[pmwiki-users] PmWiki Magazine proposed Submission/Approval Process

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Thu Sep 28 14:29:34 CDT 2006

Wow, there are some wonderful ideas coming forth!  I almost don't
know where to begin, but I'll just throw things out in any order
and we'll go from there.  :-)

On the submission and approval process:  

My compliments and gratitude go out to Ben for drafting up a 
process--this is an excellent start.  If Ben is willing to serve 
as master editor and shepherder for putting this together, 
I'm all for it.  :-)

On Pm as "Administrator, Lord of All He Surveys" [1]  :  

A couple of points in the proposal and subsequent discussion
designate me as the "final word" based on my status as the 
"owner of PmWiki".  While I agree that I want the final say on
things, I think I prefer it to be based on my ownership of "pmwiki.org"
(where the Magazine is based) as opposed to ownership of PmWiki itself.  
Yes, it's a minor semantic nit, but at some point in the future I 
think it may be useful to distinguish ownership of pmwiki.org from 
ownership of PmWiki itself.  :-)

Or, perhaps we just say that I get veto rights as the publisher
and distributor of PmWiki Magazine, since it's being coordinated
through my server.

On the "notice period" for proposed articles:

I'm not sure we need or want a fixed period of time between
"article proposal" and "article acceptance".  First, and by far
most importantly, I don't want to throw up many obstacles to 
someone who is thinking of writing an article.  An author's
interest or available time may wane by the time the notice
period elapses, and it would be a shame to lose an article
due to that.  Beyond that, I don't think many conflicts or
collisions will arise, and if we do end up with significant 
conflicts or opposing views on a particular proposal, then
that probably warrants having *multiple* articles written
that can present the topic from various viewpoints.

So, I think it's a very good idea to have a category where
authors can indicate "I'm intending to write an article based
on XYZ", but I wouldn't want a notification period to potentially
diminish or incentive to start drafting an article if the
muse is presently upon them.

On keeping drafts outside of the Magazine group:

I'm not sure this should be a requirement.  Authors may of
course choose to do it this way, but for some articles and
authors I think it may be very useful for others to be able
view and comment upon the article even before it's reached
its official "review" phases.

In particular, I think that what will ultimately distinguish
a published article from a non-published one will be its
appearance on the Magazine.Magazine home page.  If an article
doesn't appear on that page, then it won't be located
except by those who are actively searching for it.  (Think
of the pages in the Cookbook group that aren't really noticed
because they aren't listed in Cookbook.Cookbook.)  And if
someone who is searching for a topic stumbles across a draft
article or article proposal, we've hit precisely the target
audience and it would be good to get their review or feedback
(while somehow letting them know that the article is still
an unpublished draft).

On the mechanics of "publishing" an article:

The easy way to designate an article as being "published"
is to give it a [[!Published]] category tag or other marker
that indicates that it has been reviewed and is ready for
publication.  This could automatically cause the article
to appear on the Magazine.Magazine page (e.g., via a pagelist),
or at least easy to find all of the officially "published"

We should have a convention that an author will designate
an article as [[!Published]] only after having received a
review.  And perhaps the way to note that the article
has been successfully reviewed is for the reviewers to
sign the article at the bottom:

    Reviewers: Pm, BenWilson, Sandy

It would then be easy to find any "published" articles
that lack a review signature, as well as for people to
see who commonly performs article reviews.

On other mechanics of propose-accept-draft-review-publish:

We could of course use other category tags to help keep
track of documents through the submission and approval

    [[!Wanted]]       - someone desires to see an article
    [[!Proposed]]     - author is proposing the article
    [[!InProgress]]   - document is currently in progress
    [[!PleaseReview]] - author wants reviewer comments

When a page is initially created, we can use a page template
to initialize the page with something like

    Status: [[!Proposed]] [[!InProgress]]

as well as any other information or structure we think that 
authors should have when starting an article.  The author
and reviewers can then add/remove tags as appropriate
to indicate the progress of the article through the

Just a thought.

On moderator-based article publication:

I don't think we need a moderator policy, except perhaps
for whatever appears on the Magazine.Magazine front page.
And if we think moderation is desirable, it wouldn't be at
all difficult for me to put a customization in place that
restricts adding of the [[!Published]] tag to a set of
approved moderators.

Again, I'm really excited by the prospects for the magazine,
and looking forward to seeing it come together!


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