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[grubstreet] Some thoughts from last night

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From: Ivor Williams
Subject: [grubstreet] Some thoughts from last night
Date: 14:25 on 08 Nov 2002
Underlying software and technology - Grubstreet at present uses Usemod. While 
this does the job quite effectively, there are limitations. Usemod is a single 
script -; although numerous patches and "meatballs" exist for 
enhancement, this is not ideal. Kake is writing a modular Wiki based on 
Chromatic's and mySQL database.

I have gained an understanding of usemod, and the format of its files. 
Everything in usemod is plain text - no indexing, no database, yet the search 
is almost instantaneous. My search script came out of this, and it works by 
slurping the whole Wiki into a hash. By making this a tied hash, and supplying 
the appropriate methods, this search facility could be hooked up to other types 
of Wiki.

Bulk munging - if/when we want the Wiki text out of Grubstreet for something 
else, this is not too difficult. BTW I am waiting for the HomePage files so 
that I can find out why the search is coming up with a match from the history. 

Multilingual Grubstreet - An interesting concept would be a set of flag gifs on 
the front page, that take you to Grubstreet in French, German, etc. If pages 
have not been translated yet, they are sucked through Babelfish to provide a 
starting point.

Embedded indexes - this is a possible enhancement to my +index patch. Why not 
have the ability to include an index inside an existing page? Please let me 
know if you think this would be useful.

Maps - is there a public domain street atlas we can rip off^h^h^h^h^h^h^huse? 
It would be quite nice to see a map of London with dots on it for all the 
Grubstreet places of interest - the dots could also be hyperlinks. 
Alternatively, we could consider commercial sponsorship - tie in with, Geographers' A-to-Z, or Nicholson, giving them some 
advertising, and using their facilities for a Grubstreet custom map, and all 
the location links on our site.

Publicity - How to get more people using the site. I have had very positive 
feedback from friends who have used the site. But, they don't seem to have got 
hooked enough to start adding pages. Can we offer an incentive or inducement? 
Some sites have a front page, where the really good showcase stuff gets put 
(usually automatically as a result of voting and/or editorial input). There's 
no reason why we couldn't have a manually edited showcase, especially when we 
have taken a newbie into the fold :).

Also on publicity - how about doing a formal launch with a press release, and 
having a launch party? I have some contacts in media and London tour guides 
whom I would like to invite.

On the subject of voting generally, we felt that there are too few people using 
the site for individual karma/reputation scores to be meaningful. However, we 
could experiment with reputation schemes for writeups. Earle suggested having a 
parallel Grubstreet site that we can try out voting schemes without detracting 
from our public site.


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