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[Axiom-developer] RE: Sandbox20

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: Sandbox20
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 21:33:59 -0400


On July 17, 2006 7:55 PM you asked:
> May I know why the name "Sandbox" has been modified to "Sanbox20" ?
> Just curious.

Apparently someone identifying themselves as 'scvblwxq' issued a
rename of 'SandBox' to 'SandBox20' ... probably just a simple
mistake. Perhaps they did not understand the instructions about
how to create new pages. Or maybe they were just experimenting and
did not understand the consequences of their actions: When you
change the name of a page, all the links to the original page
located in other pages will be updated with the new name and
messages get generated for each such change. Maybe this is a bad
design choice for the wiki that should be corrected. For example
we could make changing links in other pages an option of the
rename and default this option to 'no'. On the other hand it
seems this kind of error does not happen very often.

We are also having a few problems lately with changes made to the
status of issues in IssueTracker. In this case, so far as I can
tell from the web site logs someone connected to an ISP in Japan
is occasionally running some kind of rogue robot program that is
triggering these changes - this in spite of the fact that changing
the status already requires that the use identify themselves before
making changes. Of course this can be very easily spoofed by someone
who knows a little about how these things work and there are a few
people out there who are willing to exploit and abuse almost any
openly accessible system. We can try to put blocks in the way of
this kind of abuse or simply tolerate it.

The current philosophy is that all (almost all) changes are allowed
by anyone who is willing to identify themselves by setting wiki
'preferences' but any changes made to the wiki (except for 'SandBox'
pages) will result in email notices being sent to the Axiom Wiki
subscribers. Although this might be annoying to some Axiom Wiki
subscribers, the result is someone is likely to notice any incorrect
changes and use the 'diff' menu option to revert the change. The
intent of this open access policy is suppose to be to encourage
the use of the wiki and also to encourage those people who do
use the wiki to feel some sense of "ownership" and responsibility
for the content.

This open access policy (more or less) in keeping with the original
WikiWiki concept and quite at odds with the traditional way of
implementing online collaborative interactive systems. Some people
have suggested that we should adopt a more controlled access
approach for the Axiom Wiki, but so far I have resisted this
temptation because we already have a more controlled access mode
of operation in the Axiom portal and my observation is that for
the most part this greatly limits the number of people willing
to contribute to this part of MathAction.

In the present case of the change from SandBox to SandBox20 I just
used the Zope Management Interface (ZMI) to revert all of these
changes with a single 'Undo' request - that is one of the really
nice features of having the wiki based on Zope. Right now, besides
myself, there are only two other Axiom developers who have access
to the ZMI level of Axiom Wiki and Axiom Portal (aka MathAction).
ZMI access is limited to a small number of well motivated people
because it requires a good knowledge of how to use Zope and like
with any "management" interface it is possible to do both great
good and great evil. :)

To prevent this sort of error in the future and because the SandBox
page is an important feature of this system, I have also set the
security options for this page to allow renaming only by users
with ZMI access.

Sorry for the overly long "explanation" ;) As usual your opinions
about design changes in the Axiom wiki are most welcome.

Bill Page.

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