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One of the things that TWiki gets used for is so-called "thread mode" in which some or all of a page is devoted to a conversation or debate about something. Almost all of the Codev web is thread-mode, for instance.

It occurs to me that, since TWiki has table formatting rules, a little bit of discipline can produce a very visually structured debate:

Q: Should TWiki use a structured debate "protocol" to visually enhance a (possibly contentious) discussion?

Yes No Author
That's an excellent idea. I could go on and on and on and on and on about what a great idea that is. I feel your pain.   BillClinton
  No, that's a lousy idea. What BillClinton is not considering is the source! KevinKinnell
This style is a pretty darn good idea You can even quailify any doubts succinctly MathewBoorman

Alternatively, that could be

Yes Author No Author
That's an excellent idea. I could go on and on and on and on and on about what a great idea that is. I feel your pain. BillClinton No, that's a lousy idea. What BillClinton is not considering is the source! KevinKinnell

That saves space, but you lose immediate context (who wrote first?) But, you can always check the revision history if you want timing information with this style.

Using a table format for visually structuring a debate might serve to do several things:

  1. You have to take care of the table formatting, which means you probably need to limit a response so that the formatting characters don't get lost in there. The net result is shorter responses.
  2. A later edit to summarize the discussion would be much easier. More pages could be summarized and the thread-mode page could quietly vanish into obscurity.
  3. Idomatic differences in language usage would not obscure what side of a question an author agrees with, making it easier to follow the "train of thought".

The technique is flexible, too. There is no reason one couldn't have a third column, for the wimps moderates.

-- KevinKinnell - 23 May 2000

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Topic revision: r2 - 2008-09-17 - TWikiJanitor
 
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