Case For AWiki
I have stongly advocated the choice of a Wiki Wiki Web for storing and documenting our work.
This might astrange some and it might also have astranged me some months ago.
Wiki software has strong disadvantages, that are even maybe less obvious to the beginner:
- you cannot easily copy and paste text from MS Word documents - Editing is done "by hand" and with markup characters in a small textfield. - You have to be skillful in synchronous editing not to loose changes when you are working while someone else is editing the page.
Why then bother with Wiki?
The answer for me is that WikiWiki is so far the only way that I have seen that successfully links together people for collective work. The examples of Wikipedia, Wikibooks and Wikitravel are the "proof of the pudding", that collective editing is finally possible and it creates space for new kinds of productive collaboration.
Its all about sustainability. What people produce with a wiki will stand time in the long run. While mailing lists, databases and blogs are producing endless masses of data, the Wiki approach is to inherently bring people to constantly stick to the living document and make it more alive.
So an invitation to a workshop in Coburg becomes gradually the minutes of a workshop in Coburg. It is a completely new concept of document, one that gradually adapts itself and evolves with the documented process. Which also means that it is rather the storage of the essential than a simple archive. Which is a beacon in a time of information overload!
The inherent feature to link to WikiNames? creates a dense meshwork of associations which allows hypertextual "three-dimensional" presence of information. You do not need to be a web author to take full advantage of hypertextual structures: Just write a "CamelCase" word with 2 Capital letters, and you have a "begging page" that you can edit.
Of course I chose the software and the system subjectively. Helmut Leiter is one of Europes leading experts on Wikis, and my choice was driven by the possibility to create what he calls "Fractal Wikis". So that several communities can Work "under one roof" without disturbing each other but also enrich each other. There are even several languages possible in a wiki, subwikis with their own list of contributors etc.
The catch is that this is still a very underfeatured software without comfortable editor etc. Please bear with me and have us experiment with this for some time.. We might then move to another place, but a Wiki is VERY good for sustainable editing and I propose we write at least our manual for RIC,RINC and RMC in the wiki way.
For a start, every one of you is kindly asked to fill in your personal HomePage?:
you can access them from here:
I allready have put some welcome words there ;-)
English homepages reside in the ERDE folder, German speakers are redirected to the Wiki ground level.
A good way to start and try!