GNU Encyclopedia Tech FAQ

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By Dan Geiser <dgeiser13@hotmail.com>

One thing that I've always find helpful when becoming involved with any project or subject are guidelines that new participants can use to get up and running without causing too much of a stink. Has anyone even broached the idea of starting a FAQ in which to record information about the general consensus of project participants?

Relating back to my previous posting about deciding what, exactly, one wants to create before naming it...it seems to me that up until now some of these things can be defined. For bookeeping purposes I can call the unnamed project GNE as in GNE's Not an Encyclopedia. This does not have to be the name of the project!

What is GNE?

1. Potential Attributes of GNE:

Only one I can think of...free information. To me that's the biggest one. There are probably (definitely) others but everything can start at this point.

Now one could say, "Well, what is the scope of this information?" Is this general information, specific information or a combination of the two? It can be whatever we make it. If one stands behind the concept that almost any word or phrase which has meaning could be in GNE then within the context of a specific word or phrase one could have different levels of detail and abstraction.

For example, at abstraction level 1 (the most abstract) an entry for "Dog" might be quite simple, perhaps a few sentences or a paragraph. Some other terms in GNE like "animal" might relate to dog at abstraction level 1 but other terms like "mammal" might require an additional level of detail. One could have as many level of details as deemed necessary by the article writers within that topic.


Another thing which needs to come in play as some sort of moderation system. I don't know if this should be a pure voting system, some sort of karma system (like Slashdot), peer review, an apprentice system (like Advagato), etc. I DO NOT know what the right solution is.

But, ultimately I picture a framework where anybody (and I do mean anybody!) can submit an article on any topic. With their article they can submit a list of one or more keywords which apply to this article.

The new article is entered into the database as is. Not a single person has to look at it. From there the moderation/review process either agrees with the topic as presented and confirm it's validity by voting/confirming it. They can also suggest or keywords to be added or remove and can also comment upon the abstration level of the article.

It really doesn't get much simpler than that. :-)