<irony>At the WikiNG discussion page I wrote the following remarks, that
I think not everyone will read</irony>

IMHO there are too many issues muddling the discussions about wikis vs
maillists vs discussion platforms. This problem is caused by the
intermingling of too many different functions of a wiki. I'll go a bit
at length to expose these and try to strike a balance, which should be
in a combination (did I hear WikiDot?):

1.A mailing list is more convenient than a wiki because it is more
instantaneous and more compelling because people get mail in their mail
boxes. But mail discussions tend to wither away quickly. They go on for
a day and if no one pins them down into a document they'll be forgotten.
More so on a high volume list as the Zope list(s). I've seen this happen
many times. Wikis have the quality of permanence both in (cyber)space
and in time.

2.Discussion platforms like Squishdot, Wikis and what have you have the
problem of getting out of attention of the people involved. They are
permanent, but people have to perform separate actions to keep up with
an online discussion and their mailboxes. Even if there is a
mail-notification possibility, this leads to the situation that mails
are sent as replies to the notification (by accident) and not to the
forum itself (I'm not sure about Squishdot on this last point).

3.Both discussion platforms and mail lists are often too much of a
sequential nature: proposals follow comments, follow counter proposals,
follow comments etc. This leads to much inconclusion. A discussion is
not per se over once it's withered away. A Wiki is (possibly; if used
right) much more compelling in keeping discussions focused.

4.Some people think Wiki discussions are easily dispersed. Bad Wiki
discussions are, but discussion products are almost always dispersed by
nature. On many occasions I have (already) seen people summarize and
structure maillist discussions into a Wiki web.

5.Wikis give the impression of being structured, but as is they lack
structure. Both maillists and discussions have since long had the
possibility of moderation. Wikis should have these too. The nice point
about wikis is that you can determine which parts should be moderated
(the central and the thought capturing documents for instance) and which
ones are free for all (like discussions for example). The Wikis on the
dev.zope site do a bit of this with delegating discussion to a

Most of these points are addressed in the proposal, but what I wanted to
add is the notion of the necessity of integrating the three types of
discussion into one product. That would make for a new generation. How
would that look then:

Make the wiki the central/anchor point for discussion. This means there
should be a possibility for making central pages, spin off pages and
discussion pages. 
- Wikis should be moderable on all levels (not editable, changes only
after approval, free for all). The point up to which that is done is up
to the owners/maintainers of the Wiki. 
- Include both a (threaded) discussion product for discussion. 
- Make this discussable from the web and from email. In the case of web
discussion the advantages
would be that discussions could take the form of annotations with a
discussion. In the case of a maillist discussion this would mean
instantaneous discussion. It should be possible to indicate in your
email whether you want it included into the Wiki.

This would also mean that there should be a structured way to integrate
e-mails into a Wiki. The noding proposals (divide a wiki page into
information nodes) above could well help to enable hooks for
discussions. Perhaps even for determining which parts are discussable
(namely only the one with a discussion node attached)



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