboard for faceless people to edit. That is why students are warned by colleges and universities not to use it for research purposes. Pity John Broughton does not point out its many shortcomings. Eril Scott