Matt wrote:
> On 8/11/2007, at 10:27 AM, Randall Britten wrote:
>> Hi all
>> Another option to add to the mix: using a Wiki.  In this case, I would
>> specifically suggest MediaWiki (a la Wikipedia).
>> Pros:
>> -Widely used, lots of user familiarity.
>> -Easy collaboration: edits done via web interface.
>> -Built in diffs and revision history.
>> -Linking when done via web interface works well.
>> -Can be rendered as PDF on demand (haven't tested this myself, but  
>> docs say
>> it can be done).
>> Cons:
>> -Requires setup and maintenance of another content management system.
>> Unsure:
>> -Usually Mathml handled with LaTex substrings, not sure how to  
>> handle MathML
>> in MediaWiki.
Also, the difference between this and the previous suggestions is that 
MediaWiki is a software package as much as a format - it is difficult to 
separate the format from the software package so that you can work with 
files on your local system and then render them (although perhaps it 
could be done with a little bit of PHP coding), which means that the 
wiki software imposes a highly centralised revision and change control 
model on us in addition to providing a format for the representation of 
the data.

I am not sure that the wiki change-control system is very good for 
writing open specifications as part of a community effort - wikis are 
only efficient for collaboration if you have a policy of making changes 
and then discussing them afterwards, and changes need to be either 
'rolled back' fairly quickly after they were applied, or manually 
corrected later. This won't really work if there are lots of different 
ways to do the same thing. People can copy and paste wiki pages to 
somewhere else to make a private branch, but that will lose all change 
control history.

One thing we discussed at our Auckland meeting yesterday was the 
possibility of using a more distributed version control system. This 
approach looks promising, but before we can really ask the community to 
make a decision on this we need to set up some examples of how it could 
work, so I am planning on getting an informal example git repository up 
in the near future. The problem with MediaWiki-type format is that 
storing a format which cannot easily be converted directly to HTML with 
a command line tool doesn't really play well with this mode of 
specification development.

Best regards,

> For the purpose of presentation math, LaTex substrings get my vote.  
> They are simple to express and their diffs in my opinion are easier  
> to interpret than diffs of MathML/XML.
> More generally, I think XML source formats should be avoided if  
> possible.
>> Regards,
>> Randall
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