[nylug-talk] collaboration platform for the charter

Sumana Harihareswara sumanah at panix.com
Wed Dec 14 22:36:00 EST 2011

On 12/08/2011 04:56 PM, nylug-talk-request at nylug.org wrote:
> Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 15:31:29 -0500
> From: Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle at coredump.us>
> To: NYLUG Technical Discussion <nylug-talk at nylug.org>
> Subject: Re: [nylug-talk] collaberation platform for the charter
> Message-ID: <201112081531.30254.Chris.Knadle at coredump.us>
> Content-Type: Text/Plain;  charset="us-ascii"
> On Thursday, December 08, 2011 03:02:44 PM, Ira Hyman wrote:
>> > 		What are the present choices right now ?
>> > I know of Celtx for collaborating on a script and that is free, private and
>> > open source. Also as sections of it come together it should be posted for
>> > comments / improvements, there may be thing we could leave out and not
>> > even realise it !
> From the meeting minutes:
>    * Motion: Sumana is in charge of the tech search.
>    All in favor.  Passed.  [PN: my understanding is this means that
>    Sumana will be tasked with ensuring that technologies are presented,
>    and that the technology selected will be properly configured and made
>    available to at least everyone in the room who expects to participate 
> So please contact Sumana in relation to this, as she's heading that up.  I 
> have two business cards of hers, but don't feel it fair to publish her email 
> addresses openly.  However I think publishing her website would be okay, and 
> she's got contact information there:
>    http://www.brainwane.net
>   -- Chris
> --
> Chris Knadle
> Chris.Knadle at coredump.us

I'm sorry for the wait on this.  I've been swamped at work.

Here are the requirements as I understand them:

* anyone can contribute via the internet, including pseudonymously
* platform saves revision history
* ability to comment on a specific section of the document
* platform only has to deal with plain text, perhaps with indentations
-- no graphics or other fancy formatting
* platform is, preferably, open source
* preferably, no one has to install anything on their personal computer
or the NYLUG server (so, hosted & web-based would be best)

Therefore we can eliminate a few ideas:

* Gobby doesn't save revision history
* Google Docs are very much not FLOSS, and require a login associated
with a particular name & user
* Celtx requires you install an app on your computer
* FengOffice would require that we install FengOffice on a server
* owncloud, we'd have to install on a server
* Zoho is not open source

So I have a few options that seem best to me:

* Etherpad doesn't let you comment on a particular section of a document
(although we could overcome this with some kind of convention like
"after every paragraph, have an indented section that's meant for
comments").  We can use a PiratePad pad, so we don't have to host it

* wiki: We don't even have to host it ourselves.
http://faq.tiddlyspot.com/ says that TiddlySpot runs on TiddlyWiki (open
source) and that we can just pass around a password so anyone can edit.
 Same problem (regarding commenting on a particular section) that
Etherpad has, but we can use the same solution, or I can get fancy with
templated comment sections & links.

* Source control.  Set up a https://gitorious.org/ project or -- does
someone know of a Subversion repo somewhere that has incredibly lax
commit access standards?  :-)

Sumana Harihareswara

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