Tuesday 29 July 2008

Google knol - perfect for programmers

Many sites are reporting about Google knol as a competitor to Wikipedia - I see it as something completely different: An easy way to write down some knowledge that you may have gained, in order to share it with others. My first knol is a copy of one of my blog posts: Win32 thread names in Delphi. This is a kind of information that doesn't belong into Wikipedia, but can be helpful to others.

I can only recommend all programmers to have a look at the knol principle, because it's an easy way to offload information in a way that makes you able to find it again easily, in case that you don't have anywhere else to put it. And maybe somebody will provide extra information that makes you learn more about the topic that you're working on.


Lars Fosdal said...

I find it hard to decide on when to blog and when to knol (there ya go, another google verb). In theory, one would put facts in a knol, and opinions in a blog - but we often present facts mixed with opinions.

Should we limit Knols to straight facts without "the commentary" ?

Lars D said...

I think that my principle will be, that if it doesn't fit elsewhere, I'll put it into a knol. I can always announce the creation of a knol on a blog.

Lars Fosdal said...

After having a second look at Knol, I think I have revise my opinion. Knol appear to be evolving into being person / object / topicarea -centric, not fact-centric.

Try searching for "delphi" or win32: Your article don't show up.

I predict that Knol will turn into an quasi-academical battleground where there will be no end to the soapbox wars and splitting hairs, instead of a place to share little nuggets of fact like your thread naming trick.

I observe that we don't get to pick keywords for our knols, which also indicate that it's not optimized for topic retrieval.

At this point, it looks more like a academic paper/report/chronicle publishing system (which even has tools to import existing documents) than a knowledge sharing system.

Lars D said...

I don't think it makes sense to search knols using the knol user interface. Knols only make sense, if people link to them, think they're good, and that Google puts them into google search results for that reasons.

Knol is a supplement to blogs and forums, to publish information in a structured and collaborative way, instead of publishing it as plain-text in a forum or a blog.

I don't think that knols will be a better battleground than chat rooms, forums, blogs or wikipedia.

Unknown said...

Thanks for second comment Fosdahl.

To me Knol(d) looks like a redo of Everything2.

For publishing technical articles and how to do stuff with Delphi, you are also welcome to create new articles on the Delphi Wiki.


Lars D said...

A wiki is always good - and Google's default license allows copying of knols into wikis.

Anonymous said...

ahem - Delphi Wiki - ahem