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From "J.Pietschmann" <j3322...@yahoo.de>
Subject Re: Fw: You can at least forward my comments to these secret discussions about wiki
Date Tue, 28 Jan 2003 22:29:43 GMT
acoliver@apache.org wrote:
> I somewhat agree
> that Wiki is not always the best place to discuss.

I don't think a Wiki is *ever* the best place to *discuss* something.
I see the following major purposes
1. Collaborate effort to write and improve documentation, tutorials,
    examples etc. There should be someone feeling responsible for
    housekeeping, in particular static, stable bits should be moved
    out of the wiki and merged into the regular website from time to
    time, because a) reliable references need static content and b) wikis
    *will* attract abusers sooner or later.
2. Serve as a whiteboard accompanying a process, like a design process,
    usually in connection with a discussion on a mailing list. The
    whiteboard should be used for writing down text in a somewhat concise
    manner and should not take the form of the arguments and
    counterarguments of a discussion. Again, the whiteboard should be
    wiped and the valuable bits moved elsewhere after the process
    achieved its goal.
I agree that a wiki can be the *second best* place for certain
discussions, for example if there is no appropriate mailing list
reaching all interested parties.
Note that quite a few of the pro/con discussion pages in the Apache Wiki
are already somewhat messy, too messy for my taste and for the short
time they are in existence. This is likely to get worse, as discussing
on a whiteboard requires a lot of discipline; there is always an urge
to post counter arguments right in place, and to "correct" other
people's arguments by editing, which in turn might be taken personally.

There is still the problem that open discussion forums are occasionally
of real value. A web based forum (like phpBB, for illustration) could
serve this purpose:
- no subscription, no push, no overflowing mailboxes, look at it when
   you have time
- easy to moderate, if necessary
- easy public access, if necessary
- anonymous posts are possible, if necessary, without much increased
   risk of spamming
Depending on the software, comfortable search, mail list gateways and
other goodies are available.


J.Pietschmann


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