Documentation deficit

As far as I recall, it is now possible to select different versions of php using sympl 12. I think it is just a matter of putting the correct entry in a config file.
The trouble is that I don’t recall which entry where.
So I go to the documentation, which tells me what I need t know at Website Configuration Reference - Sympl Wiki but the path to there is far from obvious.
The issue isn’t that the documentation isn’t there. The issue is that it is not easy to find.

Yes, the Wiki is somewhat incomplete as far as menus and navigation are concerned. I have found entries like that (indeed, that exact topic) by using the search box.

I think you’ll find that Paul has put everything in the reference as a minimum effort way to make sure all the information is there somewhere. Organising the wiki’s navigation to make things easier to find might not be the best use of his time and talents. It seems users like us have been encouraged to contribute to the wiki, but I don’t know wikimedia very well, and I expect many of us don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to take on the task.

It hasn’t helped me that there is an extensive section discussing how to switch Apache from mpm_prefork to an event driven system under Sympl - which turns out to be completely unofficial and does not reflect the way Sympl works (at least not yet).

My particular interest has been exploring whether I can get everything working on PHP-FPM and then remove mod-php. So far I’ve done the first part for all hosted web sites (and made them PHP8.3 for good measure) but I’m running into problems with phpmyadmin, and will have similar problems with Roundcube. (Sympl has no support for this yet: I’m creating new apache conf files and separate FPM pools: it’s all a bit risky on a server with real users!)

As you have presumably found out, all you have to do is create /srv/ containing the version number (e.g. 7.4 or 8.3) and run
sudo sympl-php-configure
You can delete that file or change the PHP version and sympl-php-configure will do all the right things.
You can also put “8.2” in that file and the site will switch from mod-php to php-fpm, even though it’s the same version of PHP.

Yes, I think it is just a matter of organising the information, and/or providing links to external resources.

Although I have a lot of experience in IT documentation, I have never got on with the whole wiki concept and I have never really got to grips with what makes a good wiki, let alone how to achieve it.

My go-to source of information is this forum, which usually finds me insights and links to where there is more info. As it was in the old Symbiosis forum, until the new looters deleted the lot.

I absolutely agree - the wiki has the technical documentation, which covers how it works, but not the actual day to day documentation - unfortunately that’s really lacking at the moment, and can be really difficult and time-consuming to write, specially for someone who’s been using and supporting Sympl/Symbiosis for the best part of a decade.

Absolutely! The Wiki has the in-line WYSIWYG editor enabled, and if you’re logged in here it should automatically log you in to the wiki as well, then it’s only a few clicks to edit pages.

In short, well-named-pages, lots of links, minimal duplication, reasonable formatting!

For a good example of a community-driven wiki, have a look at (which I was involved in a previous life) - that one worked so well that the developers even dropped their official wiki in favour of it!

In short, please contribute if you can - even small edits and clarifications are welcome.

The thing is that after many years as a professional author, documenting complex software systems, I have a set of ideas in my mind about what constitutes good practice. All about information mapping, user’s perspective and making the user journey understandable.

Looking at most wiki setups, of which eveuniversity is a good example, the initial user experience is baffling at best.

The rule of thumb is that you should not ask the user to choose from more than six (or maybe eight) items in a list. And no more than one or two lists on a page.

That wiki home page has scores, if not hundreds, of links on it.

Most important of all, the information should be presented in a way that is clear and useful from the reader’s perspective. So the first rule is “know your audience”.

To be fair, I’m almost certainly not part of the target audience. Even after reading the home page, I have no idea what eveuniversity is about, or what a “player” is in that context. Or, indeed, what an Ivy League is. Perhaps an explanatory overview is not needed, because all visitors already know what it is about.