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New Wiki with Larger Scope

The way I originally found wikis was when I decided to migrate from Windows (95) to Linux circa May, 2000 (iirc) and went looking for replacement applications for those I used in Windows, including askSam. TWiki was (and still is, afaik) the best of those for my purposes. But it doesn't satisfy all my needs and desires. Hence I'd like to write a new wiki (with a significantly larger scope) to meet some of my other needs and desires.

I've given up on learning Perl (though I might succeed if I tried again) and am currently attempting to learn Ruby with the intent of creating the new wiki in Ruby.

It would be nice to have help--a team of people with the same goal. I've mentioned that in a few places and have one volunteer at this point. I'd like more.

I don't know if there is much potential to make any money with this project, but on the off chance that there is, I haven't yet decided how I want to see it licensed. (Yes, I know that there is the potential to make money with open source software as well as proprietary/commercial software.) And, if a group of volunteers does come together, I'd like to give them a voice in the licensing (and ownership and governance) of the project.

This page is intended to be a place to start the discussion about those issues. A thread of correspondence has started between the first volunteer and me. (I?, myself?)--so far, this page basically consists of quoting one email in that thread. I'd expect to update this page as discussions go forward. (There have been additional emails which I haven't added yet.)

If you're interested in helping, add your name below--when I see at least one more volunteer (or potential volunteer) I'll make it a point to get this page up-to-date--until then, this page may just languish for a while.





Shalev NessAiver wrote:
> I saw your post about  a wiki with a "greater scope" that you were
> thinking about.
> I also have many ideas for a "greater scope" wiki that I am thinking
> about implementing
> in Ruby.  I would be happy to help with the project you described
> (despite the vagueness).
> While I am by no means an experienced Ruby programmer yet, I know many
> other languages
> and I am picking up Ruby very quickly.

Wonderful, thanks!

Now to talk about how to get you involved.  

First, what motivates you to volunteer?  (The reason I ask, and the
reason I'm being vague about the project, is that I (so far) want to
preserve the ability to go either with an open source license or a
proprietary / commercial license.  My reasons for that are two:

   * Maybe the volunteers that step forward want to head in the
proprietary / commercial direction (maybe that will help get more
volunteers)?  Of course, there is no guarantee of making a fortune (or
any money) if we head in that direction.  Hence the question to
you--does your volunteering depend on what kind of license we plan on?
   * I'm not 100% certain which I prefer.  I'm very tempted to go open
source / GPL, but I do need, if not a fortune, a source of income and
would prefer one based on programming.

Second, I can talk about a few areas that I can use help in that won't
give away all my secrets, so you (or somebody else) could start on some
of these things before we agreed on the licensing (and similar things,
like "ownership" of the product / project if we go proprietary /
commercial).  (If we go proprietary / commercial one way of dealing with
ownership might be to credit everybody with some share of ownership
based on hours worked (or tasks completed) plus some other ownership
based on ideas provided.  (I think the hours worked should probably be
on a preapproved basis, for example, if we need a certain thing done, we
come up with an estimate of the hours a given person might require to do
that task.  If "everyone" agrees that is a reasonable estimate, the
person proceeds, and if successful, he gets credit for those hours.  If
not, he probably gets no credit.  If he overruns those hours, he only
gets credit for the agreed upon hours unless, before he overruns, he
provides plausible reasons why the task will take more time than
estimated, and "everyone" agrees that is a plausible reason and a
reasonable increase in hours.  (Among other things, this gives leeway
for people who aren't really qualified for a task to take it on anyway,
but only getting credit for part of their hours spent, the other hours
being their own investment in their own learning.)

BTW, if it seems like I'm hung up on such stuff, it's only in the
interest of avoiding future disagreements, bad feelings, etc., and is
necessary only if we head in the commercial / proprietary direction. 
(And we'd probably want each volunteer to sign a non-disclosure

One other question--where are you located physically?  (One thing I
could benefit from is discussing the requirement "notes" with someone as
I attempt to convert them to more of a requirements document.  Although
it could be done by means of a wiki or a whiteboard type application,
doing it with someone in person would be easier.

Anyway, back to tasks you could consider now:

   * Part of the project is a wiki.  The way I'm currently defining the
wiki part is pretty much "just like TWiki, except ...".  That's not
really enough of a specification to program from.  If we really want to
rewrite TWiki in Ruby (instead of just modifying the existing Perl
implementation) someone (maybe preferably with a fresh outlook) needs to
write the requirements document / specification for the TWiki equivalent
in Ruby.  (I want it rewritten in Ruby because I've given up on learning
Perl (I'm here learning Ruby).)  ;-) 

   * Part of the project will involve a need for an HTML widget (i.e.,
the HTML rendering part of a web browser).  (Actually, it may involve
several with different levels of functionality--one or more very
lightweight for fast response, others more fully functioned.)  I've
started a (very) little bit of research into looking for such,
considering first those that have a Ruby interface.  (In fact, the
project will need a full GUI--whichever one we pick as the main GUI, the
project will still have HTML widgets from other GUI families.  Although
I have no immediate plans to implement the project on Windows, I don't
want to preclude that, and if we can build it cross platform from the
beginning, that would be wonderful.

Anyway, thanks for listening--give me your thoughts!

Randy Kramer

I stumbled upon this with a Google search.

Not sure what, if anything, this has to do with twiki.org - however, if you plan on making a derivative work 
of Twiki in Ruby and perhaps make a profit from it, you might want to consult the License and the authors 
about it, first.  :-)


  • () RandyKramer - 17 Feb 2005
  • If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and if you've used a comment marker (your initials in parenthesis), include it before your WikiName.

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