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From "Noel J. Bergman" <n...@devtech.com>
Subject RE: Wiki: a failed experiment??
Date Tue, 28 Jan 2003 23:46:58 GMT
[Forwarded with permission]

Dirk-Willem van Gulik wrote:
> On Tue, 28 Jan 2003, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> > Dirk-Willem van Gulik wrote:
> > > dealing with failed experiments (Hello Wiki :-) is
> > > not always a clean thing.

> > I do not consider [the Wiki] a failed experiment.

> Hmm - I certainly think that the 'free' speach side of the wiki, along
> with the lack of accountabilkity feedback which was designed out is a
> failure. Which I found by far the most intersting thing - and was my prime
> reason to see what this Wiki would do.

Interesting.  I wanted it for more pragmatic, project-oriented, purposes, so
we come at the same tool from different directions.  I have friends with
blogs, but I don't even have a personal web page.

> > We are actively using it for James, and learning to use it better.  But

> Thats a different use; that is for a specific project with a specific
> purpose. I expect nothing but good out of that.

> > but the notion of *having* a Wiki seems good to me.

> For a specific project, or focused around a set of tasks; absolutely.

Right.  That is my focus.   And so far I'm pretty pleased with how the Wiki
is working out that way.  Especially since it hasn't been around too long.
Once users get used to being able to contribute, I think that it will really
take off.

> Well the above roughly sums it up; and expect me to advocate to keep the
> Wiki; even let this unbridled use run for a while - and take our time to
> work out what feedback/control mechanism we put in place - such as:
> ->	An accountability
> or
> ->	A scoping one; and along with that moderation of out-of-scope
>	information.
> But wiki's which are a tool for coding projects; that's a different kettle
> of fish. And one I do not worry about. But they are no where near as
> interesting in my opinion than the experiment with the soapbox wiki.

You and Stefano seem to be interested in the anthropology aspect.  I'm not
disinterested in the anthropology, but I'm primarily interested in the
practical utility.  Either way, I agree with your assessment.  And I have no
problem with taking steps to increase accountability.  What we learn from
useModWiki we can hopefully apply to SubWiki.

Do you have any specific notions for increasing accountability?  So far I am

 - for "public" pages, require a verifiable e-mail address
   to subscribe for edit privileges.  Similar to what we
   require of any mailing list.

 - for "moderated" pages, require HTTPS and authentication
   (preferably via client cert) in order to edit.  This is
   tied into backend SVN access, if I understand correctly,
   and could be hierarchical (similar to how httpd handles
   access controls).

I'd like to see more done with HTTPS and authentication, e.g., to allow
mailing lists like "closed" mailing lists to have archives that are visible
to members and not to others.

	--- Noel

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