Groupware Patterns Wiki

Seb Paquet points to the Groupware Patterns Wiki.    (7B)

I had lunch with Richard Gabriel, one of our advisors, on Monday. Richard is one of the foremost interpreters of the Pattern Language concept, and is president of the Hillside Group, which organizes the Pattern Language of Programs (PLoP) workshops. One of the things we discussed was how the theory underlying pattern languages requires many different communities exploring patterns together. Most existing patterns work seems to happen in relative isolation. To some extent, Hillside fosters intercommunity exploration of patterns, but it wants to increase its activity in this area.    (7C)

So does Blue Oxen Associates. If the pattern work we do is to be effective, it cannot be done in isolation.    (7D)

WikiWords Versus External Links

Suppose you are writing in a Wiki or WikiWord-enabled blog. Why would you use a WikiWord instead of an external link?    (3T)

For a more concrete scenario, consider a link to Blue Oxen Associates. You could either create an external link to http://www.blueoxen.org/, or you could use the WikiWord Blue Oxen Associates. I see several advantages to the latter:    (3U)

  • Easier to remember. Is it blueoxenassociates.com or boa.net? WikiWords are human-friendlier link names.    (3V)
  • Enter the link once. If your Wiki page includes the appropriate external link, and if that link changes, you only have to update the link once.    (3W)
  • Annotation. I often create Wiki pages to organizations that contain an external link and the contact information. Having the contact information on the Wiki page saves me from having to search the external site for that information.    (3X)
  • Backlinks. If you use a WikiWord, you inherit your Wiki’s Backlink functionality, which allows you to find other interesting and relevant pages.    (3Y)

The primary disadvantage occurs when the Wiki page simply consists of an external link. In this case, you force the user to click twice instead of once to get to the relevant information. I believe that this is offset by the other advantages of WikiWords.    (3Z)