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This topic started in HowToDiscussAndSign.

We have seen that it is useful to have two types of discussions in a Wiki topic:

  • a linear one (where you add text at the bottom). This is what we are doing here at TWiki.Codev most of the time, it was also discussed at ThreadedDiscussions.
  • a threaded one (add a comment to an existing paragraph as a bullet).

One idea to simplify threaded discussions with bullets is to offer a link at the end of each paragraph, like this one here (btw this link goes nowhere).   (add comment)

  • Following the (add comment) link would pop up a window where you can enter text. Upon save, the text would be added after the paragraph as a bullet, exactly like this one. [ PeterThoeny ]   (add comment)

A icon could be used instead of the (add comment) text.

This is similar to the annotation feature in QuickTopic ( http://www.quicktopic.com/ )

A topic could be enabled as a discussion topic. If enabled, the (add comment) links show up after each paragraph. In addition, the page Edit link would be replaced by a Add link - see AddToTopic.

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Apr 2001

There's also a need for another kind of permission -- annotate-only. This would be useful for Official Documents with some formal status that nonetheless need to be annotated while keeping a clear distincion between the official text and the annotations (think of commentaries on biblical texts, for example).

-- HendrikBoom - 15 Apr 2001

Would it be better to keep commentaries in a separate web?

-- MartinCleaver - 16 Apr 2001

Here is a random thought. Use (background) colourisation and a key/table to indicate when a further comment was added. Would make it easier to scan a topic and see additional stuff.

Note, it might be interesting to 'keep commentaries' in a seperate subweb and just have the intelligent render pipeline deal with it depending on a flag. That way you could also 'dill down' into a discussion section and ignore other parts.

-- NicholasLee - 17 Apr 2001

I don't like trying to follow threaded commentaries. What I like about wiki is that a topic stays linear. Comments can be inserted at any appropriate place, and there's no need to follow a depth-first tree search algorithm to get all the information. So I'd vote against doing this in general.

There's also something to be said about not making it too easy to add more information. One of the reasons that wiki works is that people have to think a little bit about the overall topic organization before adding their two cents.

-- KristopherJohnson - 20 Apr 2001

As I said elsewhere (in different words): The very intention of TWiki is to make it easy to add your two cents, and postpone reorganization until it's considered necessary by the users.

Re following threaded commentaries (assuming this is about NicholasLee's proposal): The standard presentation would be with all text, so this is not a real problem. Once the text becomes too large somebody will step in and refactor anyway.
The more interesting question is whether the subthreads will grow to any noticeable length at all before refactoring sets in.

Hey, that's an interesting idea. One of the annoying things in Usenet threads is that you never quite find the right spot to change the topic of a subthread. E.g. assume there's a post with lots of on-topic stuff and a remark that's just marginally on-topic; the response to that remark is only tenuously related, and after that, the subthread has fully changed the subject, but there's no way to go back and change the heading on the previous posts. (I've had that experience more than once myself!)
In a TWiki-based newgroup, people could do exactly that: if a thread diverges more and more from the original topic, somebody steps in and moves that text into a new TWiki topic.

Thinking of it, this sounds as if TWiki could be made into a good replacement for News.
...and now I have managed to change the topic entirely away from the original one, BulletDiscussion, so this is a good example for the situation I'm describing in the above paragraph. Yet I don't make this a separate topic because it's not worth the trouble if nobody else takes up this lead. And if somebody really steps in with concrete ideas how such a news replacement should look like, he'd probably create a topic TwikiAsNewsServer anyway.

-- JoachimDurchholz - 21 Apr 2001

I've got some thoughts on syncing email/news and a TWiki. Its well back in my TODO pile of course, this modularisation effort is the most important first step before I can even consider new features.

-- NicholasLee - 22 Apr 2001

I think this could be achieved using the CommentPlugin

-- RafaelAlvarez - 04 Sep 2008

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Topic revision: r10 - 2008-09-04 - TWikiJanitor
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