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Re: [jox] Request for comments

Hi Mathieu and all,

On 2009-07-15 08:08, Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
It's interesting that StefanMz referenced Debian when talking about
periodicity - I also thought about it, as in "deadlines are
artificial constructs" - when we are happy with it, it's ready to be
released. The only problem with that is that there has sometimes been
so long between those releases that (as I understand it) the process
has become a bit of a running joke and in fact a strong selling point
for Ubuntu which releases a new version like clockowork every six

As you know Debian changed its "old" policy, and some days ago they made 
an arrangement with Ubuntu to coordinate their releases. IMHO this 
brings a lot of pressure and alienation to Debian, so that seeking for 
more professionalization will follow. This means more paid developers, 
higher hurdles for new developers to engage etc. I think, that the new 
policy is not good for Debian, but I wish I am wrong.

- when Debian release a new release, they number it and _announce_ it
widely. If on tbe other hand we have only articles in progress there
is nothing to announce other than "article X is (more or less)
finished". In my view that has a lot less impact than the
announcement of a themed issue. My interest is in having as big an
impact for our perspective as possible. There are already lots of
bits and pieces floating about the net - what is needed in my view is
something more coherent.

With a topic oriented approach we can announce the new topic to be 
discussed in the next months and ask for contributions. Then we can 
publish the articles being ready step by step. This has the advantage, 
that we are bringing the given topic continuously into the mind of 
interested people. There are two main cannels to spread new articles: 
RSS feed and mail subscription. Then there is the website, but websites 
are only carrying passive content waiting to be found by search engines.

You are right, a themed issue could have some more impact (I am not sure 
about that), but how do you spread the word? Online subscriptions are 
only useful if they are feeded continuously, one or two news about 
released issues per year are too few. In the online world these are dead 

- if we want to attract outside contributors and not just members of
the [ox] network "traditional" aspects of a journal such as date and
number which can be referenced for scholarly or other purposes are
helpful. With the "process" approach this is not possible. It's not a
huge deal or anything but once again to my mind it potentially
lessens the potential impact a bit.

That's true, a traditional issue with date and number fit more into the 
scientific field. Some online journals circumvent this by using permanent 
links including release informations (as in blogs) and by putting a box 
above the article expaining how to reference this article in a correct 

At this point a new idea comes into my mind: We should cooperate with 
some OAI server, in order to feed our articles into scientific databases 
automatically. Maybe Herbert Hrachovec can help?

I'm not saying that I don't think the idea of peer production of
article is interesting. We could integrate this idea to the journal
by having a stream of articles that are worked on collectively etc in
parallel to the regular issues, and when they are deemed ready they
can be formally published - a bit like the various versions of code
that Debian has?

A combination of both approaches could work, if we have some different 
publishing stages: draft, web-ready, issue-ready.

Neither am I saying that I dont like the idea of responses to
articles as suggested by Michel - on the contrary! To stick with the
example of Christian's peer economy it would be great to have several
articles discussing it and then his response as an issue. But once
again in my view publishing this as a single package would have a lot
more impact than a staggered release over time.

We are making big plans, but my feeling is, that we will have to 
struggle a lot to release articles at all. The process approach to me 
seems to lower the hurdles. But finally: I am not against the issue 


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