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On Fri, 15 Sep 2000, Rik Hoekstra wrote:

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

(The territory is just ripe for irony, because we're talking about
developing tools for conducting collaboration - including these kinds of
discussions!  I *really* appreciate that you put your comments in the wiki
discussion page, and sent them to the list - i periodically check the
discussion page for developments, but i lapse, too, and generally find it
painful that i may wind up missing stuff.  I think the best model, now, is
to make changes and to notify people that they were made via this list -
as you've done.

(Not sure that will scale, but creating new lists for each proposal
definitely won't scale.  For a bit of nested irony, if i had time to do
some more mailman-connected work, i might make it easier to create
maillists - but i'm convinced that "content-based mailling lists" are a
much better solution to the problem - eg, that's part of what i'm aiming
for with WikiNG, and i'd rather spend whatever time becomes available on
that then on tweaking the maillist side of things.))

> 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. 

Yes, this is something i also advocate, as you probably realize i did so
in the proposal.

> - Include both a (threaded) discussion product for discussion. 

I have to think about it more, but offhand i much prefer more tightly
coupling the discussion with the wiki content - make the "threading" based
on changes to the wiki, and if weblog style is called for, use wiki
structuring that restricts changes to the end of the existing
content.  (With allowance for having people with edit privilege that
allows them to consolidate...)

The thing is, if we had an annotation style wiki, where people are
restricted to insertions, but anywhere in the text, and notifications
indicated the changes, then the job of the consolidator would be **much**
easier - all the editors would be involved in organizing their comments in
the context of the document, as well as referring to relevant existing 
passages.  I would expect this "closer coupling" to promote more salient
collaboration - because people would have the burden of finding where
their points fit, in the process uncovering points they might have missed
if they just appeneded their comments to the end.  By offering a view that
shows the growth of a document, people can discern what's changed since
they last grokked the whole thing, and as easily as possible keep track of
the whole thing.  

Note that there's been a *number* of places in this recent WikiNG
discussion where' i've cited existing passages that directly address
people's points.  I don't mean to complain - i think that's one cost
increased by disconnecting the discussion and the document. I may be
presuming too much, but i strongly suspect that if we were all making our
points directly in the relevant context of the document, the reiteration
would be necessary a lot less often - or structural flaws in the
organization of the document would be exposed.  It's this aspect of
"building the stories" together where WikiNG ahs incredible promise, to

> - 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)

See my prior message on this subject.  I do think these are great ideas -
hope i'll get time before the end of the weekend to visit your comments in
the wiki discussion so i can include my responses.  If only the wiki took
care of this for us!-)


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