[nylug-talk] collaboration platform for the charter

Sumana Harihareswara sumanah at panix.com
Wed Dec 21 02:15:58 EST 2011

On 12/18/2011 02:37 AM, Sumana Harihareswara wrote:
> Basically, then, the wiki would be better because it's open source and
> self-hosted, and a Google Doc would be better because it has nicer
> commenting and real-time shared editing.  Which does the community prefer?

It sounds like a fair proportion of people (including me) don't like
using Google Docs, because it's not FLOSS, and because Google will then
index and know of IPs even of anonymous commenters.  And Chris just told
me that PmWiki is basically not in a robust state on the NYLUG server --
Chris, please correct me if that's an oversimplification or otherwise
wrong.  And anyway PmWiki doesn't have good paragraph-level commenting.
 So I think it's best to discard both these options.

Chris has also tried to install Co-ment and found it pretty frustrating,
so I'm discarding that option.  In fact, I would rather not depend on
installing anything new or upgrading anything on the NYLUG server, since
it sounds (in my opinion) like there's a fair amount of fragility there,
or at least technical debt that needs to be paid soon and may result in

So I am leaning towards the substance.io option, which I had earlier

I earlier said, "substance.io is almost there, with nicely integrated
comments, but evidently lacks good versioning.  And someone would have
to install it somewhere."  In response, Eric Shamow has offered to host
substance.io and I would be fine with that even though it's not the
NYLUG server -- someone can set up a cronjob somewhere to regularly wget
the latest copy of the charter so there are archives somewhere other
than Eric's server.  And I am ok with us living without reeeeally good
wiki-level versioning, as long as Eric can set up a cronjob or the like
to archive older versions of the text as appropriate (triggered by
edits, or once every five minutes, or whatever makes the most sense).
Eric said, "I can also provide some transparency - provide public data
dumps and configuration materials so that it would be easy to
re-implement should I get hit by the proverbial bus."  So I think he'd
be fine with this.

Does anyone strongly object to having Eric host an instance of
substance.io using which we'll collaborate on the charter?  If no one
responds by the end of 21 December (today) with an objection that I find
worthy, I'll declare this to be my decision.

(If people are really unhappy with the lack of granular versioning, then
speak up about that, and we'll ask Eric to install a modern wiki
(TikiWiki or MediaWiki or whatever) on his server, and then just find a
social custom to indicate comments on individual paragraphs, like
indenting and adding a ### prefix, or something.)
Sumana Harihareswara

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