Islands in the River

I (Ward) sometimes write a long post in our chat rooms that deserves a life of its own. Maybe I don't realize this until I arrive at some conclusion beyond the precipitating conversation. Then I treat it as a first draft. Name the conclusion. Make the page. Then cut, paste and refine the argument hoping others, not yet in the conversation, will find it useful. I'll try that now.

Ralf observes, "it seems more and more paradoxical to me that we talk more about wiki here in this Matrix space than working together on pages." matrix

We have used chat for announcements when we complete some wiki work that deserves attention from folks that may not follow changes carefully. See Watch Everything

We also use the chat as a welcoming place for the curious who may not have skills working in federated wiki's quirky way of sharing. See Text and Video Chats

But, in the last few weeks, we've seen multiple conversations erupt using the Matrix's out-of-line threading which can be applied over and over. The effect is a branching that might remind one of a river branching from trickles to creeks to streams that become the river. BUT, in Matrix, the conversation flows toward the creeks and trickles, not the way of Water. What a mess.

Can federated wiki pages do better? Not necessarily.

If one composes similar branching networks on wiki pages then they become just a confusing but without Matrix's unread notifications that urges the reader to hunt further.

I've criticized Ralf of writing even more intertwined pages that leave potential coauthors no place to write:

> Honestly, I can't tell what that Talk Page is even about. I think it is an index page embedded in a web of index pages [⇒ List Indexcards]. I'm assuming this helps you maintain a mental map which you can refresh by zipping around touching a dozen pages that already mean something to you. For me it is just a Guessing Game for which the Conversation here provides crucial clues. Of course these clues scroll away never to be seen again. I think that is your point. I don't have a solution. matrix

Our most prolific authors have each developed a style of writing that is uniquely their own. Ralf writes inspired by Zettelkasten. Marc draws a cave drawing and then hooks pages onto that. Thompson seeks poetry with haiku's austerity.

Now might be a good time to make some suggestions for writing conversational pages that invite elaboration by our Fork and Extend Approach To Sharing. I have some thoughts but will save mine until my colleagues have had a chance to weigh in. [⇒ Write Conversation Pages]


Talk Page is for Home Page what Discussion Page is for any other Wiki Page.

Niklas Luhmann: That actually has the very concrete background, of a friend who has since died, who tried to do exactly that. It was about putting a kind of metaphysical poetry (at least that's my idea, which came out of my theory, he died at 79, so early seventies or even earlier, we knew each other since student days) into a linguistic form.

DOT FROM two-level-diagram

We've equipped wiki with a means to draw pictures of work in progress that can guide this work to completion.

An unattractively complex diagram led me (Ward) to refactor a page central to Thompson's writing. I hope by recounting the episode I might encourage the development of this workflow.

A refactoring technique being tried on Smalltalk Instead Of Python and Closure Instead Of Object. The technique consists of 4 steps: …