Strategies for Organizing Wiki Content

I've been trying to figure out wikis for a long time. It always strikes me that the wiki is probably the first truly unique (and successful) textual form of the Internet age. And there's a lot to figure out. The technological innovation of the wiki is actually remarkably straightforward, [1] and while difficult the community building aspects of wikis are straightforward. [2] The piece of the wiki puzzle that I can't nail down in a pithy sentence or two is how to organize information effectively on a wiki.…

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A Git of One's Own

My most sincere apologies to Virginia Woolf for the title. We use a lot of git at work, and I've earned a bit of a reputation as "the git guy," both at work and amongst the folks who read the blog. So, I suppose it should come as no surprise that a coworker (hi stan!) said "You should write something about using git when it's just one person." And I said "well sure, but it's not nearly as interesting as you think it's going to be.…

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I want ZFS in the Kernel

The background: Sun Microsystems developed this file system called "ZFS," which is exceptionally awesome in it's capabilities and possibilities. The problem, is that it was developed and released as part of the Open Solaris project which has a licensing incompatibility with the Linux Kernel. Both are open source, but there is a technical (and not all together uncommon) conflict in the terms of the license that makes it possible to combine code from both licenses in a single executable.…

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Why Open Source Matters

A reader (hi grandma!) asked me to write a post about why I'm so interested in open source, and who am I to refuse. In fact, I tend to do requests pretty well, so if there's a subject you'd like to see me cover here, just ask and I'll see what I can do. In any case, I've been involved, for varying definitions of involved, in Free Software and open source for a few years now.…

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Ritual, Velocity, and Getting Things Done

I finished chapter eight of the novel that I've been working on for... Oh? Way. Too. Fucking. Long. And you want to know how I'm even comfortable asserting that I'm done with the initial draft of Chapter 8? I wrote an entire scene from Chapter 9 without saying "wow, I need another scene in Chapter 8 so that the story works out." Because I've finished Chapter 8 at least three times, but this time I'm pretty sure.…

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Objective Whatsis

Ok, confession time, I don't really get object orientation. So in an effort to increase my understanding, I'm going to write some overview and discussion in an effort to understand things a bit better. Hopefully some of you will find this helpful. I've tinkered with programing for a long time. I read a huge chunk of a popular Python introductory text, and I've read a chunk of Practical Common Lisp, but people start talking about objects and I loose track of everything.…

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Skill and Mastery

A few years ago, at a Morris Dance weekend, I saw a woman sitting in one of the common rooms obviously struggling with a piece of knitting. I helped her figure out something, and then went back to singing or whatever it was. When I returned to my chair the experienced dancer sitting next to me assumed I was the student and said, "Getting a knitting lesson, eh?" And I chuckled in between choruses and said "Not really, I'm an even better knitter than I am a Morris dancer.…

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