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I'm looking for some software tool (Windows) where several people from engineering/development teams can share knowledge with each other. This knowledge is mostly about:

  • problems with certain types of frameworks, hardware and there workarounds
  • documenting undocumented 3rd party stuff

The reason for this is: Sometimes when you develop something, a software bug in the used framework pops up that just doesn't gets fixed. Or you want to do some stuff that isn't documented well. So you need to store this kind of knowledge somewhere central where everybody can reach it. So the story should go as like:

  1. dude 1 from team A has a problem and after lots of work he finds the solution
  2. he writes an article about problem and solution
  3. team members receive a notification about a new article (by knowledge system or dude 1)
  4. months later dude 2 has the same problem
  5. he asks the team but dude 1 is sick and problem doesn't ring a bell
  6. he looks if it is mentioned in the knowledge DB and finds it
  7. he applies the solution, is happy and doesn't looses days of fixing it

Or story 2:

  1. dude 1 wants to implement some badly undocumented feature and spents days on it
  2. when implementation is succesful, he writes a better documentation article in the knowledge DB
  3. months later dude 2 wants to do the same, reads the same bad documentation and searches for extra help in the knowledge DB
  4. he finds it, implements the feature fast and is happy because he doesn't looses days finding the tweaks and twirks

I hope I clarified my goal here. Does some tool exists for this? I thought about OneNote but I found it somewhat lacking at categorizing articles and such.

  • How big is your team? That might help our answers be focused – Quincy Jul 16 '16 at 15:33
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One solution is to use a wiki, there are a large number of wiki servers available, along with wiki services online, your ticketing system may even include a wiki service - if it is Trac based then it should do but may need turning on on the server or enabling for a specific team/project.

Other Wiki servers to look at:

  • MediaWiki - PHP based FOSS wiki server used by Wikipedia
  • MoinMoin - Python cross platform based FOSS wiki server used by many projects
  • Long List here

The biggest issues are:

  1. Persuading your users to actually put things into the wiki in the first place
  2. Getting them to tag items in the wiki so that they can be found - good structure can help a lot here.
  3. Getting the perceived value of the wiki high enough that people check for solutions early - this is cultural but also depends strongly on the above.

From prior experience getting people to use it is far more of an issue than the software to run it - I would suggest that the documents that everybody needs to use should be published to locked pages within a wiki so that people are actually using it all of the time. You could also consider a monthly award for the best wiki contribution so as to encourage authorship.

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    Mentioned Trac has the added advantage of being able to manage your code repositories and track your issues – so you can directly link code-fragments and issues from Wiki articles (and vice-versa). Plus it has a plethora of plugins available to chose from, should the need for additional functionality arise. – Izzy Jul 15 '16 at 6:59
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I work with these problems everyday. There's lots of room for human error and sloppiness but this is what my team does:

  1. All work is made in user stories and bugs in visual studio online. (VSO)
  2. All code goes into VSO also and you can associate checkins to user stories or bug.
  3. Engineers document inside the user story or in a onenote all the crazy problems and their solutions.
  4. On the user story or bug you can add many tags - which you can search tags and make any tag you want.

If your looking in the past for something you can query VSO on all the various fields including tags. Then find the user story see all the code changes and see any references it says to look at in a onenote.

Make a tag for each Framework your dealing with that has an issue then you can track lists for each framework. Eg. 'jquery' , '3rdparty-issue'. Then you can query all work you've done with jquery. Can also query all work you've done with jquery that also has a blocking issue that you worked around by designing around it.

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Wiki is the best way to share and keep all the information's up-to-date. There are several open source wiki's are available. I would recommend read-the-docs which is very simple & easy to use also provide offline hosting as well as online hosting. Check the website for further more info.

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