~ Archive for popular demand ~

101 Interfaces that Should Be Canonical


Spurred on by the heady smell of hay here in the wagon, and inspired by
Jimmy Wales’ blogging chez Lessig recently re: 10 things that want to
be free, I thought I would propose my own list of interfaces that should surely be canonical.

One downside of this plan
: it will push all recent posts off the main
page very soon, and Manila has no archival offerings to speak of.

Another downside
: Manila also has no categorization to speak of, so you can’t just ignore what I’m about to post.

An upside
: Manila is nowhere in
the set of chainlinks in the chains on the bandwagon floor, so I should
be picking up another one in any case.  Look for a collection of drupal (nice translation setup), wiki, the-otherwp (smooth wagon appeal), lj and blogger.  
I would like to separate out personal/science/invention,
translation/interfaces, wiki[media]/knowledge, communication/society,
and robotwisdom/odd-news channels… with a healthy dose of abbreviated
interlinking to avoid stagnation.

Feel free to
A. suggest other excellent setups I should be trying, 
B. suggest which topics would go best with which platforms, and 
C. suggest how open the collaboration should be for each (topic, platform) —

First up, on the list : self-aware management and status ice
for computers (for those following along at home, a few songs may come
in handy in the heady months to come) — auto-detection of the need for
displays of memory, battery, CPU and network monitors, and improvements
on the current bloodless defaults.

Facets of old glory #11846 : satire in plame view


You have to love a country where you can have cheerfully-mindless-yet-vicious government satire at whitehouse.org, and pornography (well, not anymore!) at whitehouse.com.   Now if only journalists would stop producing content that is similarly mindless and easily confused with pulp… 

The best concise articles on the Plame affair, despite recent coverage, remain ones written back in 2003 (like this slightly anti-administration
Newsweek piece).
You would think some busybody would have improved on them by now.  If
you know of another good overview article, particularly a pro-administration one for good measure, please
leave a link to it. 

At least we now have a fairly encyclopedic overview of the case vis-a-vis Rove, and a decent timeline
But the real story isn’t about Rove or alleged illegality, it’s about
why multiple people in the government (and outside of the
administration) decided this was an acceptable result.  Not sexy,
hard to research — don’t hold your breath for detailed coverage this decade.  Just snag a copy of Pravin’s 2017 “Global Politics in Turn-of-the-Century America” when it comes out.

Amarok, KDE, LinuxTag — http://amarok.kde.org/


Not long ago, KDE announced it’s working closely with Wikimedia to produce KDE
goodies that draw from all this free content.  It was funny; a big deal
at the KDE conference, yet many people in the Wikimedia community were
surprised to hear about it.  As for future development, I’d like to see an open-source
knowledge solution for select-and-query, similar to the desktop tool
gurunet provides.  Oh, how I would love to hack a few good regular
expressions and cheap context awareness into such a thing.

The Wonderful World of Wikis


Come explore the wonderful world of wikis at tonight’s
blog group meeting
or, if showing in person is not possible, check the blog for remote
participation options, like Skype or IRC at

Wiki platform proliferation


In tracking down groups to invite to Wikimania, I’ve discovered a
wealth of active wiki platforms populated by entirely different circles
of users, and promoted on different social/blog circles as well. Let’s
see how many I can list (NB: capitalizations not CaMel perfect):

  • MediaWiki. Low on ACLs, manuals, and single-user snappiness, high on scalability and install speed. Server cluster compatible.
  • Twiki. Oldie and goodie. Endlessly extended; a frankenstein of great bits that often work well together.
  • Xwiki. Ludovic’s baby. Neatly modular, cleverly multilingual, a jack of all trades.
  • Socialtext. The most open of the enterprise wikis. Pretty swell.
  • JotSpot. The early leader in “how hot is enterprise wiki?” VC circles, afaik. Flashy.
  • Confluence.
    Atlassian’s editable workspace; not called a wiki for the first year of
    its life. Compatible with an endless collection of databases and
    middleware platforms. Largest enterprise-wiki userbase.
  • Snipsnap. Fundamental notion of snips, for transclusion and reuse.
  • PurpleWiki. Niche case contender; primarily used by its creators and as an example application of Purple Numbers.
  • UseMod wiki. MediaWiki’s ancestor. Stable. Unchanging. Stuck in 2001.
  • Historical wikis : c2, meatball, others which helped mould the philosophy of the budding tool.
  • Planned wikis Of The Future : WordPress-wiki (another
    contender for the name wikipress by another contender for the acronym
    WP?), WorldCat wiki, …

Free wiki hosts (with ads):

  • In English:  wikispaces, with beautiful layout and inline stats,  wikicities (jwales & wikia), schtuff (brian), seedwiki (since 2001),  xwiki (ludo himself),  pbwiki
  • In other languages : [a few german hosts I need to look up.]

Other wiki hosts:

  • Broken wiki hosts: atwiki, swiki (another xwiki site?), …
  • Non-free wiki hosts :  Sometimes there is one combined with each non-free wiki platform… 

More entries, and links, to come… please suggest your own favorites
to add to the list. If you have favorite wiki hosts, free or non, you
can mention them as well. I’ll get around to doing a comparison of them
one of these days.

Boston Cyberarts 2005!


The Boston Cuberarts festival kicks off tonight, Thursday, at 6pm at the Hotel@MIT. Deliciously cool people will be there in force, including the ineffable Martin Wattenberg and, oddly enough, yours truly. Through the javalicious genius of Daniel Wunsch, I will be bringing the joys of rcbirds (a live audio feed of recentchanges) to the assembled cyberati.

See Event #10 on their calendar for this week. If you want to come say hello for a few mins, and have trouble getting in, give me a call: 617 5 2 9 4266.

To enjoy the glories of a real-time audio-feed of Recentchanges (with different sound cues for different classes of edits), see the rcbirds project page, and set it up on your local machine. I find this to be just the right level of detail to make my editing really enjoyable; the English Wikipedia feels like a small community again when I have this running in the background.

If you want to use this with English Wikipedia, you can download my English config files and replace the config/ directory with them. New: Support for namespace differentiation, better troll-alerts, quieter background sound.

Wikipedia and the Digital Divide: Free Licensing for a Free World


Save the date!

  • When : Tuesday, April 26, at 8:30pm
  • Where: in Pound Hall 101 [map]
  • What : Jimmy Wales talks about Wikipedia and free knowledge.

There may even be free pizza. Come have a great free time…

Citizen Journalism discussion tonight


We’re broadcasting (tech stuff willing) at:
 http://rura.org:8000/stream.m3u beginning around 7 pm EST.
A few of us will be hanging out on Internet Relay Chat (IRC), too:
Someone will probably take live notes at a URL to be determined, but
on the Thursday Meetings at Berkman Blog.

Check out our agenda:

Brittanica buys Yahoo!glepaedia, to compete with Wikicarta


The week in wiki, retold via the Wiki Muse… I mean, Wikinews.

While Wikipedia was still recovering from an attempted April 1 buyout by Britannica:

Unfortunately, while Encarta is opening itself to wiki-style editing from the masses, and wants to make its mark as a reliable source of content, it doesn’t even list the names of its editors, not to mention email addresses or ways to get in touch with them. Having a blog hidden away on an MSN Space where a few users can contact one or two of the online editors just isn’t the same. Now if they were to really grasp what openness means, I could get excited about it…

Wikipedia DVD hits top-2 on Amazon best-sellers list


Germany’s Directmedia today released the Wikipedia Frühjahr 2005 DVD from Wikimedia Deutschland, which immediately jumped to the day’s Amazon bestseller list, and proceeded to rise to the top spot on the list for a few days, and then settled in at 2d place for the following fortnight. This came on top of a sizeable batch of over 7,000 preorders.

Schoenhof’s was no help in getting copies here (6-8 weeks and over $20 each), but I’ll see how long it takes Directmedia to send me a box. Let me know if you want one.

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