wilson.jim.r at gmail
Feb 18, 2007, 10:46 PM
Post #2 of 13
There was some dialog recently regarding the latter, email option - with
Re: Instant Messenger / Email integration with MediaWiki
[In reply to]
various proposals and quite a few detractors. I haven't heard anyone
request IM integration.
I don't like either of the two proposed options. The following is my
personal feeling regarding these requests (and does not necessarily reflect
that of the community or anyone else).
There are two basic forms of internet communication: Send-Receive and
Publish-Subscribe. Instant Messaging, Chat Rooms and Email belong to the
former, while Wikis, Forums and Blogs belong to the latter.
Conversion between these two models is possible, and sometimes makes sense.
For example, a subscriber to a wiki or blog might be sent an email when a
change has occurred. Using a Send-Receive mechanism as an implementation of
a subscriber tends to work out pretty well.
Going the other way, that is, using a Send-Receive mechanism to implement
the Publish in Publish-Subscribe, makes less sense. There are different
barriers to using IM vs Email as Wiki publication methods, which I outline
1) Instant Messaging is a communication method which occurs between two (or
more) entities in more-or-less real time with no particular categorical or
topical imperatives. There is an expectation that the conversation which
occurs over IM is intended only for the participating audience, and not for
general publication. Tying directly to a wiki page (talk or otherwise)
violates this expectation, except in the case where all parties are
knowingly using the integrated wiki chat. But if everyone's already using
the wiki, why not just edit the talk page?
2) Email, like IM, carries an expectation of confidentiality with the
recipients - though to a lesser degree since forwarding is common practice.
Email carries another debilitating feature - that the author of any
particular message is trivial to forge. Thus integrating an email
conversation into a wiki page raises questions of content legitimacy.
Finally, in both the IM and Email cases, race-conditions become a serious
issue. How do you determine which publishing entity (IM, Email client, or
wiki user) got there first? Using a standard interface (the wiki)
alleviates this problem.
That said, there are ways to automatically publish the contents of Email
conversations as static web-pages. For example, all messages posted to this
list ultimately winds up on Gossamer Threads:
Using a mailing-list-to-webpage facility may help with the Email option,
though admittedly this is not what you've asked for.
-- Jim R. Wilson (jimbojw)
On 2/19/07, Dr. Robert P. Biuk-Aghai <robertb [at] umac> wrote:
> I have two common requests from users of MediaWiki at my site:
> 1. Being able to communicate via instant messenger *through the site*,
> where the chat gets recorded in the related article's Talk page.
> 2. Being able to edit articles by email, where the entire article gets
> emailed back and forth, and emailed changes to the article get saved as
> new versions.
> I can imagine a technical solution for (1) being an integration of an
> instant messenger server with MediaWiki which would save the IM
> conversation to the relevant Talk page; and for (2) a mailing list
> integrated with MediaWiki that would extract and clean up the article
> from the mail (removing any indents) and save it as a new version.
> My question: has anyone implemented anything like this before?
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