2002 June 26 PerryLorier first sets up the WlugWiki, then on his home machine/ADSL connection.
July 24 purchased by Computer Upgrades 2000 Ltd, making them the first of many WlugSponsors.
30 PerryLorier's MakefileHowto first written. This page has had 35,000 hits since.
29 GavinGrieve starts the investigation into SambaAsPDC, which leads to the ActiveDirectorySamba notes, the MostPopular content page in the wiki.
September 15 Hoiho, the WLUG community server, is assembled.
November 2 WLUG officially becomes an IncorporatedSociety - the WlugBananaRepublic become the WlugCommittee.
December 18 LinuxKernel2.6 released.
2003 February 20 AristotlePagaltzis first sighted. (*blush* --AristotlePagaltzis)
22 Perry begins a "page a day" crusade, which leads to IsomerMadeMeDoThis.
March 04 Categories, while used by some of the WikiGnomes for some time, first brought to everyone's attention.
31 Hoiho takes up its new home at Tintz.
June 20 CraigBox documents his efforts to connect FreeSwanToCiscoPix, which becomes one of first examples of a WLUG authored page becoming a well referenced and often copied reference on the Internet.
20-21 PerryLorier makes the wiki connectable by IPv6, and the dancing penguin becomes the logo for the IPv6 homepage.
July 13 WhatSoftwareDoPeopleUse starts two years of arguments.
2004 March 04 WlugLibrary web site first established.
August 13 A bunch of new features added to the wiki - page expiry, If-Modified-Since, mod_gzip, IPv6, UTF-8, RSS, mod_headers (Cache-control:), SOAP.
October 20 topic of Wiki redesign brought up.
2005 January 22 a stolen password leads to a shell account being compromised; Hoiho is reinstalled as a precaution. Much documentation is done at the time.
February 15 IanMcDonald invites NZNOG attendees to annotate notes from a session on Internet history in NZ on the wiki; the NewZealandInternetHistory page has had hundreds of edits and is nearing a complete and semi-authoratitive list of important events relating to the InterNet in NZ.
June 06 New website design by Kat and MattBrown announced.
16 NZLUG wiki joke page put up after criticism that WLUG wiki was too Waikato related (go figure).
17 We start seriously thinking about an NZLUG theme.
19 or so PerryLorier gets a sitemap.xml up for the wiki, so changes go into Google's index within a day, and bandwidth due to crawling drops significantly.
20 Committee meeting moves to start porting our patches into the PhpWiki source so we can upgrade the latest version, and to start the move toward WlugWikiRelicensing. We also move to approach NZLUG about putting up an NZLUG branded entrypoint into the Wiki.

Much debate happens on an unarchived mailing list about NZLUG and the wiki frontend.

18 Flag day: all new content after this point is under the terms of the WlugWikiLicense, the CreativeCommons share alike/attribution license.
29 Another meeting moves to rename the NZLUG view to "New Zealand Linux Wiki". The NewZealandLinuxWiki first goes live that same night, after a frenzied design session.
August 06 NewZealandLinuxWiki announced.

Much more debate happens on the same unarchived mailing list about NZLUG and the NZLW.

07 NZLUG endorse the NewZealandLinuxWiki.
September 01 InternetNZ hold an online election forum. Debate is held on IRC; at the spontaneous suggestion of DavidHallett, participants edit the ICTDebate page 44 times in just over 2 hours. Questions from this page are asked of the ICT candidates in the live debate.

New NZLW wiki theme announced. Logo by CarlosVarela, design by CraigBox and Simon Bridge.

CraigBox creates the first version of this page.

Tintz Digital, the company that sponsors Hoiho, moves to new premises with a new Internet connection from Telecom rather than TelstraClear, inadvertantly causing connectivity issues to various parts of the InterNet.


Because Hoiho is consuming about 13GB of monthly traffic, it is ratelimited to 1 KB/s for international traffic. The WlugCommittee goes looking for a better location.


Over this weekend, Hoiho moves from its location at Tintz Digital to the Orcon Internet datacentre. The move goes smoothly and the server has fully resumed its duties by Monday mid-morning according to plan.

On behalf of the WLUG, MattBrown extends a big thank you to Tintz for their generous hosting of Hoiho to this point, and also to Orcon Internet for taking over the hosting.

2006 January 13 Google ads on the wiki proposed by Matt Brown. Approved by the committee after some discussion.
March 13 An upgrade of the WlugWiki installation from an old 2002 version of PhpWiki to the current 1.3.11p1 release is announced, but is reversed after 3 days, because the server turns out not to have enough horsepower to sustain the new version. Tentative discussions about hardware upgrades begin.
April The WlugCommittee starts a hardware sponsorship quest in order to replace Hoiho, which has become a performance bottleneck, preventing upgrades to the WlugWiki software.
May 02 HP NewZealand responds to the sponsorship quest by providing an HP BL10e blade server equipped with five blades (512 MB RAM each) and a single disk.
August 26 The BL10e servers are installed at Orcon. For the PhpWiki installation on the new machine, version 1.3.11 is used from the start. The old server’s hardware fails right before the migration, causing database corruption that requires almost a full week of work from PerryLorier, JohnMcPherson and MattBrown to recover from backups.
2007 September 3 DanielLawson mentions the possibility of another blade server donation. The server is identical to the one hosted in Auckland. The committee decides to chase it up mainly to have as a spare/replacement if needed. The server is donated by Canterbury DHB.
November 28 The spare blade server arrives.
2009 May 25 The WLUGCommittee holds a meeting on the topic of the blade server, and hopes to revitalize interest in using it, building on past projects, and maybe do some new things. A WlugSysadmins page is created to organize a team to look after the server.

PerryLorier's first-hand perspective

This is a heavily shuffled but otherwise lightly edited version of Perry's post to the NZLUG MailingList.

When I first started the WlugWiki I didn't think it would work out. I thought that people would spam it, or we wouldn't get critical mass behind it for people to use it. It would contain lots of rubbish and very little content. The only reason I gave it a shot was because I saw how successful the c2 wiki was and how it didn't seem to have the problems I thought there would be. So I gave it a go with my "little" test to see what would happen.

The WlugWiki was originally started by me one long weekend in 2002 as a place to put annotations on ManPages and to start updating the HowTo documents that were horribly out of date. I started by running PhpWiki with a few simple local customisations on my home DSL. I imported all the ManPages from my computer, and all the HowTos from the TLDP and encouraged people to update them to contain any information that they'd be keen on.

Funny story: my insistence at getting the wiki working meant I didn't stop typing when I should have, and that I believe was the major contributing factor to my having to seek medical help at the time for my sore wrists. Nothing was permanently damaged, and now I'm a wiser person. If your wrists hurt even a little bit, stop typing. My wrists have been fine for about 2.75 years now without even the slightest hint of pain, so the story is merely funny in retrospect, as opposed to a painful lesson for others.

What really happened was that nobody actually edited the ManPages/HowTos except me. I've done a job of cleaning up section 2 of the ManPages (eg: fstat(2)). I went through, created hyperlinks for stuff, wrote wiki pages for Signals and errno values, and wrote some example code demonstrating features. I got about as far as the pages starting with "s" before I got bored and gave up. One day I'll merge our changes upstream, one day... I still write pages on programming topics as I find things that don't have good examples/descriptions on the web. AFAIK the pages I wrote for the various Signals (such as SIGSEGV) and errnos (such as ETXTBSY) are among the few pages on the InterNet really describing what they mean.

Meanwhile everyone else was busy writing wiki pages for problems they had and what the solutions were. People asking me questions would be told after the answer that they now had to go write a wiki page about what they learnt. This quickly meant we built up a whole heap of pages covering little things that people wish they knew but had never seen written down anywhere. Some of these pages became extremely useful and popular. Some even became the definitive source of information on the subject. Others are just weird cultural references.

We eventually moved the wiki off my home DSL onto other machines, eventually ending up with its present location running on the WlugServer, where it has been ever since. We have made heaps of changes to our wiki software, mostly to defeat spammers, to customise it to our uses, and to make it more search engine friendly. The WlugWiki currently averages about 50,000 hits a day.

The wiki is probably our most valuable resource after our members. It contains the distilled knowledge not only of our members, but of people in the general Linux community. Questions can often be answered with a link to the wiki and the quip "The Wiki Knows All". If the wiki doesn't know what you need to know, when you find the answer, wiki it so that other people can find it (actually, more importantly so you can find it yourself when you have to figure out how you solved that problem last time). Try this wikiing thing on our wiki, we love people to come and add new content. Think of some problems you've had recently and add them to the wiki, learn how it works, and why it works. Have a look around at what content we have already. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

One of the major things that the WlugWiki has going for it is a great culture. We have lots of people watching RecentChanges/RecentEdits like hawks, tidying up entries rapidly (cleaning up formatting, spelling, grammar, tpyos, misunderstandings and errors etc). We consistently have several edits a day, which means the wiki is steadily growing in size. We have a culture to wiki all answers to any question that comes up in case we ever need to know it again, or if we find a neat link to add it to the wiki so that others may find it and use it too. The wiki counts over 7000 pages, 3000 of which have been written from scratch by those who have passed our very simple IQ test of asking people for their name. (This seems to be extremely successful at thwarting spammers and those that shouldn't comment, although we still get lots of people who think that when we ask for someone's "real name" we mean something else.)

Lessons learned:

  • Nothing beats wikis for taking notes. The low barrier to entry makes it easy to wiki a few lines here and there when you find the answer to a problem; it is what makes the wiki grow. Then people come and clean up the additions, annotate them and generally improve whatever you said. Anything more rigorous than asking for someone's name makes it too tempting to postpone the note-taking to "later", stifling growth.
  • The problem of abuse does arise sometimes, but by having a good culture of people who militantly look at every change (it's a great way to learn!) we very quickly see people who are stupid and revert their changes. Each page has a history kept for several days (or several revisions whatever is larger) so nothing is ever truly lost.
  • Don't try to be a TLDP/ManPages clone, as the WlugWiki was supposed to be. It never was. People use man(1) to read ManPages, and nobody reads official TLDP HowTos anymore, they use Google and find a page that sounds authoritative and follow that. So writing authoritative sounding pages works better than trying to update outdated TLDP HowTos.

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