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WikiDevi Shutdown

This was briefly mentioned in Diagnosing Cable Modem Iissues

I should note that their certificate expired more than a week ago, so you will get a warning over HTTPS

WikiDevi is permanently shutting down tomorrow (assuming UTC, it is still the 30th now) and while there were preparations made — to quote the header atop every page now:

WikiDevi will be going offline 2019-10-31. For historical dumps of the database, see ‘WikiDevi’ @ the Internet Archive (MW XML, Files, Images).

Final dumps will be made available after the site goes offline.

There is no chance the data will not live on, in some form - even if it isn’t ‘WikiDevi’ anymore. For example, see TechInfoDepot .

— I wonder what other sites exist out there, and how safe databases of knowledge like this one (or community projects in general) truly are.

After WikiDevi

I know nothing about the TechInfoDepot or its ownership, but its hosting situation seems a bit… odd. Shoutwiki (parent domain) is an ad-supported wiki hoster, so does this mean that TechInfoDepot has to duct-tape on an ad module to their MediaWiki install? How safe is that? WIth the kind of readership that something like WikiDevi would have, most visitors are probably using an ad-blocker anyways, could that make ShoutWiki see TechInfoDepot as not worth hosting?

Are there other alternatives for a device hardware database/wiki like WikiDevi, or is TechInfoDepot it?

The General Issue at Hand - Project Succession

As I think about what would let me trust TechInfoDepot, it makes me wonder what made me trust WikiDevi in the first place. Essentially, I did not really choose: when I was searching for information about a particular router, WikiDevi was the only wiki of its kind that I could find. In the aftermath, however, we may see multiple wikis spring up as spiritual successors to the wiki. There does not need to be one dominant successor, but it is inevitable; even if most contributors add information to more than one wiki, not everyone will.

I wonder if part of what drove the WikiDevi operator to shut down rather than pass on ownership was to make this sort of assessment a conscious choice on the part of users, forcing a successor to prove themselves rather than live with the complacency of having a historical URL.

The weird heritage of Ublock Origin comes to mind, where the initial developer handed the project off, only to return after seeing what his successor had done, thereby (in a sense) making the original project and name the “imposter”.


Ideally, this should probably exist as two threads as I am discussing both this shutdown specifically and the fate of low-traffic but important community projects and archives of knowledge in general but who knows if this thread will actually attract enough traffic to warrant that.

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wikidevi was largely cited when trying to find information about devices for openwrt porting, but openwrt at least has its own schizophrenic wiki