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mega65 wiki?

  • I've enjoyed reading through all the existing threads tonight.

    One thing I'm wondering now, is it worth documenting some of the accumulating know-how onto a wiki of some sort?

    It could be a nice means for us to collaboratively contribute to documentation.

    Already, I see some nice threads, such as "Monted 00 Partitions" (sic) and "Text-only yet up-to-date tutorial" that seem to cry out for someone (perhaps me? I like wikis :D) to prepare/install a wiki-server somewhere and copy/paste the essentials out of these threads and dump them onto a wiki-page or two.

    Eg. In my case, I've got a nexys board coming my way. Those threads show an evolution of headaches and gripes new users have encountered, perhaps evolving at different generations of the bitstream too, so it'd be nice to have a single wiki-page reference pointing to the exact way things are done with the latest bitstream. If things change in future, usually the early-uptakers encounter it first, and they can update the steps on the wiki according to their experiences, which will give other users heads-up when they move onto the new bitstream too (particularly if you use the email notification features of wikis to tell you whenever someone edits a page).

    For non-wiki people, this will probably sound like overkill/waste-of-time. But if we have a few wiki fans amongst us, or at least a few who may not be all that familiar but see the merits in them, then maybe it'd be worthwhile.

    Just as an example of how nice and ordered a well-presented wiki could look, take a look at this cool c64-related wiki:


    They use a freeware wiki called dokuwiki. I suspect they've done a few cool improvements on the default install (a nice tree-view hierarchy in the left-pane). There are a few other free wikis about (eg, Mediawiki, MoinMoin).

    I've tried a few of these options myself in the past, they're 'ok', but it forces your community to get familiar with wiki-tags in order to format their text and clunky forms to upload graphics/images.

    Probably the most friendly wiki I've encountered is from the $$ world, Atlassian's Confluence. It offers reasonably good wysiwyg editor, you can even use CTRL+C/CTRL+V to paste graphics directly (it handles the upload for you, very neat). I believe that they do offer a free-license for not-for-profit groups, so 'maybe' they might look favourably upon this project.

    Well, anyway, I'll wait and hear from you guys on what you think. If the community think it's worth looking into, I don't mind putting in some time to investigate more options in this direction.

    Finally, apologies for the verbose post, just had plenty I was pondering on the matter, so just wanted a chance to braindump it all.

  • I'm having a tinker with my nexys board this weekend, so my itch to have existing documentation/info in wiki-form grew (it's just become a habit for me to keep docs in wikis, so I get a bit lost without it now).

    I thought I'd install a wiki on my own server-space, just to draft out the idea, and demonstrate its merits.


    If over time, people here get won over by the idea, then you're welcome to push the wiki's contents to your own preferred server.

    If on the other hand, people don't take a liking to it, or if it rubs the powers that be the wrong way and they prefer their own path with these documentation matters, no worries, let me know and I'll take it down.

    Just to kick it off, I focused on wiki-fying Ralph's "MEGA65 Prerelease Starter’s Manual" document.

    The first saved revision was of his original v0.1 document.

    In the 2nd saved revision, I updated it with Deft's v0.3 document from google docs.

    The nice thing about wikis is that you can browse through the edit history of a document, and even do a diff between two versions of the document. Take a look at this link:


    If you were to tick the checkbox for each version and then click the "Show differences between selected revisions" button, you will get a nice side-by-side diff, informing you of the changes between v0.1 and v0.3 (green highlights for additions, red highlights for deletions).

    Presently, the wiki is open for anyone to register via the "Register" link in the top-right. Register your details and you'll then be emailed a password to log-in and will be able to make edits to existing pages and make new pages.

    You're welcome to give it a test-drive if you like, or just keep tabs on it once in a while to see how it fares (I'm happy to be the sole editor for a while, just to give the wiki a bit more meat over time and make it easier for others to assess its merits)

    :: @Gurce added on 18 Jun ’16 · 10:53

    PS. I ended up choosing Dokuwiki, it was a freeware one, fairly lightweight, so I'll see how it goes with that one...

  • Oh, while having a read around the github site, I noticed that someone there mentioned that it had a wiki there and that he contributed something there, cool:


    I wasn't able to see the wiki he mentioned. So I tried making a github account, revisited the project in github, and then saw the "wiki" tab on the page, pointing to the url:


    However, even when I visit this url, it just seems to revert back to the main page.

    Was the wiki here given very tight read-access? (so that it's not visible to either anonymous users or logged in users that aren't part of the project?).

    I haven't tried GitHub's wiki facilities, so would it be ok to be given permission to have a peek around there? (I'll ask on this issue thread in github too)

  • I did fork, just never pushed anything back because I never actually got any information to put into it. My dev board still hasn't made it out of the box, and I'm not sure I have a monitor that supports the current resolution.

    I don't mind which wiki is used, so if and when I finally get up and running, I'll try and contribute to it.

  • No probs man, I'll probably stick with the dokuwiki for now then, as my enthusiasm levels are up and I feel like some momentum is growing there.

    Just to put it on your radars, I'm underway with trying to document the download, install and licensing steps for the ISE Design Suite on this wiki page:


    I'm a bit stumped at the "building the project" step as I ran into some build issues. I'll try ping ppl on the team via tox/irc/skype soon and see if they can provide some insights on this.

  • Not meaning to toot my horn or anything (well, not too loudly anyway ;)), but the wiki is getting fleshed out more and more with various references to relevant forum posts, links to Paul's blog on various matters, links to docs residing in the github repo, and so on.

    As I comprehend more about the FPGA-build side of things, I'll summarise that learning curve a bit more tidily on the wiki too.

    Here's the present location of the wiki (admins of the project are welcome to host it elsewhere):


  • Aah, while browsing through Paul's blog posts, in one of the comments, he mentioned that there was documentation accumulating within google groups somewhere:


    Just wondering, is there a link we could have to this doc? Or we'd need to join the google group for this?

    Or is it perhaps referring to the document that Ralph got started with? (Covering the setting up/configuring of the hardware side of things with the Nexys board?).

    I could emphathise with TBG's comment in the blog post there regarding how it's hard to dig around for info via browsing through blog posts and I hope that by re-organising that knowledge into a wiki-form, it can make that knowledge even more accessible, even if much of the content is simply links to your blog posts that relate to specific matters (as my draft wiki attempts to do presently).

    Mind you, I'm definitely not trying to take the shine or merit away from your blogging efforts, it definitely is an incredibly valuable resource to have and follow, for us folks following along, so thanks Paul for sharing so many of the details there :)

    I find blogs tend to be that "hot-off-the-press" knowledge, that keep us posted about what's hot on your plate right at the moment. I'm hoping that a wiki could be a nice way to structure and order that knowledge, in a collaborative way, over time.

    Sure, a word doc or text file might suffice too, I suppose there's a degree of simplicity and straightforwardness to those options that might be more appealing, atleast initially.

    Perhaps the appeal of a wiki over word/text files could be that it'd be purely web-based editing, easy hyperlinking between pages, an open way to collaborate. I can confess wikis have their downsides, learning the wikitag keywords, and uploading of images is a bit more tedious compared to copy/pasting images into a word doc.

    Ah well, I'm happy to plod along with the draft wiki idea, just to give you a chance to assess how it grows and could assist in sharing the project's knowledge-base.

  • Tonight, I've been improving and refining existing walkthroughs on the draft wiki with more details and screenshots.

    I'm hopeful there's enough there for any windows developer to be tempted to put their toe in the water and give it a try :)

    All walkthroughs are grouped on the main-page here:

    - http://gurce.net/mega65/doku.php?id=start&#walkthroughs

    Recommended reading order is as follows:

    1) http://gurce.net/mega65/doku.p…erelease_starter_s_manual

    This is Ralph's document (with Deft's latest updates), walking you through how to prepare your Nexys board with the bitstream

    2) http://gurce.net/mega65/doku.p…ild_environment_in_cygwin

    For windows devs, this will give you a Cygwin environment that will allow you to build the linux-ish aspects of the project.

    3) http://gurce.net/mega65/doku.p…a_development_walkthrough

    This will walk you through the installation of the ISE Design Suite used to build/synthesise the bitstream for the FPGA.

    TODO: that final page needs to grow a bit more with additional details on what to do after the installation. I'll fill that stuff in after I learn it myself! :) (That's my next learning spurt!)

  • After exploring more of the github repository recently, I noticed that user Ben-401 added some handy documentation into the "hyperinterruptdebug" branch not too long ago.

    I thought I'd better add a link to it here, in-case anyone is looking for this level of detail:


    I've also add a link for this onto the dokuwiki's main page, in the walkthroughs section, called "MEGA65 GitHub docs":


    So hopefully you can see some of the merits of the draft wiki shining through now, as a kind of one-stop shop that is pooling all past efforts to document the project, whether it be links to relating blog-posts, documents within the github repository, existing google-docs contributors have worked on and also pure dokuwiki pages hosted on the wiki too.

  • Hi Gurce, thanks for adding a link to the documentation i have.
    The documentation I have in the above link is primarily for developers, and will focus on the vhdl architecture.
    Paul has given me the go-ahead to develop in my own github repo, so I cloned/branched/forked off from his "reboot" branch a few months ago.

    I will add to my repo more documentation as I work out the current design.
    Pauls repo at: https://github.com/gardners/c65gs (unsure which branch to refer)
    is very similar to
    Bens repo at: https://github.com/Ben-401/c65gs/tree/dockit
    from and end-users point of view. They both build a bitstream that is almost exact in functionality.
    As for the vhdl components that make up both Pauls-design and My design, they are almost exact at this stage. I wont start making changes to components until I document what is here already. Until this time, the documentation I produce (in my repo) will be current for both Pauls and My repos.

    I would prefer user-guides and etc to be in your "http://gurce.net/mega65" location at this stage, so that I can focus on development and working out the current functionality the design supports.

  • Yup, I'll concur with Paul. It'd be nice/ideal if eventually all content was housed in one location on one of the parent mega65 sites. That'll give users one search-bar up the top to hunt through all that info, rather than jumping between several sites.

    There's probably a bit of elbow-grease involved by the admins to get that underway, so till then, I guess we can keep accumulating those docs via whatever medium we're comfortable with (whether it be text files, forum posts, google-docs, word docs, wikis, etc), and when the time comes, we can migrate them across.

    I'm fairly flexible with whatever flavour of wiki that the powers that be prefer.

    From my own past experiences (Confluence, Mediawiki, MoinMoin, Dokuwiki), I think I found Mediawiki my personal favourite so far in the freeware world. Confluence will beat it, but it is from the $$$ world (although they offer it for free if you prove you are non-profit). But no worries, you're welcome to choose anything, I'm flexible.

    I haven't given the Github wiki interface a try, so I don't know how that fares against the other options.