[Moin-user] A Wiki Thesis

Schwols, Keith C keith.c.schwols at intel.com
Tue Mar 21 12:37:05 EST 2006

Well, since many people are chiming in ;-).

I think a thesis on the differences in the usage model of wikis based on
the User Base would be interesting.

We've seen a little bit of the discussion on the differences between a
"Corporate" Wiki vs "Public Wiki" in this mailing list.  Breaking out a
bit more, there is a difference how wiki is used and perceived based on
the User base.  Public wikis differ when they support a wiki theme that
is very computer science related (python wiki, moinmaster, etc) vs a
more general public wiki theme (e.g. wikicities, wiki how to, travel
wikis and so on).  Wiki based on a theme (travel or python) where many
different types of people with a common hobby compare with Wikis based
on a community (teachers wiki, wikicities, ChildFreeWiki) where the
users are mostly of similar background and experience.

Some of the differences, I would classify and only supporting part of
the tenets that Ward Cunningham laid out in the wiki definition:
Anonymous vs Signed Changes, Total Access vs AccessControl, designated
admins vs open administration, structured vs unstructured page layout,
change approval (or discussion) vs direct change, ...

This can tie into the Wiki as a CRM usage (publishers vs readers).

Anyway a few thoughts,


If a cute saying or a pretty poster is all it takes to motivate you, you
probably have a very easy job.  The kind that robots will be doing soon.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: moin-user-admin at lists.sourceforge.net [mailto:moin-user-
>admin at lists.sourceforge.net] On Behalf Of Robert Schumann
>Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:16 PM
>Cc: moin-user at lists.sourceforge.net
>Subject: Re: [Moin-user] A Wiki Thesis
>At the risk of being accused of management speak, I think an
>- and perhaps accessible even if you haven't been using wikis
>compulsively for years - thesis topic might be concerned with
>contextualising wikis (i.e. how people learn to use them, what original
>uses are they being put to, what other technologies they use) as well
>speculating on the future of wikis in relation to other technologies.
>Eamon Nerbonne wrote:
>> What about completely removing the explicit markup step, and simply
>> using browser WYSIWYG HTML support instead?  With some XSLT filters,
>> you can easily reduce the html to a safe subset should a malicious
>> user attempt to submit nastiness... it also seems to me this would
>> result in a very flexible format that leverages XSLT instead of
>> parsers
>>  (far simpler, and safer / more portable) and can do some real funky
>> things like generating pdf via xsl:fo+fop for instance...
>> --Eamon Nerbonne
>> On 3/20/06, * greg whittier* <greg at thewhittiers.com
>> <mailto:greg at thewhittiers.com>> wrote:
>>     > Be aware that you should be a long-term wiki user to
>>     successfully work
>>     > on that markup topic. There are many markup styles and ideas
>>     there,
>>     > but not all of them are good ideas. But that might not be
>>     obvious at
>>     > once, but only if you did it wrong yourself first. Sometimes
>>     less can be
>>     > more.
>This is what I was thinking: it's probably a little presumptuous to
>the wiki developers whether their markup sucks or doesn't suck,
>particularly since it obviously doesn't suck for the devs' own purposes
>otherwise they would have changed it.
>It might be interesting to take a look at the bleeding edge features
>being added to some of the wiki engines, and try estimate which ones
>will be useful and which will fade away.  You might even want to give
>some thought as to what the "next big thing" will be; if you figure it
>out, your thesis might even turn into a business enterprise!
>But the question I have to ask about this is: Why haven't you started a
>wiki page yet and told us where it is?!?
>If you want some more ideas about "wiki futures" or the social aspects
>of wiki use, email me off-list or start a wiki page - there are some
>things I'd like to look into (i.e. tell someone else to look into...).
>>     This is very good advice.  Evaluating any attribute of a wiki
>>     must be done in the context of the wiki
>>     process.  Write.  Post.  Read.
>>     Edit.
>>     "In the doing is found the true meaning of the wiki nature."
>>           -- http://moinmoin.wikiwikiweb.de/WikiNature
>>     Good luck,
>>     Greg
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