Talk:Suggested hardware

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Revision as of 12:16, 9 September 2007 by Macca (Talk | contribs)

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May I suggest using seperate hierarchical categories under Hardware instead of sections? I know it's a bit of a hassle since we're the first, but I'm hoping everybody will add their own hardware over time. Anyway, thanks for helping out, much appreciated. --Zaerc 08:49, 8 July 2007 (MST)

I suggest this page should be redirected to tested good hardware and tested bad hardware.--Macca 02:56, 3 September 2007 (MST)

  • Uh, you can't redirect to 2 different places. Maybe you could provide some argument for maintaining 2 separate pages. Otherwise your comment is not useful.

Macca, I think that the opposite should happen. tested good hardware and tested bad hardware should be redirected here. There's nothing worse than having to look on 2 pages and still not knowing the answer. There are 3 states of hardware good, bad and unknown. So you should at least promote a page called "untested hardware". Now if I have a piece of hardware I'd have to check tested good hardware, tested bad hardware and "untested hardware" in order to know the status of my device. IMHO that sucks. Why can't I just go to 1 page and see what the status of my device is ? I suggest a table with a status column. --Trout 16:49, 4 September 2007 (MST)

I don't want to get into a turf war or pissing contest here. That helps no-one. A few notes;

  • Any list of this kind needs to be clear and concise. Currently the suggested_hardware page is neither.
  • For ease of use, the list should be alphabetised. Is there a way to do this automatically?
  • The device naming convention should be standardised. ManufacturerName_ModelName works well and seems to be widely in use on this wiki.
  • Similarily there should be a standard layout for the device articles. At the very top should be a status section stating if it works, what version of linuxmce it works with (future-proofing. Like all things, easy doing it from the start, hard to add on later) etc. This should be short and to the point, any extra information about why it doesn't work etc should go in the problems and pitfalls section. This layout should also include a personal experience section (at the end) which users should tag. This allows follow up questions on the forum or the discussion page. Maybe we should create some templates called template_motherboard or motherboard_layout for each device type?
  • If the status of a device is not known, it doesn't go on the list. Otherwise you end up with a list of every motherboard etc known to man. There are [other sites] that do this, and far better than we could here.
  • Is it possible to set up a table that can be filtered or sorted?
  • Maybe a traffic light system? Green works, Red doesn't and Yellow works but maybe isn't worth the trouble( or maybe experimental).
  • Page naming. Maybe hardware_status? The name suggested_hardware sounds like it should perform the same function as what_hardware_will_i_need or maybe a list for a complete, top-of-the-line do-everything system. Tested_hardware doesn't sound quite right either.
  • It should be linked prominently on the main page of the wiki, maybe also a sticky subject in the forums.

There's probably lots more, but its late here, and i'm tired :) --Macca 07:08, 7 September 2007 (MST)

Our options for a hardware status list

A table

No good. Sure, we could make a kick-ass table that users could sort on manufacturer name, device type, device status etc. But it would be impossible for users to add new hardware to. Even a simple 2 column table is difficult to add new data to. For a new user, they will take one look at the edit page and run screaming. Not the effect we are after. Unless we have a sole person maintaining the table (which defeats the point of a wiki) it wont work.

A single page

2 options here, separate working and nonworking sections, or everything together relying on comments to tell the difference between them.

  • 2 sections. Easy to read, easy to navigate, easy to edit. Alphabetising sub-sections means both sections will keep same heirachy. Page size is larger. Chance for users to put devices in the wrong section.
  • Comments. Messy, hard to tell status at a glance. Problems with users adding long-winded comments or not adding comments at all (especially when there is no page for the device). Page size grows at least 2x faster than number of devices. Is there an upper limit for wiki page size?

multiple pages

No confusion over whether device works or not. Hardware support on linux is pretty good, the list of working devices is going to be far longer than the list of those that dont work. Keeping the lists separate makes both of them easier to read and edit. If the sections are alphabetised then both pages will keep the same heirachy automatically.

working and nonworking categories

No need to maintain a separate status page, just go to category:working and there it is, automatically alphabetised for you. How do you separate the motherboards from the mobile phones from the tv tuners though?

no status list at all

Rely on individual device pages. Not really a good solution, provides no overview so users wanting to get a list of known working components to build their system have to trawl through each device page individually.


The categories option seems elegant at first, making use of inbuilt wiki tools to do our job for us, but it only does half the job. It can't categorise the working devices by device-type on the one page. Most devices don't have helpful names, so users wont know if sony_xyz123 is a television or an a/v reciever or a dvd jukebox. This makes it almost useless.

Both single page options will become unwieldy as the list grows. It is too easy for users to add devices to the wrong section or not put comments in etc. Separating categories reduces confusion. Have a look at the suggested hardware page. Tell me which of those tv tuner cards work and which don't. You can't. None of them have any information, one doesn't even have its own page. Now look at the tv tuners on the tested good hardware page. No confusion there, all of them work. The need for a list of known working hardware is far greater than the need for a list of hardware that doesnt work. Why clutter up the former with the latter? It just doesn't make sense. If a user has a specific peice of hardware and wants to know if it works or not, they can type the name in the search box and get the answer instantly. If a user wants to know what hardware definately works with linux mce so he can write a shoppping list, he doesn't want to be confronted with a list that contains both working and nonworking devices, especially if he is not sure which is which. If a developer is looking to increase linux mce's hardware compatability, he doesn't care what already works, he only wants to know of those devices that don't work. There is no need for both categories to be on the same page or in the same list, it just adds clutter and confusion. The only way the separate page option could be confusing is if the same device ends up on both lists, but this can just as easily happen with any of the other solutions. There is no additional cost in having a second page (seeing as how there are over 1800 of them), it costs the user nothing to add their hardware to working_hardware rather than hardware_status#working. If the nonworking page doesnt get visited much, then there has been the benefit of not cluttering up information people do want with information they don't. If, on the other hand, the non working page gets visited lots, those users will have benefited by not having to trawl through a list containing hundreds of working devices to find the information on the few they are after. It's a win-win situation. --Macca 05:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)