see ThreadMode | DocumentMode | StyleGuide
Wiki Essence on Frames the process of writing and refactoring to create wiki knowledge as the essence of wiki.


While pages develop or evolve as contributers return to them, read them, edit, add, or reorganize them, refactoring is a conscientious technique for developing them.

Refactoring and Revising

Pages can be developed initially in the shuttling between ThreadMode or DocumentMode. Refactoring is a kind of revision, but where composition teachers may see revision as changing meaning, "refactoring a Wiki page [means] making it easier to read without changing its meaning" (Wiki:WhyRefactorWikiPages).

Re-working a passage to make it easier to understand (change the signal to noise, bring out structures in ideas, make it mean more than it meant before) means changing its meaning. We know that. And we know that refactoring favors some stylistic moves over others. We know that, too. We know that RefactoringIsProblematic. But we refactor anyway.

Refactoring is a matter of finding and making explicit an organizational pattern in the ideas of the ThreadMode exchange. It has the main purpose of making the latent, implicit, possible meanings explicit, reified enough to become a whole - a whole which can in turn be responded to, developed further, on another page, from another perspective.

Refactoring is synthesis. On WardsWiki, it's described this way:
Replace a thread mode conversation with a monolog that says the same thing and preserving as much of the original text as possible. Change the 1st person singular to 1st or 3rd person plural. Remove the inline attributions and put them at the end under "Contributors." It is understood that individual authors may not have chosen the exact words used; that we have a consensus and hence probably compromises.

Staying close to the ideas in refactoring

In refactoring, writers are advised to not be cavalier but to keep close to the ideas of the participants as they synthesize the thread mode discussion into a document.
This is important in refactoring, but it is hard to do correctly. You need to synthesize the discussion in a way that is acceptable to most of the participants. Sometimes a discussion comes to an end, at which time it is easier to summarize it, but there is less motivation to do so. Discussions most need to be summarized when they get long, which usually means there are a lot of different opinions, making them hard to summarize. []

The concern is getting the synthesis wrong, especially thinking that you understand a point when you don't. However, the wiki is self correcting:
Suppose I refactor a conversation and I (unknowingly, of course) get it wrong. The topic itself will show up in ChangeSummary and RecentChanges. There are good odds that one of the experts on the subject will read it and correct it. []

refactoring is editing

Refactoring is an editor's game. Wanna be an editor? Learn to refactor. There's gonna be a place for expert refactorers in the new economy.

Refactoring as Collaborative Effort

This section needs development. Not sure where it's going yet.

On C2, there is a concern for refactoring as a collaborative/public action, and we share that concern on this wiki. See Wiki:ConvertThreadModeToDocumentMode for a discussion on unilateral decisions.

Techniques for Refactoring

[just getting started on this. Need to collect.]

probably will become a separate page or set of pages.

ties into EgoManiaMakesDifficultyToWiki and other pages on self and collective.

needs a page on alternative rhetorical moves to agreeing or disagreeing, distinguishing between holding an opinion that is personal (I like blue jeans) and so falls outside of discussion, and forming an opinion on a public matter (Conservatism is good for the country) and so falls inside discussion.

Start with Wiki:RefactoringWikiPages at C2. This page presents techniques and heuristics for refactoring (Wiki:ConvertThreadModeToDocumentMode, Wiki:RefactorByRenaming...) and techniques for designing and presenting the page. We can add to these and adapt them for use on this wiki.

Refactoring from Summary

I have a demo page on this: DemoPageRettbergAsAStartingPoint

An accurate summary will bring out and isolate topics which can be developed as WikiWords. Part of the move is to reorganize the topics from the structure of the original chapter or paper into something more synthetic: that is refactoring.

Make a list of topics

Start here. Work through the thread to isolate the topics, list them, perhaps reorganize the thread so the topics follow.

Summarize and develop the topics

In the role of refactorer, stand back, be neutral, review the topics and the positions the threaders presented. This is not controversial.

Refactoring and PagePatterns

CategoryWiki CategoryWikiHandbook
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