Wiki, according to the Wikipedia, is a website that allows users to add, edit or delete items collectively. It is a very important feature because it allows one to track the specifications, and the corresponding requests and bug cases together, all in a common place.
The biggest problem we had have, prior to FogBugz 6, was that we were not able to keep track of our specs. These specs were composed in Microsoft Word, and so, they were stored scattered in different computers, often at dark corners where everyone would tend to overlook. There was a danger of losing these documents whenever a staff quited, or formatted his computer, or simply forgotten that he had written about them. Not just that, since spec documents were especially hard to maintain, they were often remained frozen in the ice even though the formal specs ( that is, the code) had undergo major revisions. In other words, the specifications were only useful at the initial stage of the development, at most.
So when the technical writers needed to write the help files, he would have to consult the horse mouth ( that is, the developers) to get accurate information. And the developers in turn, would have to consult their code before they could say anything. No one would go and read the initial specifications. They were there for historical interest.
Thus there is little wonder why most of the members on our team wanted a Wiki. A Wiki style document editor inside FogBugz is advantageous compared to a non-Wiki tools in at least the following ways:
- It is collaborative in nature. In other words, everyone can edit it. Other people can always take over a document when the original authors stop maintaining it
- It can be easily retrieved. A Wiki in web apps centralizes all the documents. To find anything you want you just have to do a search
- It is highly visible. When you see FogBugz, you see the Wiki workspace automatically. Hence people have a higher inclination to update it.
- There is no one-click process that will automatically transfer and transform the MS documents into Wikis. This feature would be useful for those who write a lot of specs in the MS and now want to transfer them to FogBugz.
- FogBugz cannot compile to any other formats. This means that for help file, one needs to manually transfer the work from FogBugz to another help compiler. Multiple maintenance effort, so troublesome!
- No autosave. OK, this maybe very trivial, but having used to Google Docs makes me miss the autosave feature very much.*
- Cannot view the HTML source. Not a common feature, but would be useful because who knows one day someone may need to mess with the HTML thing manually.
- Missing Print function in edit mode.
- Tagging, or labels are missing as well. When you have a very large collection of documents, you will miss the tagging feature a lot.
- The templates for Wikis are hard to use. You need to know a bunch of HTML coding to make it. No drag-and-drop. Sorry.
*FogBugz Wiki does have Autosave. Thanks Joel Spolsky for pointing this out.