Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Sample code and utilities?

Author:Chris Grayson
Posted:3/29/1999; 1:12:39 PM
Topic:Sample code and utilities?
Msg #:4659 (In response to 4634)
Prev/Next:4658 / 4660

I suggest that this is a key problem to solve, industry-wide, in 1999. With open-source on the upswing and everybody and their uncle putting up web pages, to name a couple of key trends, more and more people are becoming potential users of such a system. A truly elegant solution could be one of those "killer apps" you hear about...

In that context, it's important for the system to be as automated as possible. The two categories of automation available from a Frontier solution that come to mind are search engines and discussion groups. However, for this application, I don't think either are perfect.

Search engines are good for some people, some of the time. If you know what you're after, and that's all you want, then there's nothing else you'd want instead. *But* if you don't know exactly what you want; well, it's hard to browse through a search engine interface. You have no idea how much content is behind it, or what the structure(s) might be.

Discussion groups allow great commenting, and you can follow threads. However, the structure is organic, the information grows in a non-structured way.

What *I'd* like from a samples/utilities resource is search capabilities *and* a well designed and highly maintained user interface structure. Now, I know that that second option has traditionally cost a lot, people- and time-wise. But what if there were a way to design, extend and contribute to a site collaboratively? Set up the initial design, perhaps, but then allow the navigation and structure to be modified by contributers somehow. How? I don't know - perhaps changes would have to go through a small number of "editors"; or open up all changes in a safe "upload-area" similar to what BBSs do, until they're approved. Changes could be logged for easy review. It would be a community resource, organized and maintained by the community, but governed by a "benevolent dictator(s)".

I don't know much about Frontier beyond static publishing and some CGI-style programming, but from what I've gathered from Scripting News and the mail lists, this would be do-able.

Chris Grayson

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