Subject: Re: Summer reading
From: Joe Corneli <jcorneli@math.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 22:28:25 -0500


I co-authored a paper that you might like,

 http://www.ma.utexas.edu/~jcorneli/a/lit/misc/scholia.pdf

Tom Lord might like it too?  (Hi Tom.)

Abstract below^*.  This paper is scheduled to appear in proceedings of
a conference on "Free Culture and the Digital Library" (the conference
takes place in October at Emory University).

Applications to business are described and discussed on this page
(beware of the ranty slant):

 http://planetx.cc.vt.edu/AsteroidMeta/social%2c_political%2c_and_economic_scholium_systems

Implementation-in-progress (beware of the "soon-to-be-completed" state):

 http://www.ma.utexas.edu/~jcorneli/a/lit/sbdm4cbpp.pdf (or .tex for source code)

 http://www.nongnu.org/hdm/ (for continually updated version in CVS)

All soon to be the subject of a thrilling "how I spent my summer
vacation" essay.

The system is in some ways similar to Ted Nelson's "Xanadu" - see his
book "Literary Machines".  If you wanted a recommendation for a "real"
book, OK, I recommend that one.

*:
   Commons-based peer production is a term that describes author-
ship of shared information resources. It is a term that could apply to
several people working on a paper together, hundreds of people devel-
oping a complicated computer program, thousands of people writing
Wikipedia, or millions of people producing and improving complex
knowledge systems with impressive names like "modern science" (or
even "the state of human knowledge").
    Without hoping to completely articulate the complex and var-
ied social phenomena that go on in commons-based peer produc-
tion, in this article we pursue the more modest goal of understanding
the technical aspects of writing-in-common. We begin with a sim-
ple model: that of text and commentary--and commentary on that
commentary--and so on.
    This scholia-based modelemphasizes ownership of speech and free-
dom of speech. We then consider what happens when the freedom to
create derivative versions is added to the mix. The resulting model
proves to be quite sophisticated, and flexibleenough to describe many
different commons-based peer production systems.
    We provide an overview of our implementation of this model, and
suggest some ideas for subsequent work. We conclude by discussing
the implications of our model for distributed authorship and writing-
partly-in-common, and describe the advantages that full adoption of
the scholia-based document model offers us.