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wiki ideas wiki

by vroom (Pope)
on Mar 30, 2001 at 10:32 UTC ( #68293=wiki: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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Welcome to the wiki ideas node. What's a wiki? A wiki is a community editable node. Anyone can make changes, be that adding text, deleteing text, whatever. It works on a lot on trust. tilly is prolly the resident expert on wiki's, although chromatic has reportedly just finished one in Jellybean.

Here's the current thinking: A wiki node will only be creatable by a certain class of users, as of yet undetermined. This is to prevent a massive proliferation of wiki nodes. There will be two drop down boxes available to the creator of the node, a viewing group, and an editing group. A group is any one of the 10 levels of monk, along with editors and power users. While the editing and viewing groups may be the same, the editing group can never be "less than" the viewing group. But that's implementation, and doesn't really matter.

Locking is, to quote Fearless Leader, "one minute lock plus optimistic locking... if you try to change a field since you began editing that has had a change committed it warns you and doesn't update". There is a tracking log of who changed the node and a date-time stamp, but not an actual CVS style change list. Basically, it means people have to play nice, or a more detailed tracking system will be installed.

Common courtesy says that you don't change what's not yours, unless the node is for something like community documentation (read: groupware). When you add text, sign and date it. I'm suggesting/pleading/begging/annoying (mostly the latter) vroom to add [%U] and [%S] which would respectively substitute the user name and current GMT time when the node is submitted. By simply adding "-- [%U] [%S]" at the end of my text, it would replace it with "-- jcwren 2001/03/29 07:18:00 GMT".

I see wiki nodes as a powerful tool for the editors and power users groups, for certain types of documentation, and perhaps for critiquing code or humor. Basically, things that don't warrant generating dozens of short nodes in response. (One of the things I've noticed (or imagined) is that as monks get more experienced, they tend to be more conserative about generating short nodes. Maybe it's an XP thing, or maybe it's just a lack of need to comment on each and every little thing, I don't know.)

Now's your chance to add your thoughts on wikis (to the bottom of this very node!) What uses can you see? How do you feel about the scheme proposed (and partially implemented)? What else does it need? Oh, wiki nodes will appear on newest nodes under a 'Wikis' heading, once they are deployed, and they will NOT be votable. For now, there is this node, and test wiki to play with.

-- jcwren 2001/03/30 08:24:00 GMT


But how do you find wikis that aren't new? How do you find wikis that have been recently changed? The featuritis for Newest Nodes looks like it needs to be acreepin'... What?? No Preview button?? ;) -- tye 2001/03/30 13:08 PST


I am not sure that I would be called an expert. But I have used them. So here are my thoughts.

Normally there are change-logs. Anyone who wants can see recent edits and see what has changed recently. From there you can see the diff or the full page. When you view diffs, that says who made each edit. And considering how chatter is the heart of the site, there should be an option to "watch" a wiki, so that you get messages when it gets edited.

IMHO wikis are best suited to accumulating community resources and keeping them relevant. I do not think that for general discussion that a wiki makes more sense than the usual noding. But if a topic comes up often, summarizing it in a wiki would make sense. Likewise some home nodes turn into community resources. turnstep's for instance. Likewise neophyte's was before it was turned into site documentation. That need is what wikis would do better.

And since the wiki system is supposed to be for somewhat static information, I would expect navigation to work through static links from various site resource pages (many of which would become wikis), links from other wikis, and of course people would refer to them in normal nodes, chatter, etc.

Because of this I think that very few people should be able to create them. I also think that most should only be editable only by fairly high level people, but virtually anyone should be able to read most of them.


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