Most of the day I spent at the Babel Wiki workshop.
I also spent dinner with eleven other people in the old town of Porto. (Porto Flickr Group) Porto’s old town is very old and signs of decay are everywhere. Having just finished the book about Inés de Suárez by Isabel Allende I see the signs of an old sea-faring colonial power everywhere.
I also had a chat with Mark Bernstein and others over a wide range of topics. Is Wikipedia governable? What papers to read in a graduate course on wikis? Andrea Forte asks back: “Just wikis?” Is there a point in developing alternatives to MediaWiki? At work everybody seems to know and want it to the exclusion of everything else. Mark was clearly opposed to that idea. The importance of non-web solutions for some hypertext applications. For example a spatial wiki where documents are represented by little colored notes that are dragged around the screen; in a collaborative environment you’d like that movement to be visible to other users in real-time. That’s hard to do using HTTP. Using Eclipse (or an application running inside a browser?) as a front-end to a wiki infrastructure to edit code. You don’t need to download the entire code base, you don’t need the development tools on our local machine, all the building happens on the remote machine.
I was also in an OpenSpace session on Wiki Security, but I didn’t learn anything new. Users still like audit trails and permissions tied to identity. I’m still not sure I need it. I pushed my own agenda arguing against Big Brother solutions and explained my spam fighting strategy: The idea is to always spend less time on it than the spammer. Always. If spammers drag you into an arms race, you just invest the minimal amount of energy to solve the problem. Avoid burnout at all cost.