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MIKE2:Alternative Release Methodologies

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Alternative Release Methodologies are being investigated as a means to balance release stability and adding new content to MIKE2.0. Four potential models are being investigated, the approach currently being followed is the Hierarchy Model.

Contents

Release Methodology Models

Each of the potential Release Methodology models and their pros/cons are described below. Each model is effectively implemented through the same technology, but different governance techniques are applied to how content is managed.

Open Model

The Open Model employs minimal protection controls on any content; the only controls put in place are to protect against vandalism. Any contributor can change any content. Basically this approach is the same as the model currently followed by Wikipedia.

Pros:

  • Maximises the potential contribution pool
  • All contributors can make a contribution on any content
  • Less risk of a perceived "cabal" of contributors
  • Least overhead from a user administration perspective

Cons:

  • Content is more prone to vandalism
  • Content is more unstable, users will likely have issues with a method that is continually changing as they use it

Hierarchy Model

The Hierarchical Control Model puts control of many Core MIKE2.0 Methodology pages into the hands of the Data Governance and Management Consortium so that only known members of the group can make changes to some articles. This the approach currently being employed.

Pros:

  • Enforces stability of some content but still allows for comment on discussion pages
  • Helps ensure consistency with overall vision
  • Key content is less prone to vandalism


Cons:

  • Users may be discouraged from contributing to the overall site if they cannot contribute to core content
  • Greatly decreases potential contribution pool for protected pages
  • Higher risk of a perceived "cabal" of contributors

Federated Control Model

The Federated Control Model is similar to the Hierarchy Model but federates control out to a wider community by creating "domain leads" in charge of content. Leadership roles are generally defined at the Solution Offering level.

Pros:

  • Creates domains of expertise to get more relevant controllers of content
  • Less risk of a "cabal" of key contributors


Cons:

  • User administration is the most complex
  • Core MediaWiki technology lacks security features to implement this approach (extension is under development)
  • Inherit overlap of content model may make this difficult to implement in some cases
  • Conflicts where solution areas come together may be more likely

Branch Model

The Branch Model creates an alternate article page when a core content page is protected. This model can be used in conjunction with other models.

Pros:

  • Allows the contributions of an open model with the stability of control models
  • All contributors get their chance to voice opinions feel
  • Less risk of a "cabal" of key contributors


Cons:

  • Content is more prone to vandalism
  • Branching may get difficult to re-align if multiple paths are created
  • Branches would need to be manually maintain through links

Recommendations

At this time the Hierarchy Control Model is in beta and should continue to be tested as the user community grows. Extensions are being developed that will allow for a Federated Control Model to be employed and this will soon be used on a trial basis. Users may choose to employ the Branch Model - there is nothing in the current approach that stops an alternate page from being created. The open model is too unstable to use across all content and should not be used for any of the Core MIKE2.0 Methodology. It should, however continue to be used for other assets.

Applying these Techniques to Categories

The Release Methodology described above applies specifically to articles, but the same approach may be applied to categories. There may be case where it makes sense to restrict who can create certain categories (such as those used for maturity rating) but there is still a need to allow users to be able to freely create new categories as needed.

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