[futurebasic] Re: [FB] Updating FB Wiki Pages

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From: Robert Purves <listrp@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 21:24:56 +1300
Christopher Wyatt wrote:

> I am going to try to get another round of students to explore the FB  
> Wiki. I noticed topics have been created, so I'll see if any  
> students will (*cough*) volunteer to learn about FB and add to the  
> content.
> It would also be useful if someone here might search through posting  
> archives and post some samples to the empty topics. I know that's  
> asking a lot, but the Wiki could be a good way to assert FB's  
> continued existence. Jonathan Hoyle has written about FB at  
> MacCompanion -- maybe he'll write a full article on the FBtoC  
> project if someone asks. I know I'm going to try to plant the idea.

FB5 is handicapped by its documentation which consists of
- nothing for the editor itself
- an html language reference for FB4 (i.e. partly obsolete)
- the FBtoC HelpBook, in which most of the differences between FB5 and  
FB4 can be found
- two rarely-consulted reference pdfs

Any activity likely to improve our documentation is to be encouraged.

The wiki in question is
The very first link in the home page is to a wikipedia article; it  
shows, among other things, how to write PPC assembler in FB4 :-(

The wiki's home page lists the sections of an interesting Programming  
Guide for FB (and FBtoC), which is -- alas -- vaporware.

Exploring the existent parts of the wiki, I see some pages that  
describe FB5 correctly. I also see many pages that describe FB4  
features now obsolete or different. There is no easy way to  
distinguish good pages from bad, except perhaps by attempting to build  
and run the code snippets. This defect sharply limits the wiki's  

The FBtoC team has recently taken the existing html FB Reference  
(a.k.a. FutureBasic Help) and converted it to display as an Apple  
HelpBook. Then we started the gruelling process of updating the content.
1. deciding which pages were obsolete and deleting them
2. editing where required to describe FB5 instead of FB4
3. testing code snippets and editing to make them work
4. formatting code snippets to Carbon conventions
Tasks 1-3 require considerable knowledge of FB4 and FB5, and I doubt  
that a novice, unless especially gifted, could perform them usefully.

We have processed topics with initial letters A-C and W-X, perhaps 10%  
of the total, before taking a substantial break from the exacting but  
unexciting chore.

Obviously it would be good to replace the corresponding entries in the  
wiki's Language Reference by our updated ones. The FBtoC team can  
provide the new set of pages to anyone interested in the job.

Robert P.