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Re: VMs: Voynich Wikis

Hi Ted,

At 10:31 15/01/2004 -0500, Ted Young wrote:
> http://wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Voynich_Manuscript
> I've given the new page the bare minimum of structure - but what do you think?

Looks good. There were three reasons I did not initially consider a public service like this:

1. Controlling access to edits. I am a little uneasy about anyone in the world being able to change/delete data with out an account. Though I doubt this will cause any problems, it may be just me.

Rolling edits back is easy here. :-)

2. Control. It is human nature to seek control over one's environment! :-) No, seriously, we cannot guarantee that their servers are backed up consistently. It is probably worth the risk, considering the benefits of this solution.

AIUI, the Wikipedia group now has good (independent) backing for its service, and the backup & uptime issues are ones which they particularly focus on. :-)

3. Licensing Agreements. Some services like this take ownership of the information posted on the site. In this case, all information is considered released under the GPL. This means we retain ownership, but anyone else can use it freely (I don't know if they would be required to site the source). I don't think this is a major cause of concern. It is definitely better than the service taking full ownership themselves.

As with any Wiki, you shouldn't post up stuff if you suspect it may be copyright (unless it's definitely your own copyright & you're happy to give it up for the greater good). All that the Wikipedia people have done is to formalise is this (via the GPL). :-)

1. Seems like a full featured wiki. Dennis: I think image uploads are very important. We want to try an consolidate the information. If someone links to an image that they can no longer host, the link become useless. With image uploading, we know that the images will be there as long as we are.

...you just have to be careful about image copyright, that's all. :-(

2. Easy. We do not have to set up a server, install software, etc!

This is a *huge* benefit! :-)

3. Advertising. This gets our work included in a highly visible place, making it easier for others to find, and perhaps introduce new people to the vms.

These tend to get reasonably well-placed on web-searches too. :-)

So, in all, I am a supporter for Nick's idea! If we still really want to convert the mail archives to wiki, we should have no problems.

Well... that challenge is not half as straightforward as you might think. It's really not just a question of HTMLising a set of mails - it's a *huge* set of mails, so the issue becomes one of connecting them together in a way which actually helps us. :-o

My current idea is that, if we can set up a stable, permanent resource for the VMs (I guess as a WikiBook), then I can resurrect my dynamic linking idea, so that (for example) a mail containing "f103r" can be converted (via my JavaScript magic) into a clickable link to the appropriate page within the WikiBook (and similarly for people, places, etc). But one thing at a time! :-o

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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