Double Colon Message

DoubleColonMessage was one of a number of new syntactic conventions for Wiki proposed by FridemarPache during 1999 and 2000. To his credit, it was dropped (though the ideas were partly re-expressed in AddressedAndSignedMessage) in April 2000, when it became apparent that a large majority of Wiki users did not appreciate such changes.


I've kept some of the criticisms of DoubleColonMessage below in the hope that would-be Wiki innovators would think very hard before proposing, let alone starting to implement, such wide-ranging changes in the future. It's interesting that three of the four original WikiReductionists expressed their opposition to DoubleColonMessage shortly before their controversial, very short short spree of deletions of WikiOnWiki pages. However history judges the reductionists, the views they expressed so soon before the event may in time help WikiHistorians? piece together a coherent picture of events. -- RichardDrake

What "wide ranging changes"? There is no description of what DoubleColonMessages was meant to be, there is only lots of criticism. There are a few clues, but not much.


Criticisms of DoubleColonMessage

Wiki, it seems to me, is about content, not form. Complex additions to wiki's form will not improve the content. Therefore, don't. -- RonJeffries

Why DoubleColonMessage might be a bad idea: -- StephanHouben

Three very good points, thanks Stephan. But by far the the most important to me is the last one, which resonates a great deal with Ron's comment. I love(d) Wiki because of the very high quality of content provided for free here - by which I simply mean the PlainEnglish and the links contained within it, no more. Content which, amazingly, I was allowed to contribute to, despite the very real risk that this would reduce the overall quality level.

For the quality of the content comes down to the quality of the people that contribute, notwithstanding the wonderful fact that the sum has so often been greater than the parts. One fact I find inescapable though. Some very good people have yet to make a single contribution to Wiki. Don't just think SoftwareGeniuses, think WorldGeniuses. Or be more practical, widen the field and think merely of those people that have a great deal more that is worth reading than the vast majority of Wiki contributors so far.

The great majority of these people are not "nerds", even in a weak sense. But, as I've pointed to in WikiSuccessCanInhibitNewWriters even a number of excellent software thinkers that I know have declined to take part in this forum. So the key question for me with DoubleColonMessage and the rest of what I'll call the emerging "Pachetiche" is: is this kind of thing going to encourage excellent newcomers to feel at home and make a start? My answer: a thousand times no!

Therefore, I would not personally object to just one page proposing this stuff, as long as nobody took it seriously. Two pages would be one too many for me. The number we now have is the biggest reason that I may soon stop contributing to the PortlandPatternRepository all together. I'm simply not interested in a game between nerds, with totally unverifiable rules but a certain consequence: reduction of real quality and genuinely new, non-nerdy signal virtually to zero.

-- RichardDrake

I agree. Since the end of the XP discussion era the signal to noise ratio has been constantly dropping. Some month ago I was interested in two out of three pages from RecentChanges. Now I'm having some trouble finding interesting parts (I plan to dig into the older pages). By the way, where is that guy AlistairCockburn ? His comments gave me some very valuable insights. Hopefully the current state is not final decline but only one phase in the golden era. -- ManfredSchaefer

Manfred, I hope the reworked AddressedAndSignedMessage will be more compatible with your wish for less redundancy. -- FridemarPache

Fridemar, your crazy editing is turning me into a game of MorningtonCrescent! Stop it!!! I'm dying!!! -- WikiItself?

Feeling better now? I don't want you dying but living with a good feeling. I'm now changing the form as asked for. You see I do my best. -- Fridemar

Fridemar, many thanks for this response. Although I wouldn't use anthropomorphic language about Wiki as much as you do, you have my respect if it leads you to listen to the Wiki community as all of us grapple with how to ImproveSignalAndReadability. -- RichardDrake

I personally, do see that, Fridemar. Thank you. -- PhilGoodwin
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