Chat log for July 21, 2004: special GenE chat

System: camidon joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Hi CM!
camidon: howdy, Anneliese
anneliese: Caving today?...or writing?
camidon: How's it going this evening?
camidon: Was on the clock today. 9-6. Recovering from the 14 hour exploration trip yesterday
anneliese: Not bad. I've had some spiritual cleansing...think I'm ready to write again.
camidon: I've never been so sore <groand>
camidon: Spiritual Cleansing???
anneliese: Hope it's a good kind of sore, though.
camidon: But writing again is good. I don't know if I've ever read anything of yours.
anneliese: It's been a tough year for me. But I think I'm working through it, finally.
anneliese: You might have, although I haven't sent anything around in a very long time.
System: davek joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Hi Dave!
camidon: That's positive.
camidon: Hi Dave
davek: HI guys.
anneliese: Thanks for the email, Dave.
davek: No problem.
davek: I'll look into that novel manuscript page.
anneliese: Story log looks good, too.
anneliese: There is probably something good already out there, if we just want to find a link.
davek: I'm sure there is.
camidon: I'm still running way behind on SFWW stuff. Haven't gotten to the GenE sight in a while.
camidon: Nor the recent advances to the website.
anneliese: You must have spent some time on the wiki today, I see that the home page has been updated.
anneliese: Some advances, some backward steps, CM.
davek: I think the wiki is doing good. I still think we need to get new mwmbers. But that is for another chat.
camidon: It's always a process.
davek: I hope you don't mind. I thought it could use a little work.
anneliese: I'm beginning to have fun with it...even thinking about using it for other projects.
anneliese: I'd like to eventually revamp the home page so that it looks like a real entry point and move a lot of the
anneliese: rest of the stuff to sub-pages.
davek: The wiki or the SFWW home page?
anneliese: The wiki home page.
anneliese: Like those noisy links to the housekeeping stuff at the bottom.
anneliese: Make the whole thing a little less power-user and a little more novice-friendly.
davek: There is a lot at the bottom. I'm not sure if we need them or not or just leave them
camidon: So Dave, where do you think we stand on the GenE project?
anneliese: I'm thinking of making a page to contain them, and link to it.
camidon: I think that's a good idea, Anneliese
davek: Ann, that makes sense I think we need a novice info dump on the first page but that is all I would add.
anneliese: I agree, Dave.
davek: Chris, the GenE is fine but it needs participation. Also it needs a few major decisions, such as the length of the trip and if gene engineering is allowed.
camidon: Agreed.
anneliese: How can you prevent gene engineering?
davek: Ann, how do new users get into the wiki? Without a password can they see the front page?
anneliese: I posted a message on the message board and also sent an announcement.
anneliese: For access instructions. I will have to update the new member letter with the same.
davek: Chris, I was thinking that our two different views fast travel and gene engineering vs. slow and natural could make a story. We log our discussions and write it.
anneliese: I'm reluctant to post the guest id and password on the front page.
davek: Is a read only login possible?
camidon: Maybe we just need a chat with you, me, Mike, and anyone else who can make it, to go step by step through the issues and instead of discussion, we'll just do straight votes. Then we'll tally up the responses, and for the items upon which we disagree widely, that's what we need to have more discussion about.? Just some idea.
davek: Where is Mike?
anneliese: Good idea, CM. Don't know about Mike.
camidon: Don't know.
anneliese: The TWiki security system is kind of vague. There are ways to fix it, but I haven't figured them out yet.
camidon: Then, with this basic data, we could fill out the WIKI page.
davek: To answer Ann, you prevent gene engineering by laws.
anneliese: But, I still have issues with respect to casual non-SFWW browsers of the wiki and potential publication rights problems.
davek: The idea of the wiki is that we discuss it on the wiki. THat way we don't need a mutual agreed upon time.
anneliese: But laws are constantly in flux...what one generation outlaws, another can reverse.
camidon: True, Dave, about the WIKI.
camidon: However, I'm thinking about a one time quick way to see where everyone stands, and get all that info on the WIKI, and from there we can go anywhere.
davek: Ann, maybe we could copy the active webs section of the wiki to the SFWW page and only let members in.
camidon: Right now, we're picking and choosing (which is good), but it9;s horribly slow. I think we need to iron out a few more universe details before we can seriously start writing stories.
anneliese: I'm not sure I understand what you mean, Dave.
anneliese: What sort of details are you thinking about, CM?
davek: Just include a description of the different webs that are on the wiki and have it on the SFWW web site.
camidon: That, I don't know, Anneliese Haven't been to the WIKI page enough to see where we are really.
davek: I agree that our story ideas should only be available to members.
anneliese: To me, the most important thing to get in place and decide is how the project is organized, and the ground rules for collaborative writing.
camidon: But the stuff Dave mentioned, timeframe of story (Hundreds vs millions of years), etc
anneliese: That is a good idea, Dave, I can put the webs description up on a webpage describing the SFWW wiki.
davek: There are two issues. How to run a world building wiki, and the details of this particular world. We are doing both at the same time.
camidon: True, Dave.
anneliese: I guess that I'd like to focus on GenE, and hope(?) that the wiki issues will resolve in stride.
camidon: Perhaps, the first is more important. Without a solid structure to build a world, then a world won't survive it's creation???
anneliese: Tie breaker, Dave?
anneliese: Actually, I think we need to discuss how the collaborative part of the project is structured...
davek: I think we have a good start on running the wiki, so I would start on the world now and change the rules as we need to.
anneliese: rules of collaboration/ outline of things to do, etc.
anneliese: As a newbie, I think I would be afraid to jump in and mess with this, not really knowing what ideas are established or understanding the groundrules.
anneliese: (these are not wiki issues, but writing issues, imho)
davek: I agree it would be intimidating.
davek: Operational - rule issues.
anneliese: For example, I can see a multi-book series with book one dealing with beginning story issues
davek: What we need are more participants so we can find the problems and create the rules to fix them.
camidon: Dave, (jumping isses). Are you still planning to created that WIKI page with the story ideas? So we can associated ideas with the people behind them, and use them as brainfeed for everyone?
anneliese: ...how space exploration develops; developing deep space faring asteroids, etc.
camidon: And so we know who has what ideas for stories?
davek: Chris, it is on the GenE page. I figured as long as it is small I would leave it there.
camidon: Yes, the more participants, the better. But until we get things established, I think we've got all we're going to get.
anneliese: Next series of stories (book 2) deals with the third generation in space...how they are/are not adapting.
camidon: I'll have to check that out then.
camidon: Eventually, I'll contact Herbie about setting up a chat he could attend. I'd be he'd love that. (Though the time difference may just be too much of a barrier.)
anneliese: Another series deals with the generations landing on the new planet...some are ship gypsies and want to stay that way...some begin the adaptation to a planet.
davek: Ann, or do we want a first book that covers a good part of the flight so readers get a better idea of the whole idea.
camidon: I've decided not to worry about the construction of a book, until we actually have a few stories written. Then we'll see what we have.
davek: I agree with Chris. Put off what you can.
camidon: Let people write what they want in the universe, and see what happens, then structure a book. Unless, of course, some asks for more specifics.
camidon: " Actually, I think we need to discuss how the collaborative part of the project is structured..." What excatly do you mean Anneliese? How can we do this better, if this is a concern of yours.
anneliese: I'd suggest scoping out 3-5 'series' and let writers choose to work within that framework.
davek: Job one is to define the universe. THen create a time line and then write the stories.
anneliese: When you as editors begin getting finished stories, there may only be one (first) book that takes the best from the entire group and tells the whole story.
davek: I'm thinking that the first book may include a lot of "The Making of" this project.
anneliese: I'm thinking of the mechanics that the "Thieves World" series used...which is described in the back of one of the books.
camidon: I agree, Dave. Let's finish figuring out the basics of the universe. The WIKI site is great, but this was also why I suggested the one more Definite chat, to once and for all, voice all the main opinions, in a succint format, from all the main folks interest (Dave, me, Anneliese, Elizabeth, Mike).
anneliese: Yes, you do have to map out the overall universe and timeline. Also, create some sort of framework for the authors to use.
camidon: What do you mean, by framework?
camidon: Then we can put all that in the WIKI site, for an even better discussion basis (not that we've had poor discussion
anneliese: For example, in Thieves World, the framework centered around a certain town.
anneliese: In GenE, the framework begins with the basic concept of slow ships and evolution...
anneliese: but we might want to add some 'connecting' story that keeps everything together.
anneliese: Maybe a religion or philosophy regarding evolution that repeats itself as a theme???
camidon: Ok, I get you. I've been thinking about that same line of framework.
anneliese: There has to be something to help the reader pull it all together.
camidon: I've decided to not worry about that yet, until a few groundwork stories are written. Once we've got a few things, we can fill in the framework to connect the time gaps and so forth.
anneliese: Especially since the timeline and universe are so vast.
anneliese: Maybe I can pull my thoughts together on this and create a page.
davek: Ann, if you could post the thieve's world mechanics.
anneliese: Certainly feel more than welcome to scrap anything I'd say, but it might give you some fodder to build upon.
anneliese: Yep, Dave, I'll try to look it up...the books are around here somewhere.
camidon: Dave, would you be opposed, to another chat? Solely to systematically go through the issues we've thought of, and once and for all see where everyone stands? I'd contact MIke to see what would work for him? I'd envision as a 1 hour chat, where we don't do any discussion, but simply line by line, go through the list of world construction possibilites.
davek: No I'm not opposed to a chat but the attendance seems low.
anneliese: Again, this might be a great opportunity to use the wiki, and *force* folks to comment/vote there.
camidon: Yes, but I'm more concerend simply with you, me, Mike and Anneliese, the heavy hitters in the project thus far.
davek: That is a long list. We need to prioritize them
anneliese: (even though I love these chats )
camidon: I agree, which would have to be done before the chat, to make sure we move quickly through the issues.
camidon: "his might be a great opportunity to use the wiki, and *force* folks to comment/vote there. What do you mean?"
anneliese: Can we set ourselves a deadline to construct and post the list first?
camidon: How would you creat a page about this?
camidon: I think I get it though, and you're right, it may be better then a chat.
anneliese: If we post the list as a page, or series of related pages, then folks can add their comments directly there.
davek: How about - drum role please - an email to define a few topics to work on, a time period of a week or so to use the wiki to discuss it, and then a chat to for final discussion and voting.
camidon: I think that would work <nodding to self thoughtfully>
anneliese: And if we use the new comment box that I installed, it's pretty easy for folks.
anneliese: I like that Dave...it could even end up being, say, a 15 min. session before the regularly scheduled chat.
camidon: That sounds good to me. I say let's try it and see what happens.
anneliese: Who honchos the creation of the list and parceling of topics/issues?
camidon: How about this: Dave, you parcel up the topics list, and I'll contact Mike about a possible good chat time?
davek: I'll pick my 6 top issues and send them to you and Ann
davek: If no discension is a day or two then Ann sends them to ?? the group or the four?
camidon: Within a few days we'll put out an email with the topic, the exact comment time period (one-two weeks) and when the short chat will be.
camidon: I'm thinking sometime the first week of August??
camidon: I say lets send out the stuff to the group. I doubt will get any response, but who knows.
davek: If there is no story for Monday, how about the email goes out then. Then 1 or 2 weeks of wiki discussion (I think 2) and then the chat.
davek: That puts the chat the week of August 9th
anneliese: I have 2 subs in the queue...CM's and I forget who is after you.
anneliese: BobF, maybe.
davek: Oooh, action in the group. Great.
camidon: Fine by me, but that is the AOL chat. Which I can't attend. However, if we chat before the regular time, I'm sure I can make it.
davek: Chat the next wed. AUg 11th?
camidon: But I do want to contact Mike, and see ahead of time, what chat he might be able to make, since his schedule is the most crazy (I think)
anneliese: I can push you both back a week so you can have a story chat.
anneliese: (Maybe I'll just send something of mine around monday)
davek: We have until the emial goes out to set the date.
anneliese: Do see if you can contact Mike for his availability.
camidon: Will do. ONce I do that, we'll set the date. I'll be in email contact about it. And hopefully we'll get out the email to the group in two days or so.
davek: Ann, I don't see a comment box on the wiki.
anneliese: Look at the ShortShort stories in the Write web for an example of a comment box.
anneliese: It's a new plugin I installed.
davek: OK
anneliese: It allows you to add comments to a page without using the Edit process.
anneliese: Find the documentation in Twiki.plugins
anneliese: I think I added it to the Write web template also.
davek: Documentation, I don't need no stinking documentation.
anneliese: lol
camidon: lol
camidon: I've got to run here.
davek: Bye Chris.
anneliese: I'm glad you could make it...recouperate well!
davek: Ann, I assume I can just pull the code from the shortshort page.
camidon: It's been fun. I'll be in touch shortly.
anneliese: That's what I would do.
camidon: gnight all.
anneliese: Niters
anneliese: I also added the table formatting plugin and background color.
davek: Ann, you emailed me some comment about changing to a php wiki.
davek: WHy do we need/want the grep capability?
anneliese: Yes, I did. Given that we have so little text invested in this one, changing would be fairly easy.
anneliese: The grep capability is what runs the search engine...if you want text search capabilities, you need it.
davek: You're doing it go crazy.
anneliese: I was a afraid you'd say that.
davek: lol
anneliese: TWiki is a bit more mature and has more features.
davek: I removed the old world building links from the main page. You can delete the files whenever.
anneliese: I thought what I would probably do is install the phpWiki in the next few days and play with it.
anneliese: I've also submitted a question to the Twiki support page, so maybe I'll get a work-around.
davek: Do we want to make a big change just before we may generate some heavy use?
anneliese: Yep, I noticed that you made the main page changes.
anneliese: I don't know whether we want to make the changes...we could just delete the links from the templates and no one would know.
davek: I think I'lladd a BIG DISCUSSION area. Should it be on the main GenE page?
anneliese: I think there should be a link from the main GenE page.
anneliese: And possibly a link from the Worlds main page.
anneliese: I'm also considering installing a *skin* to create a simple navigation link panel.
anneliese: Again, trying to make the thing more user friendly.
davek: SOunds good. Best to keep the number of mouse clicks to a minimum.
anneliese: I'd like to simplify the pages...do you think we could eliminate search and some other items?
anneliese: WikiWords ought to be enough with good cross-linking.
davek: Yes, It is complex, intimidating and unnecessary IMHO.
anneliese: Also, how do you feel about those revision numbers at the bottom.
davek: Probably not needed except on a rare occasion.
anneliese: The history is going to be kept. Maybe we can create an alternate skin for power users when they want to see that stuff.
davek: You can use html comment markup to get rid of them but have them easily available?
anneliese: Twiki has a better way to accomplish that...still learning it though.
anneliese: For example, you have the ability to create your own custom way of viewing a page, that no one but you knows about and uses.
anneliese: The methodology is called skins and is very powerful.
davek: Good for power users, huh.
anneliese: Basically, skins are a way of hiding most of the default power user functions.
anneliese: Defaults can be established, which can be overridden at the web, topic and user levels.
davek: It threw me when my name came up on the top page. I thought it was me only not a by user thing.
anneliese: Yep, I changed that so you would know for sure that you were logged in.
davek: As I said earlier - Go crazy. I hope this translates into something you can use in your business.
anneliese: Didn't see a need for the TwikiGuest link.
anneliese: So do I. If nothing else, it has been a form of entertainment for me.
davek: Such a straight line. I'm blocked with responses.
davek: But, it's getting late.
anneliese: True, it is.
anneliese: The problem is, being a night owl, these chats really get me wired.
anneliese: I guess I should make the log and post it.
davek: I'll get that list out today or tomorrow.
davek: Yes, especially story ones where you want to develop an idea.
anneliese: That will be fantastic. I'll try to keep you guessing with what I am doing with the wiki.