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Friday, August 18, 2006

TWiki

This was the last day of this year’s session of the Crimson Summer Academy, which has been the subject of various posts earlier in this blog. As always, it was an excellent session. As always, there were some glitches.

But that’s not really the subject of today’s post. Here I just want to comment on Twiki, the platform upon which we built CSAconnect, a multipurpose wiki that we used (and continually modified) throughout the session. The theory was that CSAconnect would provide many capabilities, including describing and listing resources for courses; posting, submitting, and grading assignments; keeping records; and creating online journals, homepages, and links. My friend Meredith wrote the software; I served as liaison, tester, and occasional bug-fixer. We learned a valuable lesson from this process: don’t use TWiki! The combination of access control issues, poor documentation, and unacceptable performance added up to an extremely frustrating experience. I’ve never found anything so difficult to use.

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