Home   Info   DevZone   Wiki  
UsersWeb  |  MainWeb  |  InfoWeb  |  DevZoneWeb  |  SupportWeb
GoodStyle ] [ not logged in ] [ Web: Imported ] goto:  options
[ get info on or edit ] login or new user ] [ list of topics, hubs & nodes, or recent changes ]

main -- AboutWiki -- GoodStyle

To quote WardCunningham on GoodStyle:

Go ahead and be chatty. But, if you write in the first person you should sign your piece. And when adding to a signed piece add a line (a string of minus signs) before your stuff. In general,though, this isn't a news group. If you don't like something, edit it. If you want to save the opposing viewpoint (however naive), create a new WikiName playing off of the original.

The WikiWikiWeb server has very simple TextFormattingRules. You won't go wrong if you start each line without spaces and separate paragraphs with a blank line. Run capitalized words together to make hyperlinks. This sometimes requires creativity; you're up to it.

This thing is made for rambling. Go ahead and start something. Others will come along later to fill in the details. Here's a list of RecentVisitors just waiting for your additions.

One last thing. Please, Please, don't say things to make others mad. And don't say anything that would get me arrested. Many thanks.

Navigation through the Wiki is getting harder and harder. In an attempt to address this, please:

See this page for an example.

This is an experimental suggestion. Improvements to this suggestion should be made directly to the above paragraph and the sample(s) on this page. Sign below my name with a date.

- IainS 05-14-99

I've always been democratic myself, and I think leaving other peoples view points, "(however naive)" should play a major factor. I don't agree "If you don't like something, edit it." - c'mon, we're all adults (I think) and we should be working together (after all, its a 'collaboration area').


I believe the idea is that, if you sign your name, it's yours. If you don't, it's a collaborative document undergoing continuous revision. It works for the Portland Pattern Repository, but I believe only certain visitors are allowed to edit. I'm not sure if it works for the free-for-all we've created together on JOS, but things seem to be moving forward to me. Maybe we'd want to flip-flop this: assume documents belong to somebody, unless they're clearly marked as public. - BillRehm
I copied the GoodStyle from Ward's Wiki. It seemed to best address the nature of the Wiki so I grabbed the quote....

The Wiki is the home for our living documents. We hope that people continually refine the ideas and the expressions on this media and that this is done in a professional manner.

In particular, the Wiki is not like a mailing list or discussion forum because the target document is living and is the total of everyone’s feedback. Personally, I would like to remove "all" signing.... because it asserts ownership of one person over the ideas presented. To this end I have tried to keep my signing to a minimum, reserving it only for opinions, like this piece.

Although we might eventually have to lock some pages to avoid vandalism, I would rather not assign owners to pages since this defeats the spirit of the media. If you strongly feel the need to own a page, then perhaps you can start the topic with your name, like ClarkEvansOnRequirements Or ClarkEvansOnGoals.

Overall, I would like to see a fluid and continuous assimilation of the best points from everyone involved into a cohesive whole where everyone collectively "owns" the result. To do this, everyone should be able to edit anywhere anytime.

And yes, It can be abused. And yes, good ideas might get lost. And yes, it might try your Patience. As a whole, I think the risks are worth it and I hope you agree.

-- ClarkEvans

I agree -- MarkusPeter

There seems to be two distinct uses of JOS's Wiki. First, there are these collaborative documents. Second, there are discussions which __are__ like mini mailing lists. For example, this is the only method of communicating about the DocumentGroup that exists. I like this, since it eliminates the need for any administrative involvement in setting up such lists.

Starting a BillRehmOnThis topic seems guaranteed to stifle the discussion about This, whatever it is. --BillRehm (who signs things because he likes to see his own name in print)

Good point, Bill! Signed pieces are very appropriate on discussion pages (like this one). I was being a bit narrow minded, thank you!

Recently I have seen the ThisComments topic as a convention for creating discussion threads on This topic, where existing and new signed pieces are aggressively transplanted to the ThisComments topic. Nice.

However, since discussion topics where people sign are "publicly owned" I do not understand why you feel I was advocating BillRehmOnThis for your comments on This. I was advocating:

If you strongly feel the need to own a page, then perhaps you can start the topic with your name, like ClarkEvansOnRequirements Or ClarkEvansOnGoals.

I am talking about the right to assert sole authorship rights for a given page, not the the right to edit or comment on a page.

-- ClarkEvans

And if you create a BillRehmOnThis, you may insert some reference to it in This, so that people may know it.

In the same vein, you may create a ThisDiscussion page where you put your advocacy, and put a reference in the main page. I would advocate for the latter, as

Sorry, I though you were throwing a couple ideas into the mix & was responding to them. If we have a page on This & I create BillRehmOnThis, then I'm pushing myself away from the collective topic. I wasn't disagreeing with you, exactly. Just trying to point out to readers what I thought the outcome of very much of that would be. --BillRehm

I have about one day's experience with wiki, so forgive my presumption, but how about this: uncontroversial wiki pages work just like regular web pages. Controversial web pages start out chatty and thready, but gradually coalesce into webs of uncontroversial webby pages as people achieve consensus and/or concrete their differences. It would be better, then, for people to try to trend wiki pages towards consensus rather than to own them - yes? Perhaps we need to be more formal about when thready pages are tidied up?

-- PeterMerel

There's another way to look at this. Unsigned additions assert the authority of consensus where signed additions represent the writer's opinion only.

Then again, if a signature really has that effect, then I've just become self-aware. You're my eyes and ears and neurons, true, but you're mortal and replaceable where I'm eternal and unique.

-- WikiWikiWeb

Further to this, it might be a very nice improvement if links could be retroactively created by automatically applying WikiCapsNotation to any string of words in my database that is also the title of a page. This would identify many implicit reflections and improve the symmetry of my ideas.

-- WikiWikiWeb

On Page Ownership:

It is a dilemma. On one hand, you want members to be "empowered" so that they can edit the pages they need to edit to get their job done, and on the other hand you hope that members are "responsible" for their actions and research the best they can before they make the change. I must have faith in the JOS members that they will take their right to edit the pages and both understand and respect the responsibilities that go with this right.

Sometimes people do not take responsibility for their edits, or visions differ and a page gets "messed up". So far, these collisions have been minimal and have not caused enormous problems so I would rather not introduce authoritarian measures and ownership unless necessary. The MemberList page is a case in point. It gets messed up frequently by people who are learning to use the Wiki. This is acceptable since people are "learning". Introducing ownership to this page would be a big mistake. In a similar manner, I believe that introducing ownership to any page is mistake.

Perhaps we merely need a list of rights and corresponding responsibilities so that members know their role.

Although we allow anyone to edit anything, in the end, someone has to make sure that it is correct. Therefore a few of us have unconsciously moved to more of a police officer role, helping to explain peoples rights and fix things that get "messed up" when members to not know any better or have drastically different visions that need to be discussed before they are implemented. A police officer role is much tougher to play than an ownership role since you must understand and respect other people's vision and rights and help them understand their responsibilities. You must also be willing to clean up the messes when they happen.

This might be the absolutely wrong way to work things, however, for the most part, it has worked rather well and I see no reason to change it at this time.

I would rather keep every page open and focus instead on helping people to understand the responsibilities that come with their right. This, to me, is GoodStyle.

- ClarkEvans

Eventually, I think there may be some pages that we communally accept as "completed versions". These would be candidates for shifting to the static side of www.jos.org. I can't see a real need for ownership of pages beyond that.

If someone starts moving a page in a direction you don't agree with, open a dialog with them (or with everybody using WikiClone). Ideally, your separate viewpoints can be synthesized into to a stronger position that gains from both of the original ones. If not, the page can split into two pages & one will ultimately win in the "marketplace of ideas" --BillRehm

People have decided to start putting the date when they write signed stuff so that we can better know if something is out of date, etc.. Nice idea. There are a few different styles. The best style that I have seen is DD-MON-YY optionally putting in the hour in 24H GMT notation. Other styles seem to have DD-MM-YY or MM-DD-YY the problem with these styles is that it is hard to know if 4-2-98 is 2-MAR-98 or 4-JAN-98. The other nice thing about the MON in the middle is that it serves to break up the numbers which makes the date much easier to read. Also, it is nice to note that DD-MON-YYYY is ISO standard date format for SQL databases, where MON in ( JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC )

-- ClarkEvans 1-MAR-1998

I'd like to comment on this GoodStyle page. Maybe PageOwnership is an important item, but should it appear here ? Some one above said this is a discussion page. Should it ? I believe that NO is the right answer to both questions !

IMO, this page should be a DocumentPage that would contain tips on GoodStyle, and nothing else. I refrained from editing it that way, as signed comments should be "left alone" according to some, but it makes this page a mess. Another solution would be to move the discussion to a GoodStyleDiscussion, and keep the summary here.

Now obviously a problem : how am I going to know what the position of other people is against this proposal :-)

-- Christophe Vermeulen 06-AUG-1998

Regarding Date format: I've noticed a lot of people only using 2 digits in their dates... Not that I mind, but Y2K all over again?

--BrillPappin 16-JAN-1999

I'd encourage contributers to date their entries, even if they choose not to sign. The date helps preserve a record of the evolution of an idea.


main -- AboutWiki -- GoodStyle
Related Topics:

BugList - AboutWiki - GettingStarted

Content of these pages are owned and copyrighted by the poster.
Hosted by: