Last modified 2007-06-19T11:12:48+01:00

Guidance material maintenance

There are several possible approaches to maintaining the guidance material, which have implications on how it might be used, and whether it will continue to be a useful resource beyond the duration of the project.

Maintenance models

Given that standards, tools and best practice change over time, there must be some scheme to update the guidance material. Possible approaches include:

Freely editable

Anyone can modify the guidance material. This would have some protection against spam, but would not require a person have special status or affiliations be be able to contribute. There is an overhead here where any vandalism would need to be identified and corrected - it is possible that this may scale well: with a small community and low profile there may not be much vandalism; if there was a large community, they would be able to assist dealing with vandalism. Whether there are practitioners willing and able (given funding constraints) to contribute in this community approach is an open question.

Editable by trusted contributors

The Phoebe team and contributors identified as being reliable have editing rights. Other users may be able make comments (e.g. via Mediawiki-type talk pages), which can be incorporated by editors.

Non editable

Only members of the Phoebe team can edit the guidance material. This is simple to manage, but presents the greatest risk of the material becoming out of date, unless funding can be found to dedicate to the task. Mediawiki-type talk pages could allow moderated contributions from people outside of the Phoebe team.

Usage models

Industry-wide service

Phoebe is provided as a service for anyone to sign-up and use.

Any of the above maintenance models could be used.

Institutional deployment

Institutions deploy Phoebe on their own servers, customising the guidance material (and possibly the functionality).

The freely-editable model is less useful here, as multiple freely editable copies could fragment the community - each separate installation would be a fork of the original guidance material. However, forks are not inherently bad as they can allow more adventurous changes than would be acceptable for a relied-upon resource.

The other maintenance models are relevant, substituting "Phoebe team" with the appropriate group within the institution.