adding to my previous post...
The most important thing is to think who exactly our visitors are, and to provide them with what they are looking for, because our survival is co-dependent on providing what our visitors want.
For gpwiki, the visitors we're supposed to be providing for are people who are interested in programming, who want to learn and/or chat about programming related things with like minded people.
So we're providing two things:
- a community that they can enjoy belonging to.
- easily accessible information.
On the first of those things:
When I arrived here, I was looking for a community of people who (like me) do a little programming as a hobby. I thought it would be nice to have people to program alongside, to learn from, to share thoughts and ideas with, to share our programs with, etc. To have a 'home' for this little hobby, which is predominantly game-oriented programming, although not exclusively.
More generally, if we want to create a thriving community, and a place to hang, we must provide furniture. So the forum is an essential element. Also important is making the site prettier with a proper front page -- something which defines the scene that this site is supposed to be holding. The aesthetics of the whole site is important to hold a community together. This isn't a programming 'clinic', so perhaps it could benefit from a lick of paint; something more than this minimalist "developer's finish" (*) we have at the moment.
Secondly, the wiki:
One thing I dislike about wikis is their layout. I find them fragmented, like a collection of loose papers with too much hyperlinking and not enough structure and flow.
I prefer information to be layed out with a contents page, and sections, and be categorized that way. Like, "physics section" and "directX corner" and whatever. A page of titles with indented lists of articles is IMO better than a page of links, to pages of links.
The gpwiki I find hard to navigate because of that. Sometimes I don't always know what I'm looking for and just want to read and learn something, but it isn't easy to select an article because it isn't this nicely structured and categorised.
(*) that's a real-estate analogy