Wiki pages, Forums, Comments, Annotations, Versions, Relations...
We discussed them as pretty much the same thing, and liked the idea of unification.
They are similar conceptually (they're all part of Research Discourse) and as data.
They differ by status (disposition): some are Publishable, some can be Approved as new authoritative version of the data, others are Rejected to prevent further (off-topic) discussion, etc.
- I can make a data Annotation on a particular data field (or a whole object): that's a Comment
- Someone can reply: how we have a Forum
- I could also propose a new value for the field: that's a Version
- I can justify my thinking by linking to another object or field: that's a Relation
- I can write my comment with extra precision, rigour and interesting facts: that's similar to a publishable Wiki page that can go to the published site
- We should make it very easy for users to embed a semantic link: see [OntoCollab:IKS VIE] notes/presentations
- People may also want to talk about stuff in general, not about specific objects. See MFPMFP for examples. Even small talk is ok: that's part of the social discourse that facilitates Research Discourse
- The various statuses (dispositions) are important! Eg MFPMFP distinguishes between Recent Comments (small writeups) vs Recent Contributions (more substantive writeups, i.e. separate pages)
- Data and Image annotations are presented in a "Forum" view
- But it's flat and has no features
- RS3.6 needs to implement feature-rich Forums
We need to answer some key requirements questions first, so we can evaluate alternatives.
- Are Forums related to Annotations?
We suggested so in the London discussion from a year ago.
But I think Dominic's latest thinking is that they are totally independent. This means that a Data Version cannot result directly from a discussion
- Should Forums be stored in RDF or in RDBMS?
- I feel storing all data in RDF is better, since it keeps the door open for unified search and various kinds of integrations
- But it's unlikely we'll find a ready feature-rich Forum storing in RDF. In that case we'd need to retarget it
- If we decide to use RDBMS, I think we should use the same one as Nuxeo (Postgres), though that might be going away
- What features are we looking for in a forum?
- Functionality, such as editing/adding/filtering/threading...
- Compatibility with current tools
- Must use the same rich text editor, so semantic links would work
- Possibility to retarget it to an RDF store
- I am tempted to write the forum specification for sprint 6 against the use of WordPress and the bbpress forum plugin –see http://chasesagum.com/5-best-choices-for-wordpress-forum-plugins
- This would provide a low risk look at WordPress as a potential platform while providing the required forum functionality which seems straight forward and easily customisable.
- Please can you give me your thoughts.
- WordPress is based on PHP, which has these implications:
- Infrastructure: need to maintain yet another server
- Development: we'll mix a third language in the fray (in addition to Java and JS). This is tenable only if we'll be using the software directly, and not adapting it in any way
I think we should look for a Java-based forum, not PHP.
- WordPress is based on MySQL. See discussion about "RDBMS vs RDF" above