knowledge platform

Lars Grobe wrote:

    as it seams to me, the Radiance wiki is dead. That is a pity, but at
    least we should
    - get the latest content of th wiki somehow to a few static webpages
    - remove the links on radiance-online
    The first is a question to the (former) maintainer, the second goes to
    Peter...

Hi Lars, Hi folks,

since your question touches the idea of some sort of collaborative docs, maybe I should mention an off-list thread about this in November 2005. It was sparked of by my suggestion to use Plone (www.plone.org) as framework for structured, collaborative docs. There had been different views, Greg suggested to initiate an automated (or at least semi-automatic) "knowledge-compiler" that extracts information from the mailing list archives to generate some FAQ. My own view was more relying on a small number of people each being /responsible/ for one (or two) subjects and keeping that sub-tree of the docs up-to-date. Content management would be done on a distributed basis, different owners/moderators managing their field, including a review process. Plone was my choice since I had used it elsewhere.

It never materialized on radiance-online because of costs involved in the /initial/ set-up of the system (which would be done by someone I worked with successfully on similar projects, so it would be a) fastest to pay him to do it and b) my additional time for support would remain foreseeable) and, well, apparent lack of support from one big guru (name withheld).

Anyway- likely this post triggers comments- that's fine - just don't expect me to reply to well meant suggestions about other systems which are better/spiffier/easier/environmentalfriendlier, I have sank enough time into this thread. Simply, to make it happen, around 1.4kEUR plus a new (faster, due to much heavier CPU use) motherboard for the server are needed. (ah - do not bother sending me your old motherboard).

happy rendering to all
-Peter

···

--
pab-opto, Freiburg, Germany, http://www.pab-opto.de
[see web page to check digital email signature]

Hi!

There had been different views, Greg suggested to initiate an
automated (or at least semi-automatic) "knowledge-compiler"
that extracts information from the mailing list archives to generate
some FAQ.

Well, the problem I see with this is that there are often posts here that
are based more on guessing than knowledge (and I include most of mine -
still, I really like the expression "educated guess" - if that sounds
familiar to some... ;-). One of the more recent examples is the
64bit-thread...

My own view was more relying on a small number of people each
being /responsible/ for one (or two) subjects and keeping that
sub-tree of the docs up-to-date.

I prefer that, too. This will not only ensure (or avoid :wink: a certain level
of quality, but give also some "expert" role to those people. So it would be
easier to know whom to ask for what :wink:

Plone was my choice since I had used it elsewhere.

No idea about Plone.

Anyway- likely this post triggers comments- that's fine - just don't
expect me to reply to well meant suggestions about other systems which
are better/spiffier/easier/environmentalfriendlier, I have sank enough
time into this thread.

The only CMS that might work and I have experience with would be Drupal, and
I am able to install it in an hour. Still I will not mention that here now
:wink:

Simply, to make it happen, around 1.4kEUR plus a new (faster, due
to much heavier CPU use) motherboard for the server are needed. (ah - do
not bother sending me your old motherboard).

OK, who will participate, and how much will that per person (I like the
expression "per nose" we use for that in German)? If it is not getting a sum
astronomic as the amount of rpict's options, I will participate. Will I get
a Gold-version of oconv handling all my nested instances when I support this
project? B-)

happy rendering to all

Yes, the week-end comes close, good times for render-folks... I will spend
my spare time on Radzilla (the new 1.1 release) this week.

CU Lars.

I might as well throw in my 2 Cents' worth of guess-work...

Our experience in LEARN show (and this is also what CMS/Wiki gurus out
there on the big 'Net have to say) that CMS systems will only work if and
only if:
- there is an existing resource
- the admin of this resource gets so many requests for updates and
additions that it is more than he/she can handle

What CMSs will NOT do is:
- Create an active community if there isn't one already

IMHO, the 'failure' (excuse this harsh word -- I'm not blaming the admins
at all) of ye old RAD Wiki is that although there is quite a lot of stuff
out there, and it would have been nice for the 'information consumers' of
us to have it all nicely presented on one site, the 'information
providers' obviously:
- didn't see the need for this
- didn't have time
- didn't want to learn how to use a Wiki/CMS.

My own view was more relying on a small number of people each
being /responsible/ for one (or two) subjects and keeping that
sub-tree of the docs up-to-date.

I do like the idea of having subject moderators.

With respect to the existing knowledge, allow me to point out another
possible solution. Mind you, I am not saying that this is ideal for our
particular problem.

http://dir.webring.com/rw
There is a thing called 'webring'. For a particular subject, maintainers
of websites may join and register their site. Consequently, at the bottom
of each of their pages, they include a little footer saying something like

"This site is part of such-n-such webring". You also have 'previous',
'next', and 'up' buttons taking you to the previous or next site of the
relevant ring, or to a list of all subscribed pages.

What I personally dislike about it is that it relies one some company's
server. Two solutions:
a) have the page footers and index page static
  + independence of third parties and server availability
  - any changes would potentially require some of the ring members to
update their links, and it certainly would so from the maintainer of the
index page
b) create our own indexing server
  + gives us flexibility and independence of third parties
  - relies on the availability of the server

While I'd be happy enough to cobble together some cgi script, I am not in
a position to throw in a server as well. Our network is rather unreliable,
and every time there is some substantial rain, the power trips on us.

'Nuff said

Axel

Axel has some key points here, which bear repeating:

Our experience in LEARN show (and this is also what CMS/Wiki gurus out
there on the big 'Net have to say) that CMS systems will only work if and only if:
- there is an existing resource
- the admin of this resource gets so many requests for updates and additions that it is more than he/she can handle

This relates to an existing resource that someone is charged with maintaining, and is looking for an easier way to do so. In other words, there is an active source of information that people have come to rely on, and it is in everyone's interest to maintain it.

In the case of Radiance, we are fortunate to have an active user community, but no one here has a wealth of time to devote to side activities that may or may not benefit others. A Wiki or any set of maintained web pages that require substantial effort to put together is similar to a public mural. Other than the satisfaction you get from participating in the assemblage, there is no motivation to maintain the work other than personal pride as leisure allows. A mural deteriorates unless there is an active community caring for it.

The problem with a Wiki is that no one knows if pages they create are being read or by whom, and even if they knew, they would have no feedback as to how helpful the material is, how to improve it for others, or whether they are simply wasting their time. The feedback mechanisms are lacking, unlike a mailing list, where when you post, others (usually) respond.

I see similar problems with resource pages using Plone. Other than moderated access, it sounds a lot like a Wiki to me. What would motivate volunteers to be responsible for particular topics? What is to keep them from losing interest in short order? I like the notion of having experts in particular domains, but there needs to be some benefit corresponding to the level of effort required. It also seems like a lot of work up front.

If we get a line up of volunteers and some momentum in this direction, $1.4K plus a few hundred for a new motherboard seems very little to ask to get this going. I'm sure I could wrangle that out of unnamed sources without too much difficulty. It's just a question of convincing everyone to participate. I would be more convinced myself if there was some feedback mechanism involved, Radiance dollars or some nonsense that benefactors of information on the sites would donate to maintainers, who could use them to subsidize their next workshop attendance(??).

We're bright people. I'm sure we can figure out something that would work!

-Greg

Here is a working prototype of a 'RADIANCE WebRing'.

http://luminance.londonmet.ac.uk/radring/index.shtml

It's still very rough around the edges, but please comment:
- Do you think it would be useful?
- How about a 'house style'?
- Would be too much work for the site admins to change the links if
one of the members drops out? This could be automated, but would create a
dependency on the master server.
- Should the extra navigation be on every one of the site's pages, or just
the entry one?
- Anything else...

Cheers

Axel

Can we find 40 members to contribute $40 each?

Martin

···

________________________________

From: [email protected] on behalf of Gregory J. Ward
Sent: Fri 5/5/2006 11:44 AM
To: Radiance general discussion
Subject: Re: [Radiance-general] knowledge platform

Axel has some key points here, which bear repeating:

Our experience in LEARN show (and this is also what CMS/Wiki gurus out
there on the big 'Net have to say) that CMS systems will only work
if and only if:
- there is an existing resource
- the admin of this resource gets so many requests for updates and
additions that it is more than he/she can handle

This relates to an existing resource that someone is charged with
maintaining, and is looking for an easier way to do so. In other
words, there is an active source of information that people have come
to rely on, and it is in everyone's interest to maintain it.

In the case of Radiance, we are fortunate to have an active user
community, but no one here has a wealth of time to devote to side
activities that may or may not benefit others. A Wiki or any set of
maintained web pages that require substantial effort to put together
is similar to a public mural. Other than the satisfaction you get
from participating in the assemblage, there is no motivation to
maintain the work other than personal pride as leisure allows. A
mural deteriorates unless there is an active community caring for it.

The problem with a Wiki is that no one knows if pages they create are
being read or by whom, and even if they knew, they would have no
feedback as to how helpful the material is, how to improve it for
others, or whether they are simply wasting their time. The feedback
mechanisms are lacking, unlike a mailing list, where when you post,
others (usually) respond.

I see similar problems with resource pages using Plone. Other than
moderated access, it sounds a lot like a Wiki to me. What would
motivate volunteers to be responsible for particular topics? What is
to keep them from losing interest in short order? I like the notion
of having experts in particular domains, but there needs to be some
benefit corresponding to the level of effort required. It also seems
like a lot of work up front.

If we get a line up of volunteers and some momentum in this
direction, $1.4K plus a few hundred for a new motherboard seems very
little to ask to get this going. I'm sure I could wrangle that out
of unnamed sources without too much difficulty. It's just a question
of convincing everyone to participate. I would be more convinced
myself if there was some feedback mechanism involved, Radiance
dollars or some nonsense that benefactors of information on the sites
would donate to maintainers, who could use them to subsidize their
next workshop attendance(??).

We're bright people. I'm sure we can figure out something that would
work!

-Greg

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