Server News oss4lib: An Interview with Paul Everitt and Ken Manheimer of Digital Creations,...

oss4lib: An Interview with Paul Everitt and Ken Manheimer of Digital Creations, publishers of Zope Page 5




Manheimer:
Classic wiki shows many things well worth doing – eg, WikiWord vocabulary,
backlinks, recent changes, etc. It also manifests an outstanding *way* of
doing them – low impedence/low complication operation and authoring – that
we will only be able to achieve in the general realm if we use a smart,
discerning framework. From my viewpoint, having recently joined the CMF
effort, i think it is becoming just such a framework. I think we will be
able to generalize the classic wiki features, and our organizational
strategies/extensions, more globally and across a richer, comprehensive
range of content. I’m excited about it!

Everitt:
It remains to be seen whether this model can achieve its goal without
losing the simplicity that makes Wiki so pervasive. But let me describe
a thought scenario and see if it makes sense to you…

Email and news. Lots of content blows by, a continuous flow of wisdom
left almost completely untapped. Email isn’t content.

However, let’s say that some smart mailing list management software
(such as Mailman) did a little bit more than relay mail and archive a
copy on disk. Let’s say it also shoved a copy of the message into a
content management system, which converted relevant RFC822 headers into
Dublin Core, indexed the contents, etc. Just for fun, let’s call that
CMS, well, the CMF. :^)

So in real time people could do full-text and parametized searches. Big
deal.

However, let’s say the CMF also applied some of the ideas above to
email. For instance, threading relationships in email could translate
to backlinks/lineage, from which you could make inferences.

But let’s take it a *huge* step further. Let’s say that a small
portion, perhaps 1%, of the people on the mailing list committed
themselves to being Knowledge Base Contributors. That is, before
sending their email, they observed a couple of small conventions:

a. Using RFC822-style headers at the top, as is done in CMF’s structured
text, they add targetted cataloging data.

b. In the text of their message they use Wikiwords.

For instance, an email message in response to a bug report might look
like this:


"""
Subject: apache, mod_proxy, timeout, bug report
Description: A bug report on using Zope behind Apache 2.0a9 and its new 
mod_proxy code causes the previously-reported ZopeProxyDownstreamError.
Rating: useful

I heard Ken describing the other day at his ZopeProxyDownstreamError
page that others had experienced this error.  There's a fix available at
the 
ZopeHotFixes page.

Joe User wrote:
> Hello Zope mailing list.  I am using Zope behind the latest Apache 2 
> alpha and am getting proxy server errors.  Has anyone else seen this?
"""

Observe that a Wikiword was used in the headers as well as the body.
There was also an extra header (rating) that isn't part of Dublin Core.

So all we ask is that a very small percentage of people use this system,
and
the smart mailing list server will munch the headers at the top of the
email message before relaying them. Not a very high bar to jump over.

Thanks to the threading response relationships, nearly every email
message in the corpus will be within one or two relations from something
manually annotated.

You could then provide tools that treated the relations and the concepts
as content, allowing reparenting and cleaning up the vocabulary.

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