The "issues", as - I think - presented:
- Who's the wiki for?
- Who 'controls' the content?
- How is info presented?
1) Who's the wiki for, the
"anonymous visitor" or the "FZ fan"
A) Uhmmm, both? I thought our 'agreed' goal was
the "ultimate" online Frank Zappa resource.
Would not the "ultimate" resource be used, and enjoyed, by both the Novice and the Fanatic? A true resource work does not "choose" a "target audience" - it's aim is to present pertinent data according to it's subject. Our problem lies in what 'pertinent' means to each contributor, and "where" OUR pertinent data lies within the structure. Of course then there is how the wiki handles the data vs. how we (an inherently NON-computational system) handle date - but more on that in a minute.
Presenting data in an factual, impersonal, manner is what a good resource work is all about. And I don't mean to suggest that our work must lack personality; The personality comes thru the deeper you dig into the data. Thanks to the wiki's format there are a multitude of places to project some personality. But, since we are "tagerting" everyone
with this, our
personality should not appear on the surfice.
Does this not make sense?
2) Who 'controls' the content? There's been talk of a need for some kind of governing body;
"Minimum Threshold Meritocracy"
has been suggested; Isaac would insist
it's a Fascist Dictatorship - I kid, I kid; a contributor needs some kind of official status...
A) Who is providing the 'venue'? Without this avenue of expression, this entire "discussion" would not take place. Okay, maybe you're the "star" player on the team; it's still the geek in right field who can "take the ball and go home" that 'controls' the outcome of the game - no ball, no game. Let's be real about "what is", and not overly fret over what we think should be...
Sure, a few of us are putting in some serious time, thought, and effort with this thing and each of us feels - rightly so - that their feelings matter; and I've not ever gotten the impression from Barry that this is not the case, with me, or anyone else.
Everyone is a potential contributor
is part of the wiki's mission, yes? Then everyone's
contribution, no matter how large or how small, must
hold the same "status" as everyone else's. That's what makes it a "community" (Entymoligically speaking, the root is the same as communist, which makes many - including our hero - uneasy. That root is only possible when and where everyone
agrees it must be so). It's tough to think about it in those terms, especially if your one who's really pouring your efforts into it. But, it you agree that it's for everyone, then no one
should be elevated to any 'status' - with the exception of that geek in right field, who can take the ball and go home... The sissy op, or whatever he calls himself.
3) How is info presented? The "naming convention" debate...
A) Since there are really two distinctly different entities that will use this data - a computational one, and a non-computational one - it seems prudent (IMO) to work within the one that cannot adjust; uhm, that's the wiki. The computer is going to work the way it works; yes, we can "tell it" to work a certain way - and we are/do/will/ continue, but the presentation should not convalute the non-adjustable function.
Personally, it think the Firstname Lastname paradigm sucks...
I could not agree more! And, I feel this is where Barry needs to adjust his thinking - ever so slightly.
it is not linear...It is a web-application with a Go/Search button (something a paper book does not have) which gets you where you want to be instantly. You are treating it like a directory which it is NOT.
Even tho' Barry is correct here, he is only considering how the wiki works, not how we non-computational (NC) types work...
Since the machine ultimately only cares for the end point, and we NC's need a place to start (we'll get to the end, once we've used the wiki), then the idea of a "directory" is something that must
be included for the sake of everyone
- i.e. the NC's. Now the wiki "automatically" displays indexes alphabetically by first word. This is something that cannot change. But, do we NC's "think" along those lines? No. The wiki may not be "linear", Barry, but we NC's do think that way...
Should we not present names as we would read them (first name last name), as this is how we NC's will digest that data when resourcing - not starting (and how the wiki 'finds' it)? Should we not present the indexes - the starting point - manually, rather than automated, with the last name (remember, that's the one that'll get you into trouble) first?
I agree with Duncan and emdebe that I do not "start" with a first word, I start with a "keyword". I agree with Barry that "forcing" the wiki to "conform" to my linear thinking will convalute things and defeat it's purpose. But the wiki's non-linear "purpose" is not well served, if we "linear" NC's don't have a place to start... In my mind, the way to enter the data should be in accordance to the wiki's function, and the way to present the data as a starting point for reference is the way we NC's will best digest it.
If, after all the work that I'm personally doing on the Bandmembers (*was musicians, then it wasn't, but they still are - some of them anyway - so it still is) List, I am confronted with an automated TOC that re-orders everything into a manner that makes sense to the wiki and not to me, I'm going to say fuck that. I'm not everyone, but I'm someone, and so it matters, right?
*This little injection of personaility is only available to those that have dug this deep!