16a Feb 2015

I have a lot of thinking to about how fed wiki changes things for wiki writing. The discussions going on at the happening concerning design and practices (social and personal) are telling.

## different kinds of links

Some of the changes in composing are a result of the design: cross-page editing is the biggest, but so are the distinctions between an inline link, a Reference, and an external link.

(In rough terms, a Reference is created by dragging in a color chip, which brings with it a specific page from a specific site. An inline link is used for a link to local pages, like Reference. External links are coded with single brackets and labeling the type of source: html, blog, pdf ... The upshot for composing is that there are strategies and conventions developing already for how to handle a page with references and inline links to local material.)

Quite a number of practices are affected by federation itself: that each participant keeps her own version; that it's not apparent when you've been forked; ...

As, too, the practice of when to fork. Mike C's general recommendation is to read, and fork what you find interesting to hang on to it, use it locally, edit and update it. That's a good start but there are going to be other ways of thinking about forking.

## the workspace

Then there's the workspace. It's both a reading and a writing space, as other wikis are, but the dynamic of reading and writing are different than other wikis.

I think that the significant changes are going to be in the neighborhood model, and the federated model. Drawing on things like Whyte's ideas - and those of A Pattern Language, Alexander et al - will help designers and users think about spaces, how we design them, and how we adapt them to our use.

William H Whyte's book, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, was a landmark study published in 1980 of the way people adapted to the built environment and Movable Furniture of small plazas in larger cities.