Submit your ideas below as to how we can make this a useful collaborative project

Using Wikipedia as source materialEdit

I have begun copying in pages from Wikipedia that might make useful starting points for articles that will eventually be edited to encompass a more permacultural perspective and no longer need to be bound by wikipedia's 'Neutral Point of View' policy (incidentally, many of these are articles I have either written or made significant contributions to at Wikipedia). I think it would be a worthwhile project to continue copying over such relevant articles, particularly those to be found here:

Quercusrobur 00:08, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Template for Wikipedia sourced articlesEdit

NB, please remember to add template {{enWP|Pagename}} to any content copied from wikipedia, thanks Quercusrobur 19:05, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Copyediting Wikipedia sourced articlesEdit

Copyediting copied wikipedia articles to remove irrelevant content and links would be useful Quercusrobur 01:36, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Build the PermaWiki help pagesEdit

There is a Central Wikia help at Wikia:Help, but I think we can do better. When creating a new page in PermaWiki, one is directed to a non-existant PermaWiki Help Page Permawiki:Help, rather than Category:Help.

I can imagine at least two kinds of help: (1) Purely technical help, like 'how do I create a link' - this is information that Wikia provide, but perhaps embedded in too much other information? (2) PermaWiki help - information specific to PermaWiki. Treaclemine Mon Mar 20 16:15 GMT 2006

Help people find this siteEdit

Currently, Googling 'permaculture wiki' brings up and - Yahoo/Goodsearch also misses - can the obsolete wiki be removed, and something done to get this new site into Google et al's sights?

Hi, thanks for this suggestion, I have deleted which was a redirect page to the wikipedia article on permaculture, and sent a request to the hosts of the the site to delete the old permaculture wiki, which hopefully won't be a problem as it was me who set it up in the first place. Not sure how we make sure how we get this wiki into Google's sights though, anyone else got suggestions? Cheers Quercusrobur 18:54, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

multilingual Permaculture Wiki Edit

To have the Permaculture Wiki multilingual would make it accessible to much more people. What would be the best possibility to have a version of each article in each language with links to jump to the other languages? The Wikipedia model is the ideal way in my opinion - can we have something similar over here (with interwiki links, a clear naming scheme for the different languages etc.)? --Speckmade 01:08, 16 December 2006 (UTC)


(the below copied from a post to the international permaculture list raises many of the issues around designing and developing this wiki into a strong and coherent and most importantly useful permaculture resource. It would be great to have some discussion of this on the talk pages)

>Rich wrote: > >If I were to implement this, I'd just use an off the shelf wiki, and >write a documentation convention for how to format a page. Say > >This would need very little setting up, it could be done in a day. >It would meet the need of most users, who basically just want to read >things. > >

Rich's comments are compelling. I am not sure we have yet described a cohesive cyber-animal. I think we could examine this from the existing 'permawiki' as a point of reference. It is a valid attempt to create a conceptual network. What functions does it serve or not serve? ( Is it evolving as envisioned or hoped?

I think the colaborative writing opportunities in a wiki are very powerful. What I mistrust is that the overall structure of the wiki lacks form. In other words... the whole is less than the sum of its parts. However, I am not convinced that a step up in complexity is necessary, but rather a better organization of the wiki concept may serve the purpose.

I'd propose that this is due to to flaws: the 'pages' of a wiki are not classifiable, nor are the ways that wikis connect with each other clearly classified.

Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language stands out as a stellar example of a dynamic user-engaging presentation of complex design theory. If something of that power could be constructed for a permaculture we would be on to something. Why does it work so well?

The structure of each "Alexander Pattern" is fairly constant. The pattern is connected to larger scale patterns, an argument for the importance of the pattern is made, the argument is discussed, the critical characteristics of the proposed pattern are summarized, and the pattern is linked to the most relevant smaller scale patterns. Rich's reference to a documentation convention may be a solution.

Each Alexander pattern is roughly located on a 'scale' axis -- from large scale patterns to small scale patterns. Wikis are not organized along some critical axis in this way. Can a category be assigned to a wiki page along a scale continuum (landscape > Site > guild), and this axis be used to organize total content?

Each Alexander Pattern is the same kind of animal... it is a pattern describing a spatial arrangement of an element or elements. Permawiki contains a whole zoo full of animals -- some oink and some fly. Some of them could qualify as 'design elements' (CHICKEN or FRUIT TREE) while others are concepts (ZONES or KEYLINE) while others are actual design patterns (HERB SPIRAL or APPLE GUILD). Can a wiki either be narrowed to one type of page, or have pages labeled so that they can be observed in groups of similar pages.. A network of concepts, a network of design patterns...

The linkages between these each 'wiki' are only defined by the text surrounding the hyperlinked word. There is no convention for how concept/elements link to eachother. Structuring the discussion of how on pattern relates to another may be the critical link.

Here'd be my list of goals for a permaculture wiki:Edit

  • The wiki helps a person identify interactions between elements to

develop new and unique patterns. This can happen at various scales... linking systems accross a landscape, or elements within a site, or guilds within a vegetation mosaic.

  • The wiki allows a person to change scale or stay within the same scale

consciously, and stay on topic. If the reader is interested in reflecting on concepts, they can follow that path.. if they are deadset on thinking about constructing guilds they can wander at that level.

  • the wiki references high-quality sources of information, but does not

attempt to contain all information within itself - the function of the wiki is to describe linkages between elements, and design solutions that integrate multiple linkages. Public domain PDF's could be linked within the server.

  • wiki pages would be peer reviewed, and elevated as 'high quality

drafts -- the whole wiki could be publishable as a PDF edition by using consistent formating and large scale information structures.

  • In terms of A wiki page should be as short as possible while serving

the function on fitting the concept, pattern or element into the whole. I once had a professor who always gave us profound essay questions and then limited the response to two pages double spaced 12 point font. It was brutal, and took twice as long as spewing out 10 pages of text. To achieve this the function of an information unit (a wiki page) has to be clear as possible.