[EM] Re: James: Definition, electowiki

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Jun 23 11:42:45 PDT 2005

At 12:47 PM 6/23/2005, Araucaria Araucana wrote:
>On 22 Jun 2005 at 16:48 UTC-0700, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> > I'd recommend that anyone who wants to personally keep a copy of a
> > page put up on a wiki keep a copy themselves, offline.

>Very wise recommendations, but one might assume from Mike Ossipoff's
>posting style that he has no personal computer of his own and uses
>only web-based email.

My comments were not intended to be about any individual. Rather, they were 
intended to provide information, advice, or ideas to anyone who might have 
issues or difficulties with the wiki, regardless of who brings up the issues.

If a user is using web-based email, they are usually sitting at a computer, 
and usually there is a floppy disk drive available, the user merely needs 
to bring his or her own floppy disk. If someone came to my door and said "I 
need a floppy disk," I'd rummage in my drawers to find one and would say, 
"Don't bother returning it," they are that cheap. Further, there are sites 
which offer free on-line, web-based storage. Further, a user who is using 
webmail can effectively create and store an article simply by mailing it to 
himself or herself. And then the article could be copied and pasted into 
the wiki. Or:

Some wikis have mail-in facilities. Tiki-wiki provides this capacity; any 
user can mail in content which will be appended to an article with the 
filename of the subject line. If the article does not exist, it will be 
created. I've implemented this with a wiki intended for users of the 
accounting software, MYOB, at MYOB-users.org. Instructions as to how to use 
it can be seen on that wiki. Very, very simple.

In fact, any of us could do it, it is a fast simple way to build a wiki: if 
there is a post that appears here, containing, say, a definition of a term, 
any user could simply forward it to the mail-in address of the wiki, giving 
it a clear subject line. This won't link it, by itself, from other 
articles, but if the "show all pages" function on the electorama wiki 
really does show all pages, it would be seen from there. And if not, any 
user can create a page to list mailed-in pages and then, if the mail-in 
function is enabled, a user mailing in a page can also mail in a short post 
containing as subject, the name of the mail-in page list, and as text, the 
name of the new page in WikiWord or pagename form (that form varies with 
wiki, some seem to use double parentheses and some use double brackets) and 
perhaps a comment. Other users directly accessing the wiki can move this 
stuff around, as they have time and inclination.

>Which might explain some of his seemingly cavalier attitude about
>recommending that other people do his work for him -- he simply lacks
>the facilities (and hence the expertise) to do it himself.

I consider that it has been a mistake for me to discuss persons on this 
list (and I did not in this thread, in spite of an assertion that I was). 
Were I to make a comment similar to Mr. Araucana's, I'd simply say that it 
would be reasonable for users who don't have their own computers to expect 
others to do the work for them, but that, in fact, there are quite simple 
ways around that limitation, if they have web access. If this information 
profits a user, great, it doesn't matter to me who the user is.

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