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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: [www][wiki] Web, Wiki, and Participation (was RE: Making mailing lists useful ...)
Date Fri, 12 Aug 2011 17:25:23 GMT

On Aug 12, 2011, at 9:30 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:

> +1 on
> " I think the value of opening up that list to a broader range of
> contributors is worth the cost of the extra click."
> - Dennis
> In my experience editing a wiki and creating a patch are qualitatively and quantitatively
> Editing a wiki, especially one that is inviting (Media Wiki qualifies for me, others
not so much), provides for discussion and has an important internet feature: disintermediation.
> The appeal of wikis (and forums too) is that it provides disintermediation on behalf
of non-expert participation.  And it has immediacy, something we must not undervalue.  You
don't get Wikipedia by a procedure that involves submitting patches. Not ever.
> I think every approach we assess here should be tested by how it invites greater participation.
 That does not mean we grant committer status to every bloke who knocks on the door, because
that is about the provenance of the code base and the integrity of releases.
> There are amazing activities that benefit from end-user support, peer support, and developers
contributing in visible ways that are not significant in terms of Apache licensing and issues
around releases.  But developers can provide perspective and transparency using the community
playground too.
> So, for example, the main web site for the project needs to be non-user-edited for technical
as well as policy reasons.  Then one question would be how little can we have there in order
to gain the contributions of non-developers/-committers in all of those places where they
can shine -- and perhaps be(come) experts of another kind through those contributions.
> The proper question, for me, is not how much to have under committer control and PPMC-intermediation,
but how little we can have without increased ceremony and technical barriers because of an
over-riding consideration.  Very little should trump open, casual participation.


On the wiki, a user may or may not have editing rights, but other than that the wiki is designed
to allow change.

The whole html vs mdtext question that Kay has been raising is all about how to work on the
website in a most casual manner with the least amount of "ceremony". One of the key advantages
of the Apache CMS is making it easy for Committers to modify content on the fly also makes
contribution comparatively more difficult for non-committers. For non-commiters this means
installing a whole document build system.

One approach could be to modify the Apache CMS web-gui to allow non-committers to browse and
make patches. I don't know how hard that would be to do.

A search box on the main site can point to google and can search both the main site and the

When we are ready to consider each OOo project site for conversion we should send an email
to ooo-dev to determine which way that site should go - CMS or Wiki? We can label the thread
with "[www][${project}]". We can also ask for someone to step up and lead the content conversion
process for a project.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nóirín Plunkett [] 
> Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 07:20
> To:
> Subject: Re: Making mailing lists useful (was Re: [Proposal])
> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:11 PM, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>> I'm assuming that it is the new list subscriber that benefits most
>> from this.  Existing subscribers will just follow the conventions they
>> observe being used on the list.  Or do you expect to regularly check
>> the wiki to see what new subject tags Simon has added?
> I think it's highly unlikely that the new list subscriber will read
> this in either location; I think the people who are most likely to
> read it are those who've been on the list a few days, see that there
> are a few tags floating around, and that the volume of mail is hectic.
> (Yes, I know the static page says c. 57/day. I also know that most
> people have no concept of what that means as an addition to their
> normal mail flow.)
> I expect those people not to be sure what to look for or where, but I
> hope if they've seen a reasonably prominent mention on the static page
> saying "This is a high-volume mailing list. Please use clear, relevant
> subject lines, and consider using an appropriate tag for your mail. A
> list of tags is available at [link].", that they'll figure it out.
> I think the value of opening up that list to a broader range of
> contributors is worth the cost of the extra click.
> Noirin

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