[Theforum] evolt.org to do list

rudy937 rudy937 at rogers.com
Fri Feb 8 14:47:06 CST 2002

> neither the wiki or isaacs nice little app are really able to
> handle collaboration. wikis are good when there's only a
> couple(5 at most) people editing them, but once you get a
> good number of people editing, creating, etc on a wiki, its
> harder to follow than a mailing list archive IMO.

then perhaps i don't understand what you mean by "collaboration"

with a wiki, anybody can edit a web page, right?

what we should see after an edit is *not* the he-said-she-said threaded
archive of comments where we debated the fine points of including or
excluding particular entries, but *the result of the debate*

i am shocked by your phrase "harder to follow" because it shows you are
still thinking in terms of process

process is necessary but irrelevant to documentation -- see the thread today
on thelist about documentation

what counts is not the process, but the deliverable

as analogy, consider Word Docs -- you can track revisions in a Word Doc, and
even view the revision history in fancy colours and strikethroughs and what
not, but all i want to see is the final document

another analogy -- versioning software

imagine if you had to sift through all the versions of a piece of code in
order to reconstruct what its final state looks like!! -- joe added line 52,
then fred removed lines 27 through 35, then mary updated line 66...

see, all i want from whatever system we end up using, is someplace where i
can go and immediately get a sense of what the final spec is, even if it's
still in an interim state

i do *not* want to read a hundred and fifty fricken archived emails to
figure out which way the wind was blowing when we decided how to
implement a polling application

quick, where's the current agreement on the polling/voting app? where do we
point somebody new to quickly get a feel for the work in progress?

that was the beauty of the wiki, *anybody* can go in there and *add value*
to the spec document, so that it always represents the sum total of all the
thinking so far

the email discussion, like we have had with the polling/voting app, would
probably continue to be necessary, but while it proceeds, the small
decisions would be captured into the "living document" of the spec

the wiki is perfect for that -- the discussion reaches consensus that
feature X or principle Y or strategy Z is desirable, and one of us, *any
one* of us, including the last person to articulate the idea, goes to the
wiki and revises it

quick, what's the "good news" paragraph that rudy suggested we send
out when announcing the carving off of the announcements mailing list
from thelist? look on that wiki page

it doesn't matter whether it's 5 people, dan, or 50

to me, the wiki "living document" concept seemed perfect, and dead simple
to use

i'm surprised that nobody else caught on

now, i haven't even seen it, but if this phpGroupWare thingie allows us
build up a living spec document, and is as easy to get into as the wiki,
then i'm all over it...


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