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Action Proposal: Clear cutting the agriculture for a new season


Accommodate the current need to :

  • get "clear on the purpose" and "clear on the process" for TWikiDotNet
  • radically alter and improve upon twiki.org and do some community building

Approach Description

Involve the TWikiCommunity completely in building the public portions of TWikiDotNet. Also host the private portions of TWikiDotNet on the same server but control access permissions via SecuringYourTWiki.

This would give the opportunity for the community as a whole to grow "up and out" of TWikiDotOrg, with the help of a focused financial enterprise at the backbone.

I'm mixing my ideas here a little bit, but I think that hosting both the public & private webs would help to bring useful attention to the fact that TWiki is secure. TWikiDotNet would effectively be taking the TWikiChallenge.

But that part aside, the clear cutting approach would also allow for the building of a great example of all the things a TWikiSite can be, and it would ensure that the community stays involved.



WhatDoesItAffect: Refactoring


-- Contributors: KeithHelfrich - 02 Aug 2007


Just some thoughts that I had to get out onto the page ..

-- KeithHelfrich - 02 Aug 2007

It seems to me that some clarification is needed.

TWiki.net is not a web site. It is a private commercial company. A business. A business with the purpose of making money for its investors.

It happens that the open source community developing TWiki and TWiki.net has a common interest in making TWiki a better product that much more organisations find interesting to install, try and deploy as an important tool to enhance productivity and quality through collaboration and knowledge sharing between people in the organisation.

This is not a step away from twiki.org to twiki.net. This has nothing to do with cleaning up websites. For TWiki.net getting a reasonable business out of it requires that TWiki is a super product which is installed everywhere so they have a reasonable potential customer base.

Naturally TWiki.net will need to provide value to their customers. They cannot sell TWiki as a program. It is already free and will continue to be free. The GPL ensures this. But like RedHat and Suse etc etc have shown, there is a lot of value to be added for businesses in providing a certified collection of open source software combined with a service. And I am sure that TWiki.net can build up a sensible business model. But it all comes back to TWiki itself. If we want 1000000 installations TWiki has to grow and maintain a leading position as the best business Wiki. And that means - easier to install, easier to use for anyone - not just software geeks, and scalable so that performance remains good also when the number of users and topics grows.

And this is where we should all be excited because TWiki.net have said they will invest in some of the many staff months it takes to improve TWiki.

Many open source projects are run in similar fashion and very successfully.

Remember that TWiki is a community driven project and a very open project that welcomes users, programmers, and admins to discuss the roadmap as well as small features and gives the right to vote to anyone that shows up.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

Now TWiki.org. That is the URL of the one and only official TWiki website. And it is a wiki. And if you want to improve it, go ahead and work on it. It is a wiki!

-- KennethLavrsen - 02 Aug 2007

Good answer, Kenneth. Thanks.

Admittedly: I first registered here at TWikiDotOrg in October of 2003, and nearly four years later I've never been to a release meeting. And struggle while I may to compose even mini TWikiApplications, I'm no programmer & I still have trouble with some of the basics.

So when big ideas about the future of TWiki come from my direction, you kind of have to take them with a grain of salt. Because mine are not the words or deeds that can move twiki mountains.

But I do feel that I've been around here long enough to have grown an interest in the project, and to at least feel bold enough to spit out hair-brained ideas when I have them.

From this one, I would take away a couple of things. WBNIF :

  • we could hack away the cruff from TWikiDotOrg
  • we could somehow shed the old and facilitate the new
  • we could put doubts to rest about the meaning of TWikiDotNet and use it as a catapault to the next level for all of us

Maybe WBNIF should be a banned word at OpenSource projects. Replaced, instead by LWID (look at what I did) smile

Still I think that some kind of "tearing down" can & could be healthy for TWikiDotOrg .. to provide a fresh start. Perhaps a "re-launch" of TWikiDotOrg on all new code at the release date of version 5.0 (with everything as it is today available for archive & edit at a subdomain for reference). It's this benefit from a refresh & renew that I meant most by suggesting the concept of HackAndSlashTWikiDotOrg

-- KeithHelfrich - 02 Aug 2007

There has been a lot of discussion about what could be done on TWiki.org, and even some action:

  • Reorganisation of Plugins web to be more accessible.
  • Numerous rewrites of the front page.
  • Several passes at a requirements management application.
  • Some major topic refactoring.
  • Indexing efforts, such as my own efforts to add categories.
  • Regular attempts at refactoring away cruft.
All these efforts have done great work, but have been hampered by a few key problems:
  1. They tend to be one-man shows. People just don't pitch in to help without being explicitly asked.
  2. Jobs get started, but never get finished.
  3. People are afraid to hack away rusty bits, because the good bits are so often mixed in. Slash and burn agriculture has been responsible for major habitat loss, as well as topsoil erosion.
  4. Some people insist on making a committee (a.k.a "team") of everything, which always seems to end in paralysis.
mine are not the words or deeds that can move twiki mountains - bollocks. As Kenneth points out, anyone can make a start eroding away the cruft. TWiki.org isn't short on ideas, it's short on actions. You don't need permission, or even support. Lead by example, please!

-- CrawfordCurrie - 02 Aug 2007

can we delete this topic too?

-- SvenDowideit - 06 Feb 2008

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Topic revision: r5 - 2008-02-06 - SvenDowideit
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