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Re: [Libreplanet-dev] smw woes

From: John Sullivan
Subject: Re: [Libreplanet-dev] smw woes
Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2009 11:35:41 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Peter <address@hidden> writes:

> To summarize, I think forms are useful in helping users create and edit 
> pages, 
> but I don't think smw itself is suitable as a framework for a local group 
> network wiki. The semantics is evidently tied to page content and not able to 
> articulate group, member, and user entities as database tables or relations.
> I am still keen to work on developing a navigable, form based, group oriented 
> wiki because the ones similar to LP seem superficial, at first glance they're 
> attractive, but there's no depth, or real thought to their design and 
> construction. I know LP members can provide a wealth of social and ethical 
> resources, but we can and should provide a wiki that enables them to do so in 
> an easy and publically accessible way. Most of the current documents are 
> inaccessible, despite being categorized. We can do better.
> So I have been inactive on LP because the original design I had in mind won't 
> work as expected, and I am unsure how to proceed. It has become clear to me 
> that while we can use smw to show 'users are a member of', we cannot do this 
> in a straight forward manner and it will conflict with document usage it was 
> designed for. 
> My problem is that I don't see how we can effectively use smw within the 
> context of a local group network. To do so, we need to define what a local 
> group network semantically means, and then assign properties, templates, 
> forms, and concepts accordingly. The definitions, however, cannot be stated 
> in wiki terms because that defines an implementation, not a concept. A group, 
> for example, should not be defined as a page or namespace, but as people and 
> area (for example). Relationships, too, need to be defined in a non-wiki way. 
> Paradoxically, the defintions can be a document that has semantic value and 
> is a candidate for smw, although its properties, templates, and forms may be 
> unrelated to the properties it ultimately defines.
> Any thoughts?

I'm not following -- you indicate a person's membership in a group with
a property, like "is member of". I don't know why we need to track
people's movements between groups, or join and end dates, but anyway
that data could be mined from the wiki editing history if we really had

I don't understand the problem with groups being defined by page or
namespace, with a property referring to its location.

I think you might be overthinking this -- just focus on the simple
things right now, like getting the documents that exist categorized and
assigned properties, welcoming new users, and finding and posting new
free software resources. It doesn't have to be perfect, and we don't
have to have an overarching plan before proceeding. 

John Sullivan
Manager of Operations
GPG Key: AE8600B6

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