W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rif-wg@w3.org > December 2005

Wiki qualms

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 12:58:55 -0500
Message-Id: <744142486c3e912ce5f959ff91c88e19@isr.umd.edu>
To: public-rif-wg@w3.org

I have severe qualms about the heavy use of the Wiki for conducting 
working group business. Some of it is totally harmless (e.g.,  
adminstrivial stuff), some of it is somewhat problematic (e.g., 
discussion moved to the wiki).

I've used Wiki's going back to the early days and they are very nice 
for a lot of things, but the kind of use we are putting them to in this 
working group is, afaict, entirely noval to the W3C. I think this is 
not a great idea, or at least requires more thought, as W3C public 
observers are uses to being able to follow, e.g., discussions on 
mailing lists and having editor's drafts to look at, etc.

I would prefer that we adhered to normal wg practices, e.g.,
	1) a small number of editors who commit drafts to cvs
	2) discussion carried out primarily on the mailing list (and in 
meetings of course)
	3) changes to drafts announced to the mailing list

This does have some downsides wrt the Wiki e.g.,:
	not every one can edit
	you can't inline comments
	the mailing list gets more traffic

However, I think these downsides are counterbalanced by:	
	a push rather than pull mode of discussion
	the ability to refer to email points and drafts by the "normal" W3C 
uris (archive and wd)
	well understood structure

We've already had downtime on the wiki due to a not w3c server going 
down. That also lowers my confidence (even though I'm a big moinmoin 

I think either can be made to work, but I would prefer that the wiki 
*shadowed* traditional W3C practice (or generated it in parallel, as 
with the agenda) rather that we leap into replacing it. Esp., as is 
evident, that this group is not, as a whole, wiki savvy. There's enough 
to learn :)

Received on Tuesday, 20 December 2005 17:59:16 UTC

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