OpenWetWare:Steering committee/Is a web of independent public wikis a good idea?

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The discussion of private subwikis has brought up the idea of public subwikis. The original motivation behind the subwikis was to allow groups, labs, individuals, etc. to have stuff private away from the public site. From a technical standpoint, it's trivial to set the permissions of the subwikis to whatever, so they don't have to be private. Public subwikis would work the same way as private ones (i.e. login via the same OWW credentials, separate database/images).

Advantages

  • Technically trivial to implement
  • Labs (for example) could have their own wiki space and would be much easier for the lab to backup its data
    • Currently, "impossible" to figure out what files and pages to download that are related to a lab or group
  • May be more manageable to deal with recent changes
  • Less worries about name clashes, especially with image file names
  • Becomes trivially easy to move an existing wiki "to OpenWetWare." By moving an existing wiki, groups can get the advantage of the OWW technical infrastructure, and OWW gets more data publicly accessible and more easily found.
  • Individuals are probably more likely (I certainly would) put their lab notebook on OWW if they had a subwiki for issues of download, backup, and management

Disadvantages

  • even though anyone can edit, it might be an even bigger barrier to editing if its an independent wiki
  • Some tools may need to be developed to make this work better such as recent changes across wikis, search across wikis, etc.
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