to allow authors to control the structure of follow up articles.
an open hypertext system could quickly degenerate into an amorphous, impenetrable mess. One way to help reduce that is to allow authors to pre-structure follow-up articles, to help see to it that follow up articles proceed in orthogonal directions, so they really are sub-discussions, and not "oh, and that reminds me of another thing."
lists can be used to suggest follow up substructure whenever an article is not clearly and obviously the "end of the line," a "terminal node." They can be created by the original author whenever he can anticipate or imagine the logical substructure for follow-ups to his article. If not created then, they should be created by an author when he augments his own article, or someone else's, with a follow-up article.
The list can be created, augmented, or modified by the original article author, or by anyone augmenting the article with one or more follow-up articles.
- The list to suggest structure can help reduce hypertext sprawl.
- It can ensure clearly identifiable sub-articles so that Wiki grows more like a textbook, and less like a newsgroup.
- It does require additional thought and effort on the part of the author.
- It can prejudice the follow-up discussion in directions different than what it might otherwise have been.
- It can encourage people to answer questions that no one really wants answered, just because there is a dangling list entry.
I don't understand. How do lists suggest structure? You've used lists, but how is that supposed to effect what I'm typing here?
I think there are possibilities for using indentation to reflect thread structure.. I'm not sure if that's what you mean, though. If so, I don't think this Wiki is up to it; its lists are a poor mechanism for controling indentation.
I don't get it. What is this page telling me to do?
Trying to control the actions of others and the direction of Wiki growth seems to not have the WikiNature
. Damn right.
I disagree. Some areas of Wiki-based sites get long, rambling, and confusing. Lists and other "topic structures" help maintain a sense of organization that furthers the ability of the authors to communicate with the readers successfully. Please stay away from the "Wiki elite" mentality and try to keep an open mind when presented with new ideas.
The very concept of an
author seems not to have the WikiNature
- it implies that each page is written by one person, and although it may attract discussion from others, that discussion is secondary. That is how WebLog
s and suchlike work, but not wiki.