Update (22 November 2011): This activity has completed. All Java ME and Windows Phone articles have migrated!
In the near future we plan to move Nokia Developer Wiki to using its categories in a proper mediawiki category hierarchy. High level categories will contain progressively more specific subcategories, and articles will be given only the most specific category that applies.
This contrasts with current system in which we use categories as tags: articles get all potentially relevant tags/categories, including one for the platform (e.g. “Windows Phone”) and one or more for all technologies that apply (e.g. “Files/Data”, “SQL”, etc), and the tags typically have a very shallow (or no) hierarchy.
As a practical example consider the article below which we currently give tags “Windows Phone” and “Files/Data”. In the new system it will have category Files/Data for Windows Phone (or Databases on Windows Phone if it exists).
What this means for users is that the category links will go to a relatively small set of related articles. Users will be able to navigate up the tree to more general topics and down the tree to more specific topic areas. This is how categories are supposed to be used, and we think that it will make the wiki much easier to navigate.
We will also be able to reduce our dependence on “portal” pages, which we currently manually create to list just the platform-specific Files/Data topics (ie which have both tags) – you can see the portal link in the top right of the above screenshot.
The main reason for making this change now is that, when compared to when the existing system was designed, we have more experience with wiki, better tools for selecting categories (autocomplete and category chooser), and better tools for displaying the category tree. In addition, we’re primarily supporting only two platforms (Java ME and Windows Phone), so we can concentrate on creating a better developer navigation experience for just those two platforms.
We know that work will be required to change the structure and to help people find the right categories to apply. But we think its worth the effort.
The plan is to start moving Windows Phone articles and portals over the coming weeks, and then move on to Java.
More information to follow as we progress.