wiki, collaborative book, latex & Sons

Hi folks,

I've took the time and thought about the Wiki idea with a cup of coffee in bed this morning. If you're interested (hey, _your_ the ones with a degree in IT). It is more social than technical so. But then, some of you are in Berkeley. Home of the revolt on Telegraph....

Wiki main idea is to allow anyone to write anything. In its pure form without any access restrictions. Now that's freedom of speech. Good. Or chatter with low S/N ratio. Bad. On average, I don't believe that a compact and reliable guide manifests itself out of thin air without anyone being responsible. Not without sorting more important parts from less important ones, and care taking. Self organization does happen in nature, but it seems to either take a very long time (evolution leading e.g. to cats) or to be not energy efficient (laser).
Success of collaboration depends on people. Obvious. However, when I think what I like to see on radiance-online, it is something that is more structured than the 100% open Wiki starting config. Something like a book, with chapters, authors, sections, subsections. And remarks by readers on the edges. Wikis can technically do hierarchical structure, but at least the split between 'readers' with remarks and 'authors' doing the damn writing is not a Wiki spirit. If radiance-online sees a collaborative platform, it'll be more a collaborative book in my view, and I would for haven's sake not call it a /wiki/.

Compiling contents takes a lot of time, as anyone experienced writing his/her thesis (or a chapter in abook). As author investing this time to explain a point carefully in a compact way, I'd be not very comfortable with the idea that anyone has the same technical editing rights on the text after thinking about the problem for 5 seconds from scratch. Maybe the other is right and brilliant, maybe he/she is dumb&proud-of-it. In the first case he/she should be passed the authorship to, or the remark be woven into the text (incl. reference). In the second case he/she may scribble along the paper edge.

Apart from the technical bits like

    * how to you get formulas printed nicely (LaTex is still good at this)
    * conversion quality to PDF so a chapter can be printed and read at
      the beach
    * reshuffling of the structure (chapter 2.3.4 now moved to 3.1.1
      where it fits much better), including update of links
    * back-up and mirroring
    * potential conversion to other systems, and what to we do with all
      the work in 5 years from now (how abstract is the internal storage
      format ?)

As author I'd like to have those questions sorted out before I invest time to compile substance.

so far, so hoopy
-Peter

···

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

Hi Peter,

I missed out on the Telegraph Ave. Revolution. When was that?
Gee, no one invites me to these things....

I tend to agree that Wiki is probably not the best route to a new
textbook on Radiance. I was thinking of something less formal,
like a front page created by the site administrator (you or me) to
point to a number of Wiki pages with user-provided links to PDF
papers, tutorials, and other online material. Just to give you a flavor,
we could create links for:

o Daylighting Research Using Radiance
o Validation Studies
o Tutorials
o User Experiences
o FAQs
o Mac Users
o Linux Users
o Windows Users
o Links to Other Simulation Software
o Other Radiance-related Websites

Each of these front-page links would then jump to a Wiki page
where visitors could add their own resources. If after a time
we discovered that there were too many internet vandals
getting in and tagging our pages, we could disconnect
Wiki and make some or all of the pages into moderated ones,
with users having to submit ideas like they currently do. The
problem with the current model of course is that it's slow to
change. (In the case of radsite, glacial.)

-Greg

···

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 10:42:57 +0100, Peter Apian-Bennewitz <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi folks,

I've took the time and thought about the Wiki idea with a cup of coffee
in bed this morning. If you're interested (hey, _your_ the ones with a
degree in IT). It is more social than technical so. But then, some of
you are in Berkeley. Home of the revolt on Telegraph....

Each of these front-page links would then jump to a Wiki page
where visitors could add their own resources. If after a time
we discovered that there were too many internet vandals
getting in and tagging our pages, we could disconnect
Wiki and make some or all of the pages into moderated ones,
with users having to submit ideas like they currently do. The
problem with the current model of course is that it's slow to
change. (In the case of radsite, glacial.)

In my experience, you will have basically zero vandals mucking with your pages...

Chris

o Daylighting Research Using Radiance
o Validation Studies
o Tutorials
o User Experiences
o FAQs
o Mac Users
o Linux Users
o Windows Users
o Links to Other Simulation Software
o Other Radiance-related Websites

Oh yeah, feel free to modify www.radiance-wiki.org to match your proposal (or ask me to do it) ...

Chris

Christopher Kings-Lynne wrote:

> If after a time
> we discovered that there were too many internet vandals
> getting in and tagging our pages, we could disconnect
> Wiki and make some or all of the pages into moderated ones,

In my experience, you will have basically zero vandals mucking with your
pages...

Vandalism on Wikis is indeed extremely rare. After all, what fun
or challenge is there in crashing an open door?

But if the Wiki has any popularity (ie. can be found in search
engines), then you'll have to deal with links spammers trying to
get visibility for their online pharmacies and porn sites.
Most of those can be deterred by requiring registration, though.

-schorsch

···

--
Georg Mischler -- simulations developer -- schorsch at schorsch com
+schorsch.com+ -- lighting design tools -- http://www.schorsch.com/