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As part of the TWikiCodevFacilitatorRole I am looking for ways to make the workflow in Codev more efficient. I recently started with the following strucure for FeatureEnhancementRequest topics: (see recent example ParameterizedIncludes)

Proposed: Foo bar

Summary: The quick brown fox....

Syntax

Example

Contributors:
-- RaymondLutz - 20 Nov 2003
-- PeterThoeny - 21 Nov 2003

Discussions and feedback

Yes, but...

The top part is DocumentMode (with signed contributors). The discussions are in ThreadMode. This helps in refining the spec until it is solid. Once solidified and implementated, the top heading can change to:

Implemented: Foo bar

The "Proposed" and "Implemented" heading gives the reader an indication on the current state of the feature. This could be automated with an INCLUDE that does some SpreadSheetPlugin magic based on the WebForm fields like TopicClassification.

If we spin this further, we can build a table on top that summarizes the feature automagically based on the WebForm fields. Like for example:

Feature: Allow topic INCLUDEs to pass parameters to the included topics. This allows topics to control the behaviour of an included topic
State: Proposed
ScheduledFor: CairoRelease

The Feature would be a new TopicSummary field in the WebForm.

What do you think?

-- PeterThoeny - 22 Nov 2003

I think that this is a great idea! For some time I have been been thinking that TWiki.org process would be improved by ClearSeparationBetweenDocumentThreadModes. Some of the benefits I see include:

  • It would encourage a minimal level of refractoring (i.e. updating the summary).
  • It would allow users to get an overview of a discussion without having to read and interpret the whole discussion.
  • Most importantly, it would structurally encourage on-going formulation of some statement of a consensus. I feel that there are times that a consensus (at least partial) is missed simply because no one has ventured to state it.

I have also long supported a TopicSummary field in the Webform and since our discussions on AllowDesignationOfSummary, I have made it a standard feature on my own TWiki site's WebForm.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 22 Nov 2003

Implemented in O'Wiki's main web and has been since day 1. All topics are tracked this way, and dealt with in this manner. The use of named include sections and formfields means automated reports (terse, verbose) are easily generated, and this functionality is included in the default install of owiki since the main o'wiki web is supplied with all installs. (The application is c`alled Openproject and listed on the TWiki Applications page. The use of precompiled views also means that rather than being slow and an overhead on the system things they're actually useful.

If someone just wants the contents of the web they get them from downloading the installer smile

-- MS - 23 Nov 2003

To promote something like this was also one of my goals why I extended functionality of CommentPlugin. In TocTalk mode it can use TOC to create history of contributions with short summaries. You can test it here live.

-- PeterMasiar - 23 Nov 2003

This is similar to the approach used by the popular HyperNews application, however, there the following discussion is strictly threaded, with an eye to email as the primary interactive interface. The discussion can be viewed in several modes, including threaded, chronological, etc. and can be fully expanded or expanded as the user desires. A key difference is that the primary document of the discussion was controlled strictly by the moderator, and there was no linking as in TWiki. HyperNews was very successful, with over 300,000 forums in it's heyday, but I think many of them are now dead. I tried using HyperNews for collaboration but it wasn't successful as most people continued to just view it as an email archiver and "refactoring" was not any easier than it would be if you had a pile of threaded email. I am excited by the possibility that many collaborators can both take part in a discussion and update a more slowly changing primary document. Any capabilities for threaded discussion (I haven't installed the CommentPlugin yet) would be well served to review the techniques used by HyperNews and the issues that remained in that development.

-- RaymondLutz - 24 Nov 2003

can we please use the revision control info to auto-fill in the contributors list? that way contributors get attributed even when their original work has been re-factored out..

-- SvenDowideit - 27 Nov 2003

I think these are two different things:

  • Contributors to the proposed spec, e.g. the document part of a spec (manually updated)
  • All contributors of a topic (could be automated based on the RCS history)

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Dec 2003

Speaking from my experience with standards processes, we found that it was useful to have one or two individuals identified as the "Editors" of the document. Reflecting that into TWiki, I agree with PeterThoeny on his point, and think it may assist in getting points to come to a head. Although the strict Proposal, syntax, etc. format is probably appropriate for many things, it can only be used for a raft of unrelated issues, and is not too good for pulling everything into a large umbrella. Yet, the main point of identifying two parts, a clear proposal, and then a discussion should help. Wandering discussion with no clear proposal can be a big waste of time. The HyperNews application I mentioned did use a clear base document followed by discussion. Being able to refactor the discussion into the base document is best the Editor's job, i.e. someone with enough background to understand the issues and bring them into the base-document as much as possible. TWiki excels in this area, but it is nice, and sometimes essential to have the full discussion for reference as it can be a life-saver if someone wonders how the conclusion was reached.

-- RaymondLutz - 03 Dec 2003

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Topic revision: r10 - 2004-11-12 - SamHasler
 
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