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A software developer from Graz, Austria. Born 1955, now retired, continuing work on certain projects, especially pattern research, and writing books. I am still using and developing the ProWiki engine (ProWikiEngine?), mostly as a tool for a handful of wiki power users.


New ideas, maybe to work on: SurfingTheFoam BuildingLongTermValue

example ideas: GimmeFive

To do or to revisit: continue PatternTheory (MusterTheorieBook) SystemTheory VisitorRole GuestRole CommunityMember ReflectionCommunity SourcesOfPower IsaacsDialogue WikiPatternLanguage WikiPractices



Born 1955 in Salzburg, living in Graz, married, two children. I studied Chemistry at the Technical University in Graz and wrote my thesis about something like "the molecular simulation of solid-liquid interfaces" which involved writing a lot of FORTRAN software. In 1983, at the beginning of the PC revolution, I turned to commercial software development, working for the "Forschungsgesellschaft Joanneum" until 1988. Since then I have been working as an independent software developer and consultant. I feel as a communicator and mediator: translating the visions of my customers into software and enabling these visions by knowing and showing my customers the potentials of new technologies.

In August 2000 I found WardsWiki and was immediately fascinated. After taking part for a few months, I started to study and program systematically to make the wiki available for interested people in the German speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). About a year later everything was in place to support all types of (currently about 60) wiki projects at a few servers circled around http://www.wikiservice.at.

Some examples (most are German):

All these wikis are running from the same Wiki:ProWikiSoftware executable and are only configured for their different purposes and layouts.

Some pages to which I contributed: AwardRitual BackStageCommunication ChristopherAlexander CommunityMember CuliosWelt DseWiki ErvingGoffman FightingIsBoring ForkingOfOnlineCommunities GoByCar GuestRole LinksPane MultiPattern OpenKnowledge OldGeezers OnlineCommunity OpenSociety OnlineWorld PerlAdvocacy RightToFork ShallowPage ShallowWiki SuggestedWikiRoleModel SystemTheory TourBus VirtualCommunity VisitorRole WelcomeNewcomer WhatIsScience WikiIsParadoxical WikiCommunityList WikiFractality WikiContextuality WikiPatternLanguage WikiTechnicalGlossary

UseMod software

When I first came to the UseModWiki, I was looking for a free Wiki source and found everything I was searching for. I had some problems with the installation but with the generous help of CliffordAdams I did it in about a day - thank you very much, Cliff! The first wiki was installed (Nov 10, 2000) to support a free, noncommercial, multilingual dictionary project [1]. A second wiki was installed for a project of the University of Graz [2].

A few months later (End of 2000) so many changes had been done to the usemod source, so many additions were visible ahead, that a fork was unavoidable. I'm sorry for the fork, Cliff, I'll always be in your debt. Now in 2003 most of the code has been reworked and 3000 lines have grown to 12000 lines of Perl code.

Choosing wiki software

I recommend UseMod software to everyone interested, it is one of the finest pieces of code I found during my 25+ years of software development. Although there are more than 100 wiki clones, you need only consider these:

Now, everything depends on what you have available (Squeak < Zope < Python < PHP < Perl). Perl is available everywhere, but it is not really a "clean" language. If you like Perl: TWiki is the complicated administrators intranet dream, UseMod is the simple and extendable choice for open communities. If you prefer Zope, Smalltalk, Python you have only one choice. Using PHP you will probably use MediaWiki if you have an encyclopedia application, PmWiki if you like a portal layout, PhpWiki otherwise. So I think the choice is rather simple.

But if you don't want to develop and maintain your own wiki software, I recommend that you contact me. I can guarantee that as a wiki founder you will more than busy and happy to think about and grow your content and community. Let me provide everything else you need. -- HelmutLeitner

April 24, 2003. I'm giving you a much belated BarnStar for restarting and organizing the TourBus project. -- SunirShah

Sunir, wow! That's a great honour for the TourBus and for me. Thank you very much. -- HelmutLeitner

January 28, 2004. Thanks for working on the least fun problem. It's muddling work, but somewhere in there an answer may lay. -- SunirShah

Thank you very much, Sunir, I'm very happy about this BarnStar! It brings my life energy back to 100% :-) -- HelmutLeitner

February 7, 2004. And one from me, for keeping a cool head and maintaining civility in the face of heated provocation. -- StephenGilbert

Thank you, Stephen. That means a lot to me! -- HelmutLeitner

January 28, 2005. Bravo on the WikiPatternLanguage (52 edits later)! -- SunirShah

Sunir, thank you. Getting a BarnStar is a great feeling. Can one get addicted to that? -- HelmutLeitner

Nice to see GründerWiki moving along! -- SunirShah

I'm quite happy with it, yes. It's interesting how different German wiki communities develop compared to international English communities. Some problems there are no problem here and vice versa. -- HelmutLeitner

What kinds of problems are/are not present here/there? --ss

Ok, some differences that are remarkable to me:

I would assume most of these characteristics are less specific German than European (less experts => more female participation) or general (smaller public => more comfortable).

-- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, I may be dense, but I don't see the problems the pages WikiPediaIsNotTypical and WikiPediaIsNotAnEncyclopedia are meant to solve. I know I often say Wikipedia isn't a wiki, but mostly for the same reasons I say VotingIsEvil: to create enough room for a real discussion of why some HardSecurity thing they are doing is not necessarily the best or only solution. I've also been known to say Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia when the conflict of the day happens to be mostly caused by intolerance to messiness due to fear of being a print-quality reference work, but that doesn't seem to be the your point either. -- SunirShah

Sorry, you are right of course. There is something on my mind but I can't grasp it. I thought it would become clearer when talking about it. Delete these pages if you prefer. Or shall I do it? -- HelmutLeitner

I'll let you decide to delete them.

Is your concern the negative pressure on wikidom, and the general disintegration of wikidom? WikiPediaIsNotTypical seems to speak to that. -- SunirShah

WikiPediaIsNotTypical is an old page. I just read it again and I still think it very interesting. Of course it may be seen as a problem when one community talks about the other. Does it create problems for meatball in the relationship to the WikiPedia? In a way it is unavoidable to look at WikiPediaThePhenomenon?. What about refactoring these pages under a more neutral page title? -- HelmutLeitner

Incidentally in case you think I am too sensitive to criticism you are welcome to rubbish what I've put on your WhatIsScience page --AndrewCates

Why should I? Meatball is "multiple view" and we are called to explore things together. I hope that you will tolerate the nonsense I produce. -- HelmutLeitner

Well have a look anyway. I'd be interested in your reaction :o) --ac

Ref wiki's in schools, have you seen http://tech.canterburyschool.org/tech/FrontPage ? AndrewCates

No, I didn't know it. Thank you for the link. -- HelmutLeitner


I like your suggestion of building a list of possible topics and the methodology you suggest. Furthermore, I suggest that we may wish to try to Categorize it a bit sooner rather than later. After all, our mutual interest in Collaboration should encompass the participation of others, especially since my first Post was on BrainstormMode in response to a question I found there from KatherineDerbyshire which not only caught my attention, but also yours and that of MarkDilley. In fact, I would have posted this material on the original page, but was concerned a bit about making too much of a mess there since I am not yet quite comfortable enough with the UseMod markup to not worry about having to refactor the page later. I'm also not quite sure how I would incorporate this material into Sunir's opening suggestions regarding how to brainstorm here at Meatball, so I'm being a bit cautious for that reason too (especially, since I think I am more like you in that I may "prefer a more piecemeal approach").

As a compromise of all of these considerations:

I hope you approve and that you feel free to edit in any way whatsoever. Regards,

 -- HansWobbe

Hans, that's all fine with me. -- HelmutLeitner

Didn't read it, but thought you might like it. Language Oriented Programming. http://www.onboard.jetbrains.com/articles/04/10/lop/ -- SunirShah

Thank you very much. Looks similar to Simonji's Intentional Programming. Have to study it. -- HelmutLeitner

Moved from TopicCompetition. Sorry. This kind of context-sensitive conversational filler never gets cleaned up, so I prefer to move it to more context-sticky pages like namepages. -- SunirShah

Helmut, all the best to you and yours for this holiday season. -- HansWobbe

Thank you both. I wish you both a Merry Christmas and a great time with friends and families. Sunir, what are the Meatball goals for next year? -- HelmutLeitner

I'm less burnt out now. Three sets of goals:

Wiki goals:

Meatball goals:

"Social construction of meaning" design goals:

-- SunirShah

Helmut, DeleteWhenRead?

Thanks for your welcoming note. I have managed to squeezed in a line or two in C2 Wiki'WikiSandbox to mention the Sand'Box here for new users, in case they find C2 lock out from edits. Hope you do not get too much unwanted traffic from my action. -- DavidLiu

Good idea. Don't worry about that. -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut: Are you planning to attend WikiSymTwoThousandFive? Do you know any others (Ward, obviously) who are planning to attend? Do you know the NRC committee representative personally? I'm trying to decide whether to attend or to offer to present. Thanks (in advance). -- HansWobbe

Hans, yes, of course I'm planning to go to WikiSym 2005. I've no informations about other participants yet and I don't know anyone face 2 face. It's still too early to know what will happen but I think it will be worthwhile anyway, either small and family-like or bigger, a signal of breakthrough. Hope to meet you (you all) there. -- HelmutLeitner

Great! It's going to be a bit of a juggling exercise for me to attend, but I'll make an attempt. Hopefully we will have this chance to meet. Would it be worth while to add our names to a list of (potential) attendees? -- HansWobbe.

I might go, but I'm not exactly wealthy, and I don't have a lot of money to blow between this and Wikimania. -- SunirShah

Sunir: I certainly understand the problems of Time & Money (being an ex Banker ;-)) I hope you can make it. It does look as if I am going to be able to make this trip work since I have to be in San Francisco at the end of October, so I'm simply thinking I'll doing two conferences for the cost of one flight. Humour only warning: Now, if only I knew someone on the review committee, so I'd be able to ... :-) -- HansWobbe.


You said this of KmWiki: "... I introduced myself there and for weeks there was no answer. It had no community feeling, more like people working on their projects, takaing notes side by side.... "

Re: " (C2) not my primary wiki to discuss general pattern or wiki issues. If you want to transfer it to C2, feel free to do so."

Re: " I'll look into Wiki:SildaBeDiscussions ..."

I also have responded more to your contrbution to Wiki:CtwoBusinessValue. I have added some clarifications (e.g. re Wiki:CrazyThingsThatMightSaveWiki) It has not attracted much (edit) attention, so maybe we can continue again in CtwoCommentary here.

I am not sure how to respond to your question of my views of Wiki mission. But can I offer you some of my usages, as examplified in Wiki:GiveAndTake?

Thanks for showing up again on WardsWiki -- DavidLiu

David, I suppose you got little feedback because people basically agree with your observations. Meta-discussion were never loved by the C2 community, so that's why mb came into existance. When I founded the German DseWiki I found the same problem. Only a small percentage of the members (who were primarily interested in software) were also interested in talking about wiki details. In the end I split it into two wikis, just the same. This seems to be a standard TargetGroup and founder problem. Never assume that a single online community can fit your interests and communication needs (they will change anyway).

I agree with the RecentChangesAttentionSeeking you observed. PageBrushing? is a bad habit, but there are even some founders who do it regularly. The other one might be called HeadlinePage?. All this isn't needed when communication is working. -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut where did I made observations on RecentChangesAttentionSeeking? What is ur time now as I just got up, and hopefully refreshed.

Sorry, it was an unsigned comment, I thought it was from you.

Is there a history of MeatBall on who was here type similar to C2? -- dl

I don't understand this question. Could you rephrase it?

Helmut, I think the discussion you had with Costin at Wiki:WardsWikiProblemsDiscussion, where Costin held point of "no current Wiki Community" is a real enough aspect to be considered by all who wants C2 to succeed. And like it or not, RA point of "Ward may not want wiki to grow" is another consideration. Currently lots of discussion is here at MeatBall in page CtwoCommentary. Its chaotic but it is wiki :) -- dl

I'm just trying to understand the C2 situation, one can't from outside. It seems that people don't talk to each other, often hide their identity - as if this behaviour is meant to protect them. Very unusual. Then this "it's terrible, but that's wiki" attitude. WardsWiki isn't a typical wiki and it isn't as wiki should be. You are lost, if you use it as a reference system. -- HelmutLeitner

Wikis are about ordering chaos (cf. OrderChaos), not creating chaos. What's the disease at c2? Too much violence? No CommonContext? No SuperordinateGoal? -- SunirShah

I don't know but I think there many factors. A lot of technology is old (recent edits turned off, no page history, no one-click diff+page available, no summary), the founder virtually non-existent, vision and direction has been lost, people are frustrated and have lost their faith in their wiki although they still cling to it. It would be a job for a "online community consultant" to resolve these problems. -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, see first Sunir comments in above paragraph. Then I would like to draw your attention to Wiki:CommunityProblems and related pages. Lastly I like your ReflectionCommunity title but there is little in that page for me to comprehend. Any chance there is some resemblance to Reflection techniques used in Gestalt Therapy? -- DavidLiu

David, don't know much about these techniques and I didn't think in that direction. The point is, that I think society, organizations and processes will change, because of the new ways to cooperate in online communities. Sunir has done a lot of work about the changes expected or needed within the scientific system. I have thought a little about future book production. A lot of people are seeking a new economy and take OpenSource as a model and derive its attractiveness from "it's free". I think thats wrong, it's all about "more participation". You want to care about WardsWiki and therefore you do it, you invite people to discuss it. In any old system you wouldn't be allowed to do this, being "none of your business". In the future everything will be our business, depending only on our own capacity and interest. And people will demand the necessary transparency, cooperation and FairProcess. -- HelmutLeitner

Thanks Helmut, I need a DummysGuideToMeatBall? written in high school English. I once introduced the page TemporalContext to Ctwo and someone complained about using "difficult terms" (forgot how he/she worded it exactly). I am having a headache in things like SuperordinateGoal, and often been wondering what extent of relevance these have to my needs to get informed on "practical aspects" of communications and teambuilding in an organization (not online community per se). I suspect there are lots of overlap and I like some one who have knowledge on both to share some insights.

BTW, just saw WikiPediaIsNotTypical type discussions earlier in your page. And I have been wondering howcome WikiSym has no WikiPedia presence. I must go read some relevant pages and come to understand bit more.

Cheers from DavidLiu

JimboWales? will be at WikiSym. Wikipedia is having their own conference, Wikimania, in August. As for the Dummy's Guide, http://meatballsociety.org/cgi-bin/wiki-guide is supposed to be this guide, and I have to write it by October for WikiSym. It will be under some PrimarilyPublicDomain or ShareAlike license just as soon as I get around to putting that notice there. -- SunirShah

Helmut Sunir answered the question re: Dummy's Guide in prior revision here. I am still interested in "tips to successful online collaboration within a business organization". Since you have expressed interests in "growing" Ctwo, I will create a section in my homepage here with links to C2 pages related to that aspect, and bigger issues (opportunities/risks) I will still go through the CtwoCommentary page I have created. Please offer your views generously and frequently, or better still, get more MeatBall people to offer their views at WardsWiki.

Lastly on MarkParrot, I take it this community has not yet started DissuadeInteraction, so my suggestion is actually for him to go to WardsWiki and chair the Wiki:MeatBallCommentary discussion which I have created and welcome him to participate. If he agrees to do so there, we can see whether he will be accepted by members at WardsWiki.

-- DavidLiu 20Apr update

I deleted that page. Don't discuss our internal affairs on another site. We do not tolerate people extending their internal disputes here. Even CtwoCommentary is inappropriate. -- SunirShah

David, I'd like to help you with C2 but I think you can change the situation only from within. That means you mustn't concentrate on what you or other people want C2 to be, but put considerable energy in adding value - and work there. Otherwise the majority will see you as an outsider, not a member. You must become important for the community before you can change things of importance. I went to C2 and showed my face but there is little interest in what help I have to offer, so naturally I do not insist. Personally I dislike to talk about C2 in this situation, although I don't think it is inappropriate. The developments at C2 are not OffTopic here - CtwoCommentary may be undesirable because it might polarize the two communities. Meatball internals may be felt OffTopic at C2, but that's not our business. -- HelmutLeitner

To Sunir/Helmut

I apologize for getting people here upset for the MeatBall page I have created over there. But at the same time I did it in good faith and still think it was appropriate "at the time". I have to thank Helmut for the "be careful" reminder there, as I was indeed a bit getting carried away about "possibilities", which would need to be balanced with "practicalities".

Please allow the page to stay longer, and I will respond in my homepage here about future/ further annoyances/inconveniences caused to this community. I wish to discuss ideas (e.g. "entry/exit protocol") and happened to used a real event to do so. Thanks for your extra patience. -- DavidLiu

Helmut your observations about C2 is excellent and eventually I would like to copy it over to C2 for the benefit of the community there. I cannot add to that observation as it would only add confusion. Thanks again -- DavidLiu 22Apr morning

Ummm...Sunir, discussing something about MeatBall on c2 may well be argued to be inappropriate for some reason, but it seems really bizarre to forbid it, as you seem to have done above. Isn't that contrary to your usual philosophy, for one thing? It also gets into questions of enforcement if someone disagreed...EditWar that c2 page? Ban the user from MeatBall if they go against your will on the subject? It just seems rather peculiar.

This is quite aside from whether that c2 page should exist (I agree with Helmut that it's off topic for c2, is all). -- DougMerritt

You're right. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking very clearly at 3am. I shouldn't have been so curt or quick to respond when my wits weren't fully with me. -- SunirShah

No problem, happens to all of us. :-) -- DougMerritt

Just testing edit. Wasn't working for me (led me in 60+ seconds timeout) an hour ago. -- HelmutLeitner

This time it worked within about 15 sec. -- HelmutLeitner

David, yes I do. But when people answer, this becomes invisible (BTW on our wikis this isn't the case, look for example [3]). I've still to understand WardsWiki standards, especially people deleting content without reasoning or consensus (like CommunityProcess?) and people creating pages without giving their best (like CommunityProcess?). I asked Ron about that and we have an e-mail exchange (this tendency towards backstage communications also bothers me). It is a strange culture for me. -- Helmut


Latest news is Costin threatening a MindWipe?. Ironic as it was only a few days after I asked him whether his Wiki:WikiChangePropoal can defend against a hostile Costin.

I think I contribted to the confusion between "Costin the person" vs "Costin like behavior". The latter is the negative side such as arrogance. "Costin the person" has positive traits which I have taken for granted, such as clear thinking, diligence, etc.

"Following are my current and rambling views. Subjected to change as usual." I think Doug Merritt is not the only one who thinks I create too many pages, I know of at least one other who used to flame me using an unidentified IP at C2.

I did create a lot of C2 pages, typically of three kinds 1) appln & implementation related; 2) management and life strategy oriented; 3) wiki community & communication oriented material.

First two are considered to be marginally acceptable by the current group which is still strongly Unix biased. (At this moment computer science oriented page are mainstream, followed by XP and maybe technical wiki implementation stuff).

As to 3), I think Costin is again not the only one who think I am inexperienced. It is true that I only started "contributing in 2004", did not know a lot of "social norms" before I started to write, ask a lot of "basic technical (unix) questions " etc. People who are expecting contributions from "better qualified (academic) people" has been disappointed with my "quality of contributions".

Another viewpoint I have about the "current contributors" are that most of them are probably very young (work experience wise) and very bright (one approaching grand master level skill in chess, if not already there). The fact that Doug Merritt is able to be accepted there (he is older, based on his slips about his experience) shows the depth and breadth of his knowledge, in addition to his willingness to be the "bad guy" (aggressive gnome).

I tend to think there are "regular readers" that are "not contributors", yet do appreciate more current information about "industry news / events". Since I have zero exposure to "open source" application development and appear to be "promoting" the much hated Microsoft I am not winning new friends fast enough.

People like RA (the one no longer there) reflect a segment that the "current contributors" (meaning Costin camp) can do without. RA, and to some extent I get included, represent people that do not have good understanding of IT/computer science (e.g. teaching sector). They are verbose and are waste of time. These "lesser people" may be accepted if they just keep quiet and do the "wiki chores" (e.g. despam, fix up tabs). I have seldom seen the "C2 high flyers" doing these chores (not going to gain popularity with this last statement of mine).

I think the majority of the contributors at C2 think "application development and implementation" mean writing compilers, devicing new Perl scripts against newly identified exposures, intricate 3D game programming, etc.

You may wish to find out for yourself what other people think "Who is the community" at C2, and if you get them to speak out you will have material for a good page about C2.

My biggest lament about the site is that the worst enemies of the site started out as enthusiastic supporters. We need a way to ''"Break that Pattern"';'.

David, it's hard for me to comment. It's necessary to find some common ground. This means that everyone has to compromise somewhat and accept that his view is not absolute, me, you, everyone! What are the expectations when someone creates a page? What is acceptable content (to avoid OffTopic for a moment)? How are de-facto decisions like the RA-ban treated (accepted, respected)? What are the options? What do you think are the positions of the other active users? What is your position? Where do you want to insist and where are you willing to compromise?

Note that discussing RA issues is difficult, because he is banned and the issue has not settled. I've currently a friendly relationship to him, but I was once under the fiercest attacks imaginable - almost for nothing - and I'm not sure to never come into that situation again.

Completely open and free communities are impossible, not because a community can't be open for difficult people, but because the community is then closed for people that haven't grown a skin 2 inched thick. Have you thought about why there are so few women at WardsWiki? It's not impossible, I've founded a community that has 40+% of female authors! If I have to choose I prefer a hundred civilized people to 3 difficult ones. There seems to be no way to have them both.

A community can handle bans in a better way. For example I once banned EG (the only user I ever banned) because he simply became unbearable to me. I would have preferred otherwise (stand him longer, have a community decision). But I declared that I would unban him as soon as two members supported him (GründerWiki is a small community) and took some reponsibility for him. It took about four months until he got that support. He can write again, he contributes occasionally and there have been no problems since. -- HelmutLeitner

Thanks for the revert! -- Earle

Helmut, I find your method of converting the unwanted or unexpected into the constructive and collaborative to be inspiring. I just wanted to shoot you a smile in appreciation, since it's so hard to do that over the 'net. ;) -- SunirShah

Thank you for writing WikiCooperationArticle . Should I link to http://wiklossary.nearlythere.com/ at the end of it? Sometimes the "more and more links to information -- where does it ever stop?" seems overwhelming. I don't want to ruin the "everything you need to know about wiki on one page" quality the WikiCooperationArticle has now. -- DavidCary

Hi Helmut,

After a long quiet, I went away and implemented a new CDML evaluator (lex/yacc based in python) which I'm using in Cerenity ( http://cerenity.org/ )- which hasn't had a very wide release yet, but is fun so far. One site that's using it is the Kamaelia site - here: http://kamaelia.sourceforge.net/Home . Cerenity is now using a lex/yacc based parser for parsing the CDML. There's a few boundary cases (as you might expect) that cause a few problems, but generally these have worked quite nicely. Cerenity also only uses CDML for semantic or structural things, rather than simple markup, which I thought you might find interesting. (examples would be tab bars, indices, transclusions)

The really nice thing I like about your CDML though is the fact you can decide to markup text using a new CDML tag, and just let it exist with the text passed through BEFORE you write the code to understand the tag. Makes life a lot simpler, meaning you can put the cart before the horse if you like :-) Thought you might find it interesting.

-- MichaelSamuels

Michael, thank you for your work and for the information. Yes, I find it interesting and I'm happy that you find CDML as useful as I do. -- HelmutLeitner

I like your new mantra. -- SunirShah

Hi Helmut, great to meet you at WikiSym. I'm trying to expand on WikiEnginesWithSisterSites. Can you point to examples and more information about ProWiki's implementation? I could only find it briefly mentioned at http://www.prowiki.com/prowiki/wiki.cgi?AdvancedWikiFeatures --JohnAbbe

John,it was a big pleasure to meet you. Where does a longer description fit in? I currently use the method only for the 80 wikis on my ProWiki servers. If a wiki participates it writes its page changes to sister site log files /sistersite/pagename.sis in the format "second[+|-]interwiki". It is then very efficient to read this sis file through a hash to get at sister pages list. It would be also efficient to distribute external incremental page index log (e. g. /interwiki/pagename.log) entries "second[+|-]pagename" to the sis files. -- HelmutLeitner

Hi Helmut, thank you for the very nice WikiSym memory photo. I'm so glad that I got to meet you and hang out with you at WikiSym. Warmest Regards -- BrandonCsSanders

Helmut I have more background information at your C2 Home Page. But you would need to follow some links there to appreciate what I mean by dishonest editing -- DavidLiu 22Nov05

David, I've currently no time to look into this. I'm also no a referee for c2. Perhaps you could write a little about what you mean by DishonestEditing? or - perhaps less offensive - UnfairEditing?. -- ~~~~

Hi Helmut. I tried to send you an email and it bounced back from chello.at (Jan 3rd, 2006). The server is apparently frustrated that you take too long a vacation and your mailbox is full :) Send me an email when you get back to work. --CostinCozianu

Why don't you raise your objections on DAR wiki itself, Helmut? I'm sure they'd find it easier to answer them on a wiki they actually watch. Try [DAR wiki:Barn raising] perhaps. -- ChrisPurcell


-- HelmutLeitner

If someone in a village puts up posters saying when they are having a barn-raising, it makes no sense to write your reply on a poster. If they are looking for support, they may put up messages on several friendly-looking wikis. You can duplicate the text on their wiki. I'm sure they'd find it helpful: CriticismIsFeedback. -- ChrisPurcell

Well, our MeatballMission might indicate why they'd expect help. I'll see what I can do. -- SunirShah

On SuggestedWikiRoleModel: Personally, I found it fascinating and very useful; I've used the terminology in two place now, (the "Evolutionary Nexus" website, where I was arguing for SoftSecurity, and showing the ways things can be, and on CommunityWiki, on several occasions.) and I can say: It was really useful!

I agree partly with Sunir: We should "just let people be people." But I think that these rough expectations are sufficient to communicate how the community sees itself. They can say, "It's not exactly like this, but here is a base line of our personal expectations." Someone may disagree, and overstep the GuidePosts. But, that's okay, and is supposed to be allowed: That's why they're guide posts, and not fences, after all.

But I'm mainly just putting in my two cents: I loved that project.

-- LionKimbro

Could you mark adding a category as a CopyEdit, Helmut? It saves HijackingRecentChanges. -- ChrisPurcell

Sorry for the inconvenience. -- Helmut

Helmut, what do you think about the TwinWikiBall project? -- FridemarPache

Thank you so very much, my WikiFriend. A BarnStar does not even come close to letting me express my appreciation.

I think there must be a way of adding a factor into a TrustMetric that better quantifies what I am trying to say, but now is not a time when I can focus on mathematical models. -- HansWobbe

Hello Helmut, pondering about your cryptic message "OpenBusiness+=cat", suggesting that something is added to OpenBusiness, I googled for it

Google:"OpenBusiness+=cat" no entry Google:"+=cat" 425,000,000, i.e. 425 million entries

At least I found: [a big collection of funny cat photos].

This helped me to relax in lots of big laughter, because today I am preparing my tax declaration for tomorrow. And we all know, this is much less fun, than practising OpenBusiness. Even Einstein said something like: "Tax declarations are more difficult than Relativity Theory". :-)

I hope, that you or some other friendly, appreciated, collaborative, constructive peer takes the free TLDs WikiCat?.com, .net, .. for being developed in some OpenBusinessWiki like MeatballWiki or whereever you suggest, such that we can help each other to CreateAndShareWealth.


After publishing my message on MeatballWiki, I just waited from 15:10 until ca. 15:50, then I bought the TLDs to prevent, that WikiCat? is bought by "third parties", not intrinsically involved in wiki, but only speculating on cat(chy) domain-names. You know how many entries there are under Google:wiki and Google:cat. Now think of a cat(alog) of all wikis, practising OpenBusiness. As logo and for funny animations to make searching the tables (like a cat searches mice) more enjoyable we can get lots of CreativeCommons pictures of funny cats. Please make a suggestion how we can market this idea for a maximum of CreatingAndSharingWealth in the community. To check, that I have really bought the domains, click [4][5][6][7]. Please suggest a wiki and/or a WikiPage to redirect the URLs for practising OpenBusiness.

-- FridemarPache

Fridemar, sorry for the mental turmoil I created. "+=cat" is a kind of programmers slang, meaning "added a category". With respect to you concepts, I'm still a lurker, failing to understand the gist of it. -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, you know, that I programmed in C++ and other object-oriented C-dialects. And nearly all modern Computer languages offer the incremental assignment operator .. My last programming was Midi2Kb, a program that lets you use a piano Midi Kb as a PC keyboard extension. To the gist: "Nothing is more powerful than an idea that comes at the right time". The wiki-mind is now getting aware of its own economic strength. We are seeing now the awakening of the Web 2.O, which is not only a semantic web, but a social pragmatic web too. Everyone is invited to participate in CreatingAndSharingWealth, especially the wikizens. OpenBusiness in wikis appears to be the advent of the vision of the CluetrainManifesto. As an aside, it won't take long and some hundred million newcomer kids ( OneLaptopPerChild project of the MIT) from developing countries will look for the lowest cost entry into the high tech content industry. I tell you, they will find and/or create a SocialCommonWealth. We are here to help each other. -- fridemar

Fridemar, it is a sad fact, that the MeatballWiki community, however much we appreciate it and try to make it socially open, people from non-western-industrial countries or lower education don't join in. It is also a fact that the world is turning more and more into a casino-like economy, where reactions of an abstract market are unpredictable and people make their "bets" and hope for their luck. MemeHunting is just one kind of doing this, invent something and be positive, try to hype it. My personal attitude is to neglect this CasinoMainstream?, trying to do things that make holistic sense instead. Usually this is paid badly but my personal feeling in doing so is good, and I know quite a number of people that share this attitude. -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, the common denominator I see, is the "holistic" approach. Until now, most of us were conditioned, to have "a good feeling", when we contribute to wikis, although "this is paid badly", or in less euphemistic terms: "having a good feeling with unpaid work". This is another good example, how we are all doomed by the StayPoor meme. I had this "pattern" too. Isn't it more holistic, to integrate the economic dimension into to all the more or less high-pitched reflexions, we do in the wikis. Excluding the economic wealth-creating effects of the collaborative work of the wikizens is not holistic enough for more and more wikizens. Each wiki peer, who works 8 hours daily in wikis and blogs should at least have an income of 2000 US$ a month from their wiki work, so that they are free to dedicate their best ideas, knowledge and skills to the prospering of the planet, without being hampered by paid work for "third parties", who are not interested in the wellbeing of the whole planet. -- [fridemar]

Fridemar, I never followed the StayPoor meme. I'm an independent software developer and when I saw WardsWiki in August 2000, I saw an economic chance. I started WikiService and rented wikis ever since, continuously earning money with wiki. That this is a highly competitive market and that it turned out to be less profitable than expected, that is a different story. I do earn money and I want to earn money with my wiki expertise, next year more than this year and the year before.

It's great that you also have an economic model to make wiki work profitable and I wish you the best, but I do not understand it and therefore it doesn't motivate me to participate.


It gives me considerable comfort to know that you are "still lurking". After all, I generally find myself using you as a type of Audience "protoType" for the material I post, wondering ... "Can I justify this adequately to Helmut?" I find this helps me word those things I really care about, much more carefully. (Think of this as a type of Virtual Collaboration or even the BrainStorming we tried a few years ago.) -- HansWobbe.

Hans, you do me much honor. I think, it would make much more sense, to collaborate directly. Skype me. I'm sure we have overlapping fields of interests for real work. -- Helmut

Helmut... I missed this before, and only now found it as I am on the verge of leaving on a week-ling trip.

Hans and Helmut, what about BrainStorming StayPoor, in a real relaxed way. Please Helmut, don't be angry with me, if I take a quotation of you into StayPoor. I appreciate you both, no polemics intended, but social awareness-work. -- [fridemar]

Fridemar, isn't this a bit paradoxical? That you invite me to an unpaid discussion at StayPoor? -- Helmut (P.S. why should I be angry for the honour that you cite me?)
Helmut, you made an excellent joke, making aware the current paradoxical situation in wikis. I appreciate it in the same sense as Zen practicing peers appreciate the paradoxical effects near Satori. :-) -- [fridemar]

Helmut, please notify in the digest, if you erase announced links of your peers, like done on WorkNet, without leaving an erase notice in the digest. Instead of this you left the original link notice in the digest (".. added some queries for the convenience" ), such that peers, who appreciate the pre-established one-click google-searches, are confused, when they don't find them. -- fridemar

Fridemar, sorry for any inconvenience I caused ... but what digest are you talking about? Would you kindly introduce me to a peer that appreciates the search links? -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, it's ok.

Hey, we all use the digest, but thanks to a wiki conversation with Chris and Lion, I myself learned to appreciate this little marvel: DigestedSummary with extra care. Instead of writing

 Fridemar: please notify in the digest, if you erase announced links of your peers .. / what digest
we are recommended both to improve our writing something like:
 Fridemar asks to notify in the digest when announced and given links by some author are erased by some other author. 
 Helmut asks what digest is referred to.

Of course it would have even be a better formulation of "Fridemar", if he had used the term DigestedSummary.

Perhaps we can find one or another compromise, e.g.:

At last in my humble opionion holds: If somebody destroys structure, built by work of another peer, s/he has the burden of proof (to prove that this makes sense and is welcome to the community), taking responsibility of this act.

-- fridemar

Fridemar, it may not seem this way to you, but by overwhelming pages with links to Google, you are destroying the accepted structure of the wiki: namely, that of a PatternLanguage specific to that wiki. You are changing the very nature of wiki (c.f. WhatIsaWiki), so the burden of proof is on you to prove that this makes sense and is welcome to the community. (Note that this is nothing to do with the discussion about DigestedSummary, which I agree with you on.) -- ChrisPurcell

Chris, thank you for signaling the agreement on the DigestedSummary guidelines. I noticed that even Sunir doesn't strictly follow these guidelines. The same behaviour can be seen in the contributions of other appreciated active peers of this wiki. Fortunately we know how much our common success depends on good teamwork, so it should not be a great problem to find a good compromise between self-expression and self-sacrifice. By the way, your last digest helps to reduce some additional keystrokes for the peers, involved in this small talk discussion , that we should better factor out of Helmut 's Homepage. -- fridemar

Fridemar, sorry for the misunderstanding. Moving between many wiki systems I typically think "summary" or "page summary" for what you named "digest". You are of course right that the summary/digest should be in sync with the page content and reflect the process. My suggestion would be to concentrate on the content and not notify about changing layout or links.

With respect to your suggestions towards a kind of "polite-ical correctness" or towards new "standards of how to behave and structure our communication" I admit that I like to stick to common habits that have grown in this and other communities, as long as you are alone promoting them.

I think it scholarly to teach others how exactly they should chose their wordings. I think you slightly hurt yourself by doing so. -- Helmut

Helmut, you are right, we are a community, where each one is learner and teacher in one person. The better the balance, the less it hurts. Sorry too for any imbalance in our interactions. -- fridemar

I think it's the right thing to note such changes in the digest, but to mark them as CopyEdits; that way, one can choose approximately the level of detail one wants on RecentChanges. Of course, it's not easy to remember that such little things are possible when one frequently contributes to other wikis! As such, I would suggest to Fridemar that you digest the summary whenever you find another editor has left it stale — small-scale PeerReview :) -- ChrisPurcell

Chris, you used an abbreviation "&mdsah", I don't know, and you left the digest stale. What a nice Wabi Sabi. :-) -- fridemar

mdash (—). Mistype. Corrected. Thanks for doing the digest, couldn't figure out how to phrase it :) -- ChrisPurcell

Helmut... I can talk most anytime during this month. Is there a date and time that would be particularly convenient for you? I am also checking email regularly via hwobbe@datafix.com -- HansWobbe

Hans, do you want to skype? What is your timezone? I'm Vienna/Munique GMT+1. How far are we off? Your morning might fit into my afternoon:

  15-18pm GMT+1 => ? 6 hours => 9-12am Eastern Time
-- Helmut


I sent an email re a skype chat, but got a cryptic error message that indicated it might not have been transmitted. I'll send it again if you need it. -- HansWobbe

Hans, I got an e-mail and found you on Skype. -- Helmut

Helmut... Great! I'm hoping that DataFix? techies will open a port in their firewalls as early as Wednesday. I'll let you know as soon as they finish. -- Hans

Hans, just as you like. Sometimes, when connection is bad, we go back to kind of chatting using the Skype message window. If bandwidth is sufficient, we may turn on video. We use Skype really a lot and like it. -- Helmut

(Helmut and Hans, I've personally had good luck using GizmoProject? (http://gizmoproject.com))

Helmut... please see http://www.r-and-a.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/HansAndHelmut/RecentChanges

JonasDaltonRand: I don't want to start a WikiDrama? about this, but I don't think declaring WallaceCook unwelcome is good. Unwelcome to come here and write nonsense like "Da Vinci was a robot EXPERT !", yes, but he may be able to contribute well. I don't know whether he can contribute constructively or not, but I would like someone in this community to try to give him advise. I can try myself, but I think he got the wrong idea by me saying "Write something about communities" and then he wrote StOre?. So, how can I guide him around? He's not integrated in here enough (obviously) and may not be accustomed to many things here, and this could be his way of showing it.

Jonas, maybe you are right, maybe not. I think that Wallace shows a lack of social intelligence and it is not the goal of mb to teach people the basics of how to get along with each other. If you have the good will and tolerance to teach him and take responsibility for him, that's fine with me. Many of us did so, I did so, years ago. -- Helmut

Did what "years ago", Helmut? Do you know him in real life or something? --Jonas

Jonas, years ago, I thought like you, positively, try to include everybody in our wikis, talk night long to convince people to go a cooperative path. There are famous examples like ErnstGruber, RobertAbitbol? and others, where I've invested hundreds of hours. Over time I've become a bit realistic. Some people don't grok wiki, perhaps they do not grok the world, they probably never will and you can see it from their first actions with a 95+% probability. -- HelmutLeitner

I don't think it's fair to paint everyone who confuses wikis with geocities with the brush of Robert and Ernst, who both seem to have more serious personal issues than misbehaviour on wikis. -- SunirShah

What did RobertAbitbol? and ErnstGruber do that was bad? --Jonas

I did not say the Robert or Ernst did something bad. I, and others, where just unable to cooperate with them and use this wiki and other wikis together without conflicts. -- Helmut

It's tough to figure out what's the best thing to do over a wiki. In real life, I could read his body language. You almost have to play a statistical game. -- SunirShah

I'm not so sure that reading body language is that easy. -- Helmut

It's a language like any other. You can learn how to read it better. I hear method acting classes are helpful. The real difficulty is FundamentalAttributionError?. -- SunirShah

In that sense I agree with you - it is just as easy to read body language as written text. But there is also a reading between the lines and lying ... I meant it is not so easy to read from body language whether someone will be a good friend or fair partner. -- Helmut

Where do I look for contributors to http://spaghetti.scribblewiki.com ? --WallaceCook

Helmut, thanks for the metaphor! I have two related projects, and I thought you might like to assist. The first is straightfoward: I need set up a wiki to contain the prince and keep him at a respectful distance from the princess.

I did this myself : http://thething.is/tt.pl

The second project is the first task for the prince: creating a git underlayer for wikis. The idea would be to make wiki branching and merging as routine as it is in open-source development. The most obvious benefit is that it seems to offer a nicer and more graduated alternative to the FishBowl. In discussing this idea, a friend pointed out (gitit @ johnmacfarlane.net/tools.html ) -- a wiki written in Haskell which uses git internally. At first, I'm hoping to implement the idea for UseModWiki and gitit.

I imagine three near-term clients for this effort: Meatball, TeaTime, and Tim Gowers' polymath. Interested? --NathanielThurston

Nathaniel, for the next few months I'm completely immersed in my projects as a software freelancer, milestones all arround, I'm sorry. -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, I've learned quite a lot about wiki software and communities in the past few weeks, and I have a feeling I might have invented a few things in process. I'd love a chance to compare notes with you to see if there is any truth to this feeling. -- NathanielThurston

It's actually very nice to see your "footprints" and to know that you still visit (if only every other month or so)! -- HansWobbe.

Hans, thank you for this interesting link. -- Helmut

Helmut, it would be a pity, if your cryptic ShortDigest message, points to some problems beneath the surface. Should this be the case, can we help to harmonize? -- FridemarPache

Fridemar, I don't know what you are talking about, I'm not aware of a problem, and if there should be it is totally unrelated to you. I suppose you refer to my removal of the PrimarilyPublicDomain notice from my page. -- HelmutLeitner

Yes, why did you make this move -- FridemarPache (sorry for the belated answer to you implicit question).

Helmut, your line of thought --

The problem at the bottom of our current "crisis pyramid" is the social problem of sharing the available resources that could be only solved by some kind of generous solidarity. This solidarity is not visible and we understand no processes to grow it. Politics replaces it by economic growth and the promise that everyone will be a winner. This promise doesn't work and the economic growth leads us into the energy crisis, the climatic crisis, the financial crisis. So whatever happens, we are neither able to initiate it nor to control it. If the mechanics of the NooSphere were understood, those people at the top of the power/property/status pyramid would use it to stay on top and secure the better part of the cake. Current US health system confrontations show how easy it is to exploit the lack of solidarity to the disadvantage of the society as a whole (the great majority of people, especially the poorer).

-- provoked two points for me.

First, KatKinkade?'s observations of TwinOaks?. [(Twin Oaks.)] Kat Kinkade co-founded Twin Oaks some 30+ years ago. She also helped seed two ofshoot communities, if I recall right: East Wind and Acorn. She wrote an excellent book on her experiences called "Is it Utopia Yet?" Near the end of her life, she left Twin Oaks for several years in frustration, though she returned before she died.

She has several well reasoned criticisms tempered with love and affection for the ways of life she helped found.

A taste of her criticism is written out here: http://www.thefec.org/node/897

"...But I'm saying, if I were young again and were going to do a community again, it would not start with such rigid egalitarianism. And I'll tell you why."

"Hilke: Okay."

"Kat: Because the aim is to make everybody feel equally served by the establishment, and that's impossible. Equal time, equal money, equal whatever. But even if we had this godlike abililty to give everyone an equal amount of satisfaction in theory, there would be some who would immediately be dissatisfied, and they would be dissatisfied because they would look at what their neighbor had, and they’d say, “Well, I don’t have a clarinet.” And you could say to them, “But you’ve got a baby. Don’t you think that baby is expensive?” And they’ll say, “Oh, that doesn’t count. The community is supposed to support babies.” And they’ll be angry, and they’ll be envious of whatever anybody had. As far as I can see, envy seems to be built into the human, and I can see evolutionarily why that might be true. But it's not only built into the human, but also into the system of equality. And I read this about people: the more they strive for equality, the more they watch to see what their neighbors have, to see if they've got something that they don't. And that trait is so ugly and destructive and hateful that I would rather give up equality than have that trait around. I would like to destroy that. I would like to have a society in which we expect some people to have more than others. ... But I wouldn't want anybody to be more than double, have twice as much as somebody else. ... And so, because I have changed my mind about this, I no longer get excited about, "Oh, this isn't equal!" I think, "Yeah, it isn't. It isn't equal, and it's not gonna be." [sighs]"

Another aspect is the role of dreams. Kat Kinkade was regularly frustrated because new people would come in full of inspiring ideas and dreams, which the community consensus would quickly shut down in favor of the status quo.

This brings the second thing that came to me -- Damanhur. Damanhur is fundamentally rooted in solidarity. In the Constitution, as far as I am aware, the word "equality" nowhere appears. But solidarity is listed as a core principle in the introduction to the constitution, and is listed as a core principle in the very first point of the constitution.

One of many examples of how this plays into reality, is that the phrase "Con Te" (I am with you,) short for a longer phrase (something like: "I am with you my brother and sister in spirit,") is the standard greeting. When I visited, I definitely felt the sense of solidarity.

Further, dreams are fundamental to the fabric of Damanhurian reality, consciously cultivated, and the society reshaped to meet their fulfillment.

Damanhur is not without it's problems: It's a lot of hard work, both inwardly and outwardly, and Damanhurians put a high emphasis on continuity and finishing what you start -- backing out of projects freely chosen is strongly discouraged. Part of the reason there's so much solidarity is because the entire society is based in perpetual struggle consciously undertaken -- comfort is explicitly not an aim of the society. (I observed that much of the solidarity at Harvey Mudd College was because we all shared the 2-year long core curriculum, that we all struggled with together; A labor of love.) And if someone wants to see a given development sooner rather than later, they can get very frustrated. It's clearly not for everyone, nor does it strive to be such. But it is worth noting for the contrast.

-- LionKimbro

Lion, maybe I didn't express myself well enough. I do not doubt there is and can be solidarity. There are great individuals and there are wonderful religious and idealistic movements that typically promote the "giving" aspects of existance. But somehow these community models are restricted. Either they restrict solidarity to those within (heathen, religious wars). Often they pay by a loss of freedom, by being hierarchical or autocratic. Or the systems are not general enough to work for all in a multi-cultural society, or they are invaded by status-quo traditions, and so on ... -- HelmutLeitner

I don't write to disagree, as much to extend & share notes.

I think the realities more than the models are broken: Solidarity is inner agreement, not external agreement. It clearly can't be forced, but more deeply - it can't be projected, either: You could become a monk, and then become one with everyone; But unless I become one with you as you become one with me, this realization is only potential, rather than real. Solidarity can be extended to another, but unless it is received and reciprocated, it can only be a glimpse of a future possibility. Only when there is mutual agreement does it have the possibility of becoming real.

This is a political reality. There are efforts (such as [Humanities Team]) that work to do the political work to develop the political reality. I think that the religious/spiritual assertions connected with the Humanities Team effort prevent it from succeeding in it's present form, though I think their work is still worthwhile (in the spirit of: "Keep your eye on the prize.") Many people are opposed to anything that sounds like "New World Order," often specifically on religious grounds, but that would be poor reason to stop making the effort that may take centuries, millenia, or longer to complete.

-- LionKimbro

I sent an email to you a couple weeks ago to the email above about visiting Austria. Did you get it? -- SunirShah

Sunir, I'm sorry, I don't remember such an e-mail. Can you resend it or give me your route here. Would be nice if we could meet. -- HelmutLeitner



JuanmaMP -- Wed Aug 26 18:13:38 2009

Helmut, I noticed that Spanish interface doesn't figure in properties of Prowiki in wikimatrix. Maybe, does it deserve update?. There's two features that catches my attention for the time being: unlimited page revisions (btw) and categories, so I'm going to try to study it (learning through comparing).

What do you think about DoubleClick? that not implemented?


HelmutLeitner -- Thu Aug 27 06:40:08 2009

Juanma, I've just added Spanish at WikiMatrix, thank you for pointing me to this. You mean DoubleClick? editing? AFAIK this needs Javascript and I've always tried to avoid that. But it would be probably trivial to add this, maybe even without changing the code, just by adding some Javascript to the page template.

JuanmaMP -- Sun Aug 30 11:22:15 2009

Yes, Helmut; I meant DoubleClick? editing. I avoid Javascript, a little too for the being time. You're right the snippet is a short fragment.

Sorry for the delay of my answer here, but I am collecting some javascript snippets from UseMod descendants that I could apply in a wiki and then, I'll share them. (It will take a while)

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