Wiki which can be linked at a paragraph granularity.

http://www.blueoxen.org/tools/purplewiki/

Read the following debate with another recent one on PurpleNumbers/ReadingAndWriting

I don't really think this is the right way to go. The natural units of wiki are pages. If paragraphs are directly AddressableThings, ie. it makes sense to navigate to them directly and read them out of context, then they would be better off as pages in their own right. Because :

  • a) they'd have a more or less meaningful PageName rather than a weird combination of shared page name and meaningless page number.
  • b) clicking links to new pages is the native navigation / attention flow model for the internet. Scrolling within a long page. Or thinking of things on the same page but separated by paragraph breaks are secondary ways of organization. (SpaceVsInformationFlows/WebVsPrint)

: If you also need to frame the context there are so many different types of index pages you can create to give the reader an order to follow the chunks. For example, a blog style posting links over time. A simple (or nested) OutLiner-style list.

PurpleNumbers assume that we still want to prioritise the "long-page separated by paragraph breaks" as an organizing principle for LinkedFragments.

Briefly, I agree and I don't agree... :)

"If paragraphs are directly AddressableThings, ie. it makes sense to navigate to them directly and read them out of context, then they would be better off as pages in their own right."

The problem here is the mix between, and the granularity involved in navigation and referencing. Broadly speaking, navigation should allow the reader to maintain a comfortable feeling of "flow", i.e. continuous context, whereas referencing often wants to be as accurate, locationally, as possible - see page-granularity for many printed references, and tag?-granularity for things like Annotea. Both also work two ways - i.e. you want to navigate from A to B but also from B to A, and also you want to be able to jump from a reference point to a referrer, and from a referrer to a reference point.

I'm not sure that, even in a Wiki, each "individually-referencable" point should have its own page. I think you can over-distinguish elements to the point where they lose their "cohesiveness" in place of "modularity". I like to think that much on my site is conceived as longish rants (for want of a better word) with many pieces within an article going to make up a whole, and as such I think there is a need to keep them on the same page, but allow for commenting and referencing specific points. (I'm hoping to run a public annotea server to act as another public comment system for it, too...) Naturally, if I ran a Wiki then this wouldn't be a problem, but I'm still not convinced I want one... ;)

GrahamLally

I go back and forth on this too.

Sometimes I think it's good to be able to point to a specific paragraph/bullet point for finegrained discussion. But then I realize that most discussion like that (for me, esp in an intranet/team environment) is via email, where you just intersperse comments, or copy/paste the piece you're talking about. BillSeitz:PurpleNumbers

Other times my mind likes to play with refactoring the InfiniteOutline. BillSeitz:NodeWeb

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