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WaterCooler Wiki

I have created a Wiki in order to experiment and further develop our concept of content management. You can access it here:
Discussions of its usage can continue here in this thread. The Wiki does require a login in order to change the content so please email me to request an account (provide name/password that you prefer)

Hoang Do
August 15, 2002 (15:02)

I have made changes to the Wiki. Account users can change any pages within the Wiki. The sandbox is for playing around and anyone can change anything in it. Sonny, your account is sent to you through email.

Right now there are only 2 pages... the top-level and the sandbox page. We might want to create an outline for discussion by project starting with the top-level page. You or I can move the Wiki Editing tips out of the sandbox into the top level just to preserve and extend the content of it as we go along. A possible suggestion for an outline is:
- Top Page: Project Lists, Useful research links, etc....
- Project Lists: 1. Proj1: Communication Collaberation, 2. another proj, 3. another
- Proj1: brainstorming, implementation choices (ASP/PHP/Python, etc), server choices (Microsoft/Linux), project timeline, who does what parts.... etc..., code sharing methods (ftp/checkin/checkout)

You should try out the Wiki a little bit and maybe we can use it to formalize our brainstorming. Discussions should move back to the bulletin board since it is easier but aspects of our decisions go in the Wiki so there is less clutter. We should also have one point to the other and vice-versa so that looking back at past discussions would be seemless.

September 07, 2002 (15:26)

After several days of working on another project I was finally able to check this page out, but the watercooler link mentioned above is dead. Hopefully you're just working on it now and that's the reason for the bad link, but if not please fix it.

As for structure of the pages -- sounds good to me, though I've already added the project ideas to some portion of the site and would just like to see that moved appropriately. Since there's nothing stopping someone else with permission to add to the site from modifying my stuff, can you please just move the text as I'm not very comfortable as yet with Wiki?

For a status update: the other project I'm working on involves heavy use of ASP and client-side Javascript, so I'd like to switch our project over to Microsoft technologies rather than go the PHP route. In the server-side environment wars I wouldn't count Microsoft out and would like to dive into .NET though there is a monetary barrier. If nothing else I expect the .NET environment to be favored in the corporate environment since there's a definite financial "safety net" feel that doesn't exist in the free implementations. If possible hopefully this project sets me up for another HP-like job.


Sonny Talag
September 16, 2002 (11:01)

I have structured the Wiki according to the above outline. The link above works, it may be slow depending on time of day due to internet traffic. Take some time to play with the sandbox and look at some of the formatting I have used. Additionally, the Wiki takes plain HTML formatting too so if you would like to add some fancy elements, you can.

I don't have a problem working with ASP, however, we need ASP server space that is accessible to project members. Is there a possibility of using ASP.NET? With .NET, there is the possibility of using C# as well as server-side controls and only requires the .NET runtime being installed on the server.

Please try out the "Notify Email" function by providing an email address whenever you add a message to the discussion. This will get the attention of the addressee via email to let him know that a message is available regarding the project.

September 16, 2002 (15:27)

Wiki and Discussion board Usage:

I would like to contain the discussion of various topics on the discussion board. Single topics would follow from the thread and new topics can be created as needed. The Wiki would be used to capture decision and therefore only contain the true documentation. Links can be embedded in the Wiki to point to relevant threads of the discussion board to signify how a decision came about in the past.
For example: ServerChoices can be a new thread to discuss how we should implement server requirements. A new thread can be created here to discuss various options and issues. Once most or all items have been flushed out, someone can capture that information back into the Wiki.

I expect there should be more traffic on the discussion board and only changes to implement decisions or capturing of decisions on the Wiki. Therefore, Wiki-change notification (although useful) isn't quite as needed.

Within each Wiki page, the title is a back link towards all pages referencing it. Following this link will bring you back to the top without having to hand-embedding backlinks in each page.

September 19, 2002 (07:43)

Will there be a link to bring you back to the top if the site is several pages deep without some work on the user's part? The reverse-reference feature is nice, but once you've exhausted all the information in one direction I'd like to be able to just start over from the top.

As for the new policies put forth, I think we'll come across the problems we identified as needing to be solved. The previous paragraph is a case-in-point: if some mechanism is added (or pointed out to me -- it's early) to reference "top" this reply needs to be modified or else we're capturing outdated/incorrect information. At some point the early parts of the thread will be useless because they contain very little relevant information. Maybe a reverse chronological view of the thread would help, but this is harder to understand for someone thrown into the middle of the conversation.

As a side note, see the gnu info tool for what I perceive as a great useage (sp?) model for documenting. This captures two mechanisms of document use: tutorial and reference. In tutorial mode you'll want to be guided as to what the next chunk of information ought to be, while in reference mode you're looking for very specific information.

September 19, 2002 (10:37)

Additional changes to the Wiki has been made. There are now 2 indexes added: one for the main page and one on a per-project basis. These will give the users a tree-map of the respective content. Sonny is also designated as the lead for the BulletinBoard project. I hope he will get to expand this area as well as the Resources path to enhance the listing of places to get information about VBScript, ASP.NET, and other Microsoft related information.

September 23, 2002 (13:02)

Thanks Hoang, though now I find I have no clue how to manipulate Wiki. Do you happen to also have a link to a gentle introduction to Wiki website editing?

February 24, 2004 (11:23)

(I'm writing this from Florida)
Follow the link at the top. Introductions and links to Wiki editing and usage are on the front of the Wiki page. Wiki concepts are pretty common today and are very well used for group transmission of information.

April 07, 2004 (19:02)

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