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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [RT] Moving towards a new documentation system
Date Sat, 11 Oct 2003 13:17:48 GMT

On Saturday, Oct 11, 2003, at 14:25 Europe/Rome, Nicola Ken Barozzi 

> Please don't forget Forrest.

we are not.

I thought about it and I totally resonate with Bertrand: we need to 
outline an incremental transition to our own CMS reusing as much dog 
food as possible (which is also good for a community perspective).

Here is my proposal:

  1) the system gets divided into three parts

      - frontend -> mapped to -> static
      - repository -> a WebDAV server
      - backend -> mapped to -> dynamic

   2) each page is rendered with a wiki-like "edit this page" link, that 
points to the exact same URI, on the backend virtual host.

   3) everybody is able to edit or to enter new pages, but they need to 
be approuved to get published.

   4) a committer can publish directly (thru a login)

   5) each page is considered an atomic learning object (LO) and is 
identified by a numerical URI

   6) the process of creating a learning object (editing) and the 
process of linking some together, are kept independent.

The above is really important, IMO, because separates concerns between:

    - writers -> those who know about something and want to write about 
    - editors -> those who know what users want to know and assembles 
knowledge for them

The lack of separation between these two types of people is, IMO, what 
is missing from our documentation infrastructure. Note that wikis 
concentrate on the first part and leave the second part up to the 
collective task of content refactoring. I think this is weak and it's 
the worst part of the wiki pattern: we need something better.

The future idea is to use indirect linking where lookup is a sort of 
"what's related" understood out of the analysis of user patterns, but 
this is far ahead in the future.

For now, I think direct linking would be enough for our needs... we 
just need a good "lookup and discovery" of learning objects integrated 
in the backend.

                                   - o -

As the implementation

  1) forrest will be used to generate the site from the contents of the 

  2) the repository can be either plain vanilla subversion or a webdav 
server implemented by cocoon on top of another repository (either 
subversion or catacomb or JSR170). even CVS, but we might want to stay 
away from it.

  3) lenya will be used as the backend.

Missing things:

  1) is forrest already capable of doing what we ask?

  2) what's the best repository? where do we install it?

  3) is lenya enough for what we need? (Michi says so)

  4) how much work is the integration of linotype with lenya? (I'll 
investigate this soon)

  5) how do we get the wiki into the repository? (I plan to write a 
wiki-syntax editing pane for linotype, would this be enough?)

  6) how do we get the rest of the data into the repository?

  7) how do we make it simple to edit linkmaps? what searching and 
proximity tools can we provide for this?

Enough of a braindump for now.

Fire at will.


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