After a month’s hard work, we, The Web and Coding Club IIT Bombay, have launched our own wiki website - Grundy! Check it out on http://wncc-iitb.org/wiki.
What is a Wiki?
Well we have all seen Wikipedia, but that’s not the only website in the family of Wikis’. All wikis are powered by a PHP backend, Mediawiki. Grundy is another such wiki, and this is why it’s got a strong resemblence to Wikipedia.
What is Grundy?
Grundy is an educational wiki, meant to help beginners get started with programming. It’s got a large number of tutorials, on various programming topics. All tutorials are hand-tailored by students of IIT Bombay (so far!). However unlike conventional programming tutorials, these take a slightly different approach.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, Grundy aims at bringing together a number of online tutorials and resources along with a set of pre-requisites and motivation to learn a programming skill. We also have exhaustive lists of our community resources, projects and GSoC recommendations.
What can I do for Grundy?
Grundy is contribution driven, and needs your active support to be well maintained and running. Besides using it as a reference, you can help improve it! Here’s how -
- Request Pages - On our main page, we have a paragraph describing the process to request for new pages. This is the place you should head for if you find something important missing!
- Contribute - Yes, you can write your own articles! Just head to our Contribution Guide which explains the procedure in detail.
- Publicize - Grundy is new, and needs contributors. We would be grateful if you can blog about it, reference its articles to others, or maybe share it on public forums!
It’s been quite a month, and this was the second of the four projects I took up this winter (the first being StackOverflow Contribution, and two more blogs coming up!).
It started off with an idea and a MediaWiki setup by my co-manager on our server. I was at first a bit uncertain about this, but I decided to go ahead and write an article on Programming 101. It was then that I realized how useful this wiki can be to newcomers, who find it so hard to locate the easiest tutorials. It was a great platform to jot down all our knowledge and build some lists of community projects and resources.
Soon we started building it up page by page. First, a few basic articles on general topics like Game Development, Web Development etc. Then a little digression to build up Community Resources, Community Projects and GSoC Projects. Finally, a large number of Software Library Guides and the Contribution Guide mentioned earlier.
It was very important to link the articles to each other well, so that users could easily hop from one article to another. On our main page, we have set up the most relevant articles and a table of our top contributors.
My co-manager Kumar Ayush, took efforts to set up some wonderful extensions to the wiki, including Math, SyntaxHighlight, Google Analytics, Contribution Scores and Mobile Frontend. He and Nihal Singh now working on its Search Engine Optimization. With these extensions in place, contribution is a joy in itself!
The last and perhaps most important step in Building Grundy has been its contributors. A lot of people, having nothing to do with WnCC directly, have made tremendous contributions to Grundy and we are so grateful (Check out ROS by the Mars Society, India for instance).
Our team members have also contributed extensively as well, each of them writing articles in their area of interest. It’s incredible that we received so many articles without a strong apparent incentive - truly, the power of online communities is un-parallel!
Personally, it was fun managing the contributions coming in. I contributed more programming articles towards the beginning, but then took on the role of encouraging others to write articles. I’m really glad that most people who I requested readily complied and wrote an article in their area of expertise. I now intend to continue the admin’s role and hope to add to Grundy everytime I try out something new!
Grundy is far from finished! It has a lot of potential, and we hope to reach a 100 programming articles by next semester. We will be requesting the CSE Department of IIT Bombay (professors and PhD students), to write more CS-oriented articles, with a similar approach. Besides this, we are hoping to get more non-IITB contributors, who can take this endeavour forward.