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[webdev] Re: postnuke contents

[webdev] Re: postnuke contents

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To: webdev@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [webdev] Re: postnuke contents
From: Tom Hull <thull2@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 16:49:02 -0500
Reply-to: webdev@xxxxxxxxx

Dale W Hodge wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: webdev-bounce@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:webdev-bounce@xxxxxxxxx]On Behalf
>>Of Tom Hull
>>   2) Sections/articles, another two-level hierarchy, presumably for
>>      more permanent additions (no News notice), but also no support
>>      for comments.
> I've renamed 'Sections' to 'Library', as that's really what it is: a place
> to put permanent documents. Just as you wouldn't go marking up a book in a
> public library, I see no good reason to allow marking up documents in the
> library.
>>I'd prefer to use Sections/Articles for long-term content, and use
>>Topic/Story for transient notices,
> I agree.
>>but I think it's critical that
>>people be able to add comments to articles.
> I disagree.  Strongly.  The idea of commenting on everything, everywhere is
> just a bad idea.  Unless there's a technical error, documents in the Library
> should be able to stand on thier own. A definitive guide should be just
> that, and not have endless comments attached.

Then we do have a rare case where we strongly disagree. I'd go so
far as to say that there are no definitive documents, just rough
drafts, and anything that we can do to facilitate incremental
improvement would be a step in the right direction.

For one prominent example where user-provide comments are used to
supplement presumably definitive documents, see the PHP manual
pages at

One of the things I have in mind doing is to produce a set of small
seed articles, which people can consult as a progressive reference.
For example we could do one page which is a survey of mail transfer
agents, then one page for each MTA. Someone with a question about
which MTA to use could consult the first page, see what ACLUG users
think about MTAs in general, then look for info on each program.
There are other ways to do this, but the model here would be to
have an editor in charge of each page, an easy way for users to
add comments, and the editor could then reiterate the file to
integrate useful comments into the main part of the file, weed
out useless comments, refine and consolidate the rest. Over time
we will accumulate knowledge that no one expert among us has. That
at least is the concept that I've tried to stress repeatedly in
our planning discussions. This isn't vandalism (as your library
book analogy suggests), it's collaboration.

>>There's also something called Reviews, which is a one-level anti-
>>hierarchy, basically a note with some info fields (Product, URL) and
>>a 1-5 star rating. I don't think there's anyway of consolidating
>>reviews/ratings. It's hard to tell for sure, since the software
>>doesn't let Admin actually post a review (although you can Preview
>>one, like, forever). Looks pretty crummy.
> Reviews are for things like book or sofware reviews. Clint has a large
> number of books that have been donated to Aclug that need to be put into a
> physical library and could be reviewed.

The problem is that the technical implementation of the Reviews module
leaves a lot to be desired. I think it's a bad design, which makes it
worthless. (Of course, the fact that it doesn't work doesn't help

  *  Tom Hull * thull2 at *

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