[unrev-II] Attribution vs. Non-Attribution

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@eng.sun.com)
Date: Wed Jun 27 2001 - 14:26:36 PDT

  • Next message: Peter Jones: "Re: [unrev-II] OFFTOPIC? frames, scopes, and functions"

    Somewhere in the middle of reading Lee's NODAL paper (on the
    plane to Boston), I finally figured out how to solve the
    problem posed by Jeff Conklin.

    Jeff observed that the ability to freely brainstorm required
    that attributions were *not* present, so that attention was
    focused on ideas, rather than people. In any sort of online,
    collaborative design discussion, attribution is therefore not
    helpful (or so it would appear).

    On the other hand, the ability to faithfully attribute ideas
    is equally important. They are the coin of the intellectual
    realm -- both the reward for participating and the admission
    ticket to future events.

    It struck me, then, that attribution must be automatic, and
    indelible -- but that *visibility* of attribution must be
    at the author's discretion -- and it should only be allowed
    after the design document has "quiesced" -- that is, ceased
    changing in any substantial way.

    Now, it is highly likely that attribution visibility should
    occur at the level of the "document" rather than individual
    nodes (ideas) within the document. That way, everyone who
    participated is a "contributor", even if they contributed
    the clay pigeons that got shot down.

    But those are details that can be worked out in the publishing
    system. The main points are:
      a) Attribution must be automatic and indelible.
      b) Attribution visibility must be at the author's

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