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Why The CoWeb Gags

I'm certainly open to criticism! I read mutterings of "anti-CoWeb" sentiment, and I'd be interested in hearing them. Let 'em rip!

My only real problem with the Swiki is the issue with multiple people editing the same page at the same time, and then one doing a save succesively after the other. Whoever it is that works on Swiki's really needs to come up with some kind of system where the result of this scenario would be both people's additions sequentially listed. Of course, if one person was trying to delete some portion, and the other person was trying to add something to it/modify it, then you'd have a real mess on your hands. I guess a dynamic update ( morphic Swiki? ) would work best, but it would be rather annoying to have the page you're working on suddenly change before your eyes/fingers.

Hey Mark, can I swear in here? Cause I really really want to.
See Statement on Acceptable Behavior
Yeah yeah, I know. I'm the reason it's up there, remember? ;) Ok then ... hrm. I guess the fact that I want to sw34r in the first place makes it quite clear that I'm dissatisfied, eh?

Let's see.. where to start. First, what's with pages being referenced as numbers in the url (ie this is page 691)? Why not something more descriptive? If you need to use a number system to reference pages, you could create a data base that holds the numbers as well as a name for each page...

Secondly, the co-web is hard to navigate. For a class that's heavily involved in designing and coding UI's, why don't you have a class design a more "user-friendly" version of the co-web (in the future, of course :). There's definitely a lot of improvements that could be made. For example, several people have complained about trying to add pictures to their "Who's Who" pages. Why not create a function that adds a picture to whatever spot they want? or a predefined spot if a user-specified spot is too complicated?

Overall, the co-web is a very promissing tool, especially compared to the web-based message boards that I've used. I hope to see further development with it, so that maybe other classes/groups might use a co-web to fill some of their communication needs as the co-web becomes more "user-friendly."

In response to the user-friendly URL. Check out the section titled "Guessing the URL" under the help page. It sounds like what you are looking for. It's not perfect, but it works decently and is useful. Also the image issue is discussed on that help page. Eric Anderson
Catching up... Bruce, what do you want to swear about? I didn't hear a complaint yet... Chris, the navigation problem is a user-implemented one. We provide the "Links to this Page" at the bottom, but all other navigation is handled by users linking. We do have "Guessing the URL" (as Eric points out – try, but that's not foolproof since page names can be changed. Finally, it's easy to add a picture from whatever spot you want: &star Image URL &star, e.g., External ImageMark Guzdial

Well.. I'm just giving you my impression of the system. Adding pictures isn't hard, once you know how to do it, but wouldn't the system be easier to use from-the-start if you didn't have to "learn" how to add a picture? I have no problem with the current system, but to attract the students who aren't using the system now, I feel like the co-web could be a little more user-friendly. Like, for instance, I don't have a space on the web with any pictures of me. I have seen web sites that will allow you to add a picture by simply pressing a button, and then they list your file directory, ask you to select the picture to upload, then you upload it to their server, and they display it at the place were you clicked to add a picture. Anyhow.. back to the lab.

Ah.. there's an attach button at the top of the page. I feel stupid now.

Personally, I'm very happy with the coweb, I'm amazed at the marvel of it :). Except, why not just use plain old html.. we all know it anyway.

It sounds like an "examples" page would go an awefully long way to fixing these problems! -Lex Spoon

I was talking to a ChemE today about the CoWeb. His process class uses it, and he loves it. Personally, I like it, too. It's close to a newsgroup, but much more info can be put on it, such as assignments, syllabus, etc. (ok, it can be put on newsgroups, too, but this is much easier to get to). It's on the web, so we can access it from anywhere, and when we add we don't have to use html. (Sure, we all use html, as Jesse Shieh said, but for non-CS classes, this is VERY helpful.) Maybe this could take the place of WebCT and all the other sites like WebCT.

Hey...this doesn't sound like criticism at all! Shaggz

That is a good point. Why not have an "HTML" mode that the Swiki can switch to? It's really bothersome to learn stuff like plus-star and dash-caret-backslash just to do links and bold (i don't really know if that's it...I try not to use the Swiki much for this reason). But then I guess making links to pages that are dynamically created could be...interesting? I'd almost need a whole new file system so users could "add" pages and then reference to them based on that add-name. Chris Verges

Um, Chris? You can use any HTML you want, and there is an <HTML> mode so that you can turn off Swiki interpretation. Try that Help button at the top...

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