docWikis

Marielle Lange mlange at lexicall.org
Mon Oct 24 16:13:59 EDT 2005


Hi Tim,

> I am certainly sympathetic to your goals and philosophical  
> position. Rev users generally seem sympathetic to the manufacturer  
> -- wish it well, want it to succeed. Me too.

It's their product I want to live long and prosper, really ;). If the  
cheap option, dreamcard, could be acquired by a company or a  
government which would make it available open source, this would be  
fantastic!

> My initial reaction -- what's there is admirable. The documentation  
> you have written is somewhat clearer and less terse than Rev's  
> native documentation, with more examples.

Thanks. But I don't deserve the credits. Much of it is just cut and  
paste from this list... with possibly a few rewrites. There is  
***extraordinary** material posted on this list (if you have time to  
read all posts, past and present, which is not really to be expected  
from a recent user). We could gain so much if we were reusing it more  
than we presently do.

> Of course the number of items and issues documented is relatively  
> small. I didn't spend a lot of time exploring -- I might have  
> overlooked something. I'm sorry you're disappointed with the  
> overall reaction so far.
>
> Beyond that, I wonder if initial visitors will be daunted by the  
> task of re-writing Rev's native documentation and moving it to your  
> wiki, while simultaneously improving and supplementing the native  
> documentation. If Rev's native documentation can't be moved  
> wholesale to a wiki, with its hyperlinks, "see also" links, and so  
> on, intact, for the sake of wiki-type improving and supplementing,  
> I fear too many potential wiki users will be too daunted, and it  
> just won't catch on.
>
> I hope I'm wrong, though.

You are probably right... if the ultimate goal is a good  
documentation, efforts should be centralized rather than dispersed. I  
am interested in giving a hand to produce a good documentation more  
than in hosting a few pages on snippets. But for the moment, there is  
room for individual efforts... I didn't really feel a real  
"community" momentum for "improving and supplementing the native  
documentation". This surprises me. My understanding is that all the  
current doc has in fact been produced collaboratively, in a wiki. At  
least, I came across a wiki that contained this documentation,  
written in 2001-2002. I cannot find its url anymore.

But centralized organisation doesn't mean unique resource. Members of  
this list have very different skill level and learning style. Some  
like textual explanations. Others prefer to be presented with  
examples of code alone.

I am ready to translate all xml documents into a wiki format if this  
can help (wouldn't take more than a day, I have already written  
various html2wiki conversion routines).

> I visited your site, and bookmarked it.

Good, you will join the 44 visitors a day (yes, about 1300 a month,  
not hits, not robots, individual visitors... not too bad).

And I got two new users and a new contribution to the snippets.  
Thanks a lot Mark for your contribution!

I am very curious... What would be needed to get more of you register  
and contribute? Tell me and I do it :). Seriously! I know that taking  
part in an open wiki requires a culture shift. Our generation hasn't  
really learned to work collaboratively.... What do you believe would  
help get persons participate in a communal initiative? What are the  
factors that encourage or discourage participation? What is your own  
perception of this... Do you feel like exposing yourself when  
participating to a wiki (what if I make a spellling errror, somebody  
will see it?)... this shouldn't be too different from the mailing  
list... in fact, even better if you leave an error, then somebody can  
come and correct it. Or is it this the problem, that somebody can  
come and change what you have written.

Maybe I should start to write errors (there probably are some)...  
maybe persons will then think, this is wrong, I really need to  
intervene... done, ah!, without me, this wiki wouldn't be worth  
visiting.

What is the strongest in most humans, the need to feel that they  
bring a valuable contribution or the need for their own, personal  
contribution, to be valued? What environment needs to be created for  
the former rather than the later to become more important?

Marielle

------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
--------
Marielle Lange (PhD),  Psycholinguist

Alternative emails: mlange at blueyonder.co.uk, M.Lange at ed.ac.uk
Homepage                                                            
http://homepages.lexicall.org/mlange/
Easy access to lexical databases                    http://lexicall.org
Supporting Education Technologists              http:// 
revolution.lexicall.org





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