[wiki-standards] Comments on Dirk's "simplest process..."
Filippo A. Salustri
salustri at ryerson.ca
Wed Dec 28 17:25:20 CET 2005
Quick background: I'm a new subscriber to this list. I've been mucking
about with wikis for more than 2 yrs now. I'm writing my own wiki,
largely for 3 reasons: (a) I don't need a huge infrastructure (like
tikiwiki or mediawiki offer) and (b) there's things I'd like my wiki to
do that I can't find in a single alternative, and (c) I have issues with
many of the wiki shorthand notations I see. You can see my wiki at
http://deseng.ryerson.ca/xiki/ - no one can "login" yet; sorry.
As a design methodologist, I have some comments on Dirk's posting of Oct
30 "Simplest process that could possibly work"
in the archive).
I think it's very important to separate requirements from
specifications. Requirements capture the *intention* of what a wiki
should do; specs cover more of the *how*. Requirements tell people what
a wiki is for, what it should let users do. Specs tell people how a
wiki will meet the requirements. Requirements are (should be) driven by
the user community; specs can be driven by the development team(s).
I also think it would be important to proactively seek out the opinions,
wishes, and needs of wiki users who are not programmers or involved with
the administration and upkeep of their wikis.
> I think we already have a
> good feeling for what's up for specification (markup, interchange,
> interlinking, ...)
That might be so, but we ought to formalise this a bit with some
requirements, so that we have a reference to which we can refer as the
I do agree with Dirk that it's important to have individuals who are
willing to "champion" particular tasks/specs/whatever. I've seen few
successful projects that worked without someone willing to carry the banner.
Dirk also suggested an "approval" process involving showing a spec to
the list for approval. This is important too, and valuable because one
can never tell where a good idea will come from, or who will find that
obnoxious logic flaw.
I would also suggest that specs should include a "lay person's" summary
that can be shown to the user community to get their feedback as well.
Putting time limits on reference implementations is very useful, but
only if there's enough critical mass of personnel and resources in the
development community. So I'd suggest having some clause somewhere that
allows for the timeframe for these limits to vary in response to what
the development community can do.
I hope this helps, or at least stimulates some other good ideas.
Prof. Filippo A. Salustri, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Ryerson University Tel: 416/979-5000 x7749
350 Victoria St. Fax: 416/979-5265
Toronto, ON email: salustri at ryerson.ca
M5B 2K3 Canada http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil/
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