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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Wiki experiences?

Warp is cool!    (01)

At 09:52 PM 3/4/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>On Mon, 4 Mar 2002, Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
> > I know Chris Dent is using MoinWiki, and John Sechrest has also used and
> > administered Wikis.  What are your experiences?
>(I mostly address the wiki thing here, but I also make a suggestion
>for the mailing lists, from the backlink thread, based on wiki
>I find the WikiWay to be a delightful thing. However I'm not sure how
>well it works in what might be called "serious applications".
>My primary use of Wiki has been as a teaching aid for an information
>representation class. It's been a nice way to distribute information
>but we are having a hard time getting students to contribute. I think
>this is the problem with any "public" access tool. What is the
>perceived need? Is it important enough for people to get over barriers
>to use?
>The main benefits:
>  * anybody, anywhere, anytime
>    Have browser will travel. Barriers to use are very very low.
>  * Easy linking.
>  * Easy changes, easy comments.
>  * Very positive attitude
>The main disadvantages:
>  * anybody, anywhere, anytime
>    While the problems associated with anybody editing can be overcome
>    with authentication and versioning, it takes away a lot of the
>    flavor and raises the barriers to activity.
>  * poor editing interfaces
>    I was considering the other day that a well built web browser would
>    include a more full featured text editor for <textarea> form
>    elements. I do not write complicated wiki pages because it is a
>    pain in the butt. I could, I suppose, edit somewhere else and cut
>    and paste or something similar but that raises the barriers.
>    Are their editors out there which will spawn an external editor or
>    embed one? I think that would change the shape of collaboration on
>    the web. I use email as my primary tool for collaboration because I
>    have greater access to my personal toolset there.
>  * granular addressibility is difficult
>    Constantly changing pages means that persistent references have to be
>    associated with versions. That means, as mentioned elsewhere, you
>    can't just throw some purple number code into the presentation
>    engine and have them work well.
>My Warp tool (on the link in my sig) is like Wiki but much less
>disciplined. I like it better than Wiki because it generates
>unintentional associative links but more importantly I can email
>content to it. I'm led to believe there are some Wiki's that will do
>this (and if not it would be relatively easy to implement).
>I had a conversation with some friends once, probably last year, where
>we discussed that the only thing that _really_ mattered that came out
>of internetworked computers was email. This is certainly over stating
>the case but I think it is true to say that email is _the_ killer app,
>so much so that we've forgotten that it is an application at all.
>Wikis, like most relatively new technologies are still fairly
>obsessed with Wikis and not what can be done with them (at least for
>people who are new to them). Email has greater saturation.
>So, my summary of Wikis would be that they are neat but they suffer
>from being a web based thing. That implies a great deal of
>I think the suggestion that we modify the mailing list program so that
>messages can be tagged with their place in the archive is a good one.
>If mhonarc and majordomo are living on the same machine it would be
>possible to do the following in the majordomo code at the point where
>it is preparing an outgoing message:
>    check config for archive
>    lock preparation of other messages for this list
>    prepare the message
>    scan the archive for the number (in the filename) of the latest message
>    place the url of the number in the footer of the prepared message
>            (or there may be a lot of other options here too)
>    either:
>            pipe the message to mhonarc
>            set mhonarc as the first recipient on the list
>    deliver
>    unlock preparation
>    carry on
>It's likely the locked stage of that can be narrowed somewhat to
>hasten delivery.
>What you would then have is the ability to jump to the message in it's
>context, with purple.
>I'm not sure, though, how much power this will necessary give people.
>It is possible, presumably to change the direction of use. Instead of
>using the archive as an archive and your mailer as a reader, read in
>the archive, archive in your mailer, and only go to your unrev and ohs
>folders when you need to respond to something?
>I'm not a fan of that idea, though, because then I would be out of my
>email, and in my email is where I want to be.
>Chris Dent  <cdent@burningchrome.com>  http://www.burningchrome.com/~cdent/    (02)