It's been suggested in the past, and I dismissed the idea because there are already good enough #wiki systems out there, but re-thinking it a federated wiki using #ActivityPub might bring a new aspect in that it would be federating pages between you and your peer group. That means unlike Wikipedia or another monolithic wiki there would be no single source of truth, and pages could travel the social graph and morph according to local conditions.

So a federated ActivityPub wiki wouldn't be a competitor to Wikipedia, but would be more about accumulating information directly relevant to your affinity group.

@jens @bob Another novel aspect would be that your wiki would change depending upon your current social graph.

@bob that is a very interesting idea.

The one federated wiki I know is as explained on this page on how it works on

makecommoningwork.fed.wiki/vie

I started this topic a while ago on to keep track on some resources as I come upon them, and added details from that page..

socialhub.activitypub.rocks/t/

@humanetech @bob I used FedWiki for a couple of years, but it was complicated and written in a very Silicon Valley manner which assumed that you would log in with Google.

Doing something with ActivityPub would leverage the existing social graph, rather than being something entirely separate.

@bob
@mike_hales is a dedicated fedwiki user and fan. What do you think of this idea, Mike?

(I like it. I want to do as much as I can in the same environment, eg Fedi. Got too many environments already, want to cut at least two or three of the many I use now, not add another.

I have a lot of respect for FedWiki but can't get into using it.)

@bhaugen
I agree wikis are important and federation across wikis too. Sorry, I'm not able to easily imagine what the characteristics of a system of wikis might be, built under an #activitypub protocol. That would be quite a thought experiment - worth doing properly I'd say. But I can try to outline the important characteristics of federated wiki imho. Aka 'wiki'.

1ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
In contrast with wiki(pedia), wiki is for individual rather than collective authorship/ownership. The pages or paragraphs of a wiki site can be forked without limit within the wiki community. Ward Cunningham (wiki creator/guru) calls this 'a chorus of voices' in contrast with the wiki-for-consensus that most people are familiar with.

2ofn
@bob
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
wiki has affordances that enable a community to form around (using) the members' own wikis, and publish work to each other with an intention to collectively evolve an understanding or a body of content, in wiki. This is sometimes called 'podding'. A parallel (sync or async) communication channel is needed too - messaging, email, videoconferencing, etc.
3ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
wiki has affordances for observing what other known writers have been at work on (signified by page edits) and for constructing a 'neighborhood' of sites containing resources believed to be useful in the context of the present wiki. Within the neighborhood, free-text search is available. Any found page (or paragraph within it) can be forked to the present wiki. Thus wiki is 'an awareness engine'.
4ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
wiki is profoundly hypertextual - not only links across and within sites but also endless forking of content and versioning of pages. A page maintains a complete version history, including sources of content. Hyperspatiality makes 'wiki space' hard for many folks to navigate in. A feature of wiki UI is narrow pages laid side-by-side in the window. This helps in flattening hyperspace. But this is also confusing for many folks used to multiple browser tabs
5ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
wiki comes out of the Smalltalk community. Its original programmer Ward Cunningham also programmd the first wikipedia-type wiki (called 'wiki wiki'). wiki is an attempt by Ward, 30 years later, to provide tools for creative authorship and active making, rather than librarianship and the authority of professional fields. In this regard it may be closer to Tiddlywiki for example (eg used for personal notebooks) than to wikipedia.
6ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
Coming from Smalltalk (and, say, Hypercard), and from Ward as an ace creative programmer/problem-solver, wiki includes affordances for computation within the page, across pages in a wiki site, across sites in a farm (a server) and across servers in the wikiverse. wiki is absolutely not just a text engine, it's a federal computing environment.
7ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
Significant 2021 innovations from wiki's geeky core community include plugins that do computation from data on a site's pages; also drawing visual maps of relationships within a web of linked pages (and other graph applications); also organising data harvested in large-scale geographical spaces. The tooling capability of wiki is enormous. Again this makes it harder for 'simple' users to really mobilise the power. But to 'get it', readers must be writers.
8ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
TBH the wiki community is pretty geeky, largely comprising sysadmins who self-host farms. Experiments are only just beginning, in creating hosted wiki farms for non-geeks to use in a routine, 'vernacular', SaaS kind of way - as personal notebooks say, or as vehicles for explicit federating across a community of collaborating co-makers (eg community organisers, educators, coop development folks, activist networks, designers).
9ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@bhaugen
FYI my wikis can be found from this page of 'rosters'
mhresources.federated.wiki/ros
Another listing is here
mh.federated.wiki/what-goes-on
Some are work-in-progress. Some are scrapbooks. Some are resource catalogues to support projects. Some are drafts of books. Some are thought spaces for reflecting on issues (components of a digital toolstack for organisers, the institutional labour of activist education aka formaciòn, 'making the living economy').
10ofn
@bob @humanetech @bonfire

@mike_hales @bhaugen @bob @bonfire

Great info, Mike. With your permission I'd like to copy your texts to SocialHub where I keep track of related matter..

socialhub.activitypub.rocks/t/

(microblog is terrible as an archive for such things :)

@humanetech
Please do repost 😊

I surely have missed some features, might tweak this series if a conversation develops.

I feel wiki is a very serious collaborative text-based environment; also a serious distributed computing environment. Intrinsic complexity makes it puzzling for many folks. This kind of issue is only just being engaged in the wiki core community, with a view to making wiki a space of vernacular tools for conviviality.
@bhaugen @bob @bonfire

@humanetech
I'm up for spending a little time comparing the approaches to federating, of #activitypub and #fedwiki, as regards wikis. With folks who know the former. Any takers? The community of the former is larger and protocols more explicit.

The rationales differ but might be consistent? The libre aesthetics of the latter are maybe more creative-collaborative-collectivist, less dogmatic-libertarian-'Stallmanist'? Oops.
@bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
C'mon, Mike! Who in this thread is
> dogmatic-libertarian-'Stallmanist'?

Or in the AP community in general?

I mean, why even say that? Smells like you have somebody in mind.

@humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
Nobody in this thread Bob :)

But in the free-libre-open software world I find I'm quite fidgetty about the Right-libertarianism in the first of the four freedoms. @ntnsndr for example, has written helpfully about the politics of 'its OK for anybody to do anything with this code'

Fedwiki is somewhat individualist too. But I sense it differs in ¿some? way from classic FLOSS libertarianism. All this matters I think, when exploring 'federating'?
@humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
Are you worried about software license issues, or attitudes of participants, or both?

I think (but am not a license lawyer) that when federating over a protocol where the participants are decoupled from one another and just send and receive messages, the licenses of the participating software "apps" do not matter.

Continued (1 of 2)...

@ntnsndr @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

continued (2 0f 2)

In fedwiki, do all the participants use the same software? In an ActivityPub federated wiki, they would not need to, but they would need to agree on something like a standard vocabulary and wiki rules.

Or did I misunderstand your concerns completely?

@mike_hales @ntnsndr @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
No not licensing - I'm sceptical of licences as a response with much actual force in the face of capitalist markets and legal costs. Concerned with attitudes I guess. Or rather, with the practical-political-ethical commitments that some 'first freedom' usage might have.

As a commoner & socialist, I regard the community/commons as having claims over the individual. So 'do anything you like with the commons' isn't an acceptable stance.
1of2
@ntnsndr @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
2of2 You're hinting at a need for agreed protocols as a frame for 'freedoms'? I agree. And I think protocols include ethical ones as well as tech ones. Hence, some usage needs to be 'illegal' in the commons - it needs to be possible to identify and police abuse of a commons. Autonomism has limits?

Not suggesting the AP community are Bad Actors 😉 Just that libre software isn't necessarily a full-grown ethical standard or human value
@ntnsndr @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
One nice thing about federation in Fedi is you can federate with (follow) who you want and block who you don't want.

I assume that is also true of FedWiki with probably different mechanisms?

@ntnsndr @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
Hard to say just what (or who) in fedwiki federates with whom (or what). This is where a real analytical investigation/comparison with AP would be called for.

Something like:
- computational nodes (plugins) federate w nodes and data within a site (and data can be dynamically scraped or crawled across the entire web, as well as explicitly furnished)
1of2
@humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
2of2
- Sites are passively federated across farms (servers) thro fedwiki protocols, for search within a neighborhood
- Persons (site authors, humans) can choose to federate with authors (eg thro forking pages or including sites in a neighborhood).
- All pull, no push (thus no blocking but also no automatic following of a person/author)

'Federating' might be fundamentally different in AP and wiki. Hard to say. Worth investigating?
@humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
> 'Federating' might be fundamentally different in AP and [fed]wiki. Hard to say. Worth investigating?

Probably worthwhile to lay out the differences.

@humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
> Probably worthwhile to lay out the differences.

Especially as some details emerge about proposals for federated wikis in AP.

@humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen @mike_hales @bob @bonfire @yala

Biggest challenge is in the protocol itself, and its standardization.

Though when it is limited to a single domain (representing knowledge graphs / wiki's) it might be way more easy to get that from the ground.

@humanetech
> Biggest challenge is in the protocol itself, and its standardization

Biggest challenge in wiki I think is that the protocol is largely tacit. The code repo *is* the protocol? There is only one fedwiki server/client/page protocol, but infinitely many implementations of protocols in configuring text & code objects in pages in sites in farms?

TBH I'm not sure how to apply the 'protocol' construct in fedwiki. I invite wiki wizards to have a say here!
@bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala

@humanetech
Commenting on standard inbox/outbox model of AP, Ward writes (in matrix)
> we see the federation as a collection of outboxes which actors are free to draw from at their convenience. .. rather than you pushing into my inbox

Pretty basic difference of protocols there, I would say! Like I wrote earlier all pull no push. A distributed library or repository rather than a broadcast media channel?

So, as a media protocol, is AP out of kilter w wikis per se?
@bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales @bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala

Yes, you are absolutely right. What I am thinking about when it comes to federated wiki's is more of a best-of-both-worlds merging of the two.

Keep the hypermedia fabric that makes wiki's so successful, but on the social interaction side, the collective maintenance, curation and all the social aspects of bringing knowledge together make use of AP social primitives and vocab extensions.

@humanetech
Maybe an architecture something like:
- The fedwiki protocol federates computational objects and data, across pages/sites/servers = a 'library'; and
- An admin who hosts an instance of fedwiki also hosts an instance of, say, Mastodon or Discourse, to facilitate the federating of wiki authors in 'pods' thro asynch chat and deliberation.
- Plus for good measure, a multi-user account in meet.coop for live interaction.
The AP protocol only partly applies?
@bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala

Follow

@mike_hales

I think I'm only able to say something on the technical part once I have an idea of how the new -enabled facility would be an enrichment to my life that goes beyond what current tools offer. And I mean generally.. what does it offer fedizens that will delight them?

So I brainstormed a bit and wrote a topic on the matter:

socialhub.activitypub.rocks/t/

@bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala

· · Web · 1 · 0 · 1

@humanetech @mike_hales @bhaugen @bob @bonfire @yala
I haven't followed your whole thread, and I'm not sure if I've referred to yet. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to look at Clay-Ferguson's yet, but in principle it seems exciting. I wrote to Clay-Ferguson and asked him if he is already on or if he would like to join us.
github.com/Clay-Ferguson/quant
quanta.wiki/

@bhaugen @clay @humanetech @mike_hales @bob @bonfire @yala

I can't say anything about the features, the project was only forwarded to me a few days ago.

@bhaugen @clay @humanetech @mike_hales @bob @bonfire @yala

On the home screen of quanta.wiki/
there is a folder icon on the bottom titled with: "More about Quanta..."
If you click on it, you agaion get a link to features.

@naturzukunft @bhaugen
Quanta looks rather 'social media'. Thus rather unlike fedwiki?
Also looks to me more like a tool for managing a network of media objects, than a form of communication? Compare wiki:
> Federated wiki isn't exactly a protocol. It's more like a data structure. So the humans are the ones who bring the whole thing to life by reading and reassembling the sprawling data structure.
Eric Dobbs in fedwiki matrix matrix.to/#/!ORfrUEFeWFcHAMLFL
1of2
@clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@naturzukunft @bhaugen
2of2
Eric goes on, in a wiki lineup
wiki.dbbs.co/view/library-pub-
For me the stand-out thing, said earlier, is fedwiki is 'an awareness engine' not just a passive repo/library and not a push publisher. It has tools in the UI for looking for what other nominated interesting folks are up to. Eric notes that the 'library' of wiki may likely have a 'coffeeshop' next door, where researchers chat in between digging in the stacks and notemaking.

@clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@naturzukunft @bhaugen
Awareness engine:
> Eric: human protocols supported by small data machines [that enable] reading and reassembling the sprawling data structure
> Ward: In Federated Wiki, there is no server to server linking . . The connection (federation) between wiki is based on readers journey through the content

Thus: wiki as a personal mapping tool, for many writers' changing content, supported by numerous pieces of mapping tooling.

@clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
I can see how Fedi can work for coordinating economic networks, eg bonfirenetworks.org/

I don't yet see how Fedwiki can do that.

I think economic networks need a combination of human conversations and economic coordination. Such a combo does not yet exist in practice, but it might be emerging.

Fedwiki seems to be about mapping knowledge and ideas, not coordinating actions. More personal than collective.

Wrong?

@naturzukunft @clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
If coordinating implies back&forth exchanges (txt messaging for example) wiki doesn't furnish this. Simple, use AN Other app! In another tab.

Wiki's great for mapping, sharing mappings and copying mappings (eg documentation of events in a value network). No reason why a wiki page can't be a delivery note, invoice, quotation etc. Even a Kanban. Doesn't have to be 'philosophy' or research notes! Wiki even has page templates.
@naturzukunft @clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
Wiki's also great at in situ computation and graph rendering, based on data across a site, a neighbourhood, the wikiverse or even scraped from the entire web. And has tools to reveal what events (page edits) have occurred in a nominated neighbourhood (eg the actors in a value chain). Ie tacit communication of events (not P2P push messages).

Just add txt chat! In another browser tab. What else d'you need for value chain interaction?
@naturzukunft @clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
If wiki is a data structure plus some small computational machines (as Eric Dobbs suggests) isn't a federation of wikis a way of aproaching your ideal of integrated data for valueflow management? Just piggyback a txt chat app on it for chat or push notifications? Pull notification of events is already built in.

@naturzukunft @clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
I agree that federated wikis could be part of the mix, but I think the wiki would need to be piggybacked on the conversations, which are about commitments to perform events and performing the events. So the wiki could render the resource flow graphs. See for example write.as/economic-networks/vis

The conversations and events are primary. Wiki secondary, derived. (I think...)

@naturzukunft @clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

Removing clay @ quanta wiki from this thread until I get to the bottom of fediblock.org/blocklist/#quant which I got from @humanetech and might not have picked up on fast enuf.

@mike_hales @naturzukunft @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
>conversations and events are primary

An event is identical with the documentation (digital representation) of the event? So if wiki holds the documentation that makes it pretty primary?

Yes, wiki would serve well to draw graphs of any data it could scrape from the wikis in its neighbourhood (=the value network). According to workflows also documented in wiki.

Not so much primary/secondary, I'm thinking. More of an ecosystem?

@humanetech @naturzukunft @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
> An event is identical with the documentation (digital representation) of the event?

The digital representation of an observation of the event is probly as close as you will get, unless the event is executed digitally.

But a lot of conversations will precede and follow the event and will be necessary to understand it.

> So if wiki holds the documentation that makes it pretty primary?

Wiki will be a copy, or refer to the sources.

@humanetech @naturzukunft @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
To maybe clarify a bit, the observation of the event will itself be a message in a conversation, as will the plans for the event and any followup conversations and events. They will all be parts of the same conversational thread or related threads.

Is the picture getting clearer?

@humanetech @naturzukunft @bob @bonfire @yala

@mike_hales
> If coordinating implies back&forth exchanges

It does, see for example valueflo.ws/concepts/cfa/

But those conversations continue, even after agreements, to follow all of the events that fulfill the agreements.

> (txt messaging for example) wiki doesn't furnish this. Simple, use AN Other app! In another tab.

It's not plain text, it's formatted, and it all wants to be integrated. I can tell stories about lacks of integration.

@naturzukunft @clay @humanetech @bob @bonfire @yala

@bhaugen
>not plain text, it's formatted, and it all wants to be integrated

All I'm saying on this point I think, is that wiki might do a great job of documenting and pull-notifying *events*, defining workflows (*activity* webs) and representing *agents*, and that exchanging of messages - thro another app - between agents can refer to documented events (agreements, exchanges, deliveries, payments, whatever)? Format of messages can be as complex or simple as needed.

@bhaugen
An API is called for to pass content between message and documentation apps? Wiki page plugins ought to be competent to generate API outputs for messaging and scrape API inputs to pull them into the wiki documentation/mapping frame?

Not sure how documentation of *resources* fits in. No time right now to puzzle further on this. I wouldn't want to bend wiki as far as acting as an inventory management tool. Maybe AN Other app, and another API? An app ecosystem, even! Must go!

@mike_hales
> app ecosystem, even!

Yes indeed.

> Must go!

Another time...

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