[Foundation-l] Internal wiki(s) and confidential committee communications

Daniel Mayer maveric149 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 5 19:01:47 UTC 2006

--- Erik Moeller <erik_moeller at gmx.de> wrote:
> Now, each of these subcommittees may have the need for confidential 
> communications, and this is where it gets tricky. Here, I would suggest 
> exploring the use of namespaces on the internal wiki to segregate 
> confidential information relevant only to one subcommittee. For example, 
> an OTRS: namespace could be created on internal.wikimedia.org 
> particularly for the OTRS subcommittee of Communications.
> This would necessitate changing the software to allow for namespaces to 
> be associated with user groups, and then giving the correct group 
> membership to everyone who is supposed to have access to the information 
> relevant to a subcommittee. Hiding page content is not too hard; it gets 
> a bit more complicated if we want to make sure that people cannot even 
> see page _titles_ outside their given namespace access, as these are 
> currently shown all over the place. Perhaps a gradual implementation 
> would be sufficient.
> I prefer this approach to creating lots of separate wikis because, for 
> those people who are trusted to see _all_ confidential information, it 
> reduces the need to manually aggregate information from lots of places 
> (balkanization), and enables them to quickly get involved in relevant 
> discussions (synergies). At the same time, it guarantees that people who 
> have not yet gained the trust of a core committee cannot see anything 
> which is not clearly relevant to them.

I agree with this approach and suggested something similar. But Brion said that it really isn't
possible without a hell of a lot of redesigning of the software. 

Something like finance, for example, is going to be of interest to lots of people on the
organizational level and things like budgeting will also need input from the entire organization. 

Having all that on a finance wiki that can only be viewed by maybe the board and the members of
the finance committee will not facilitate its functioning at all. Also, people like me, like to
give input on other aspects of the organization. Blocking out that input a priori will reduce if
not kill, as you said, synergistic effects.   

If, however, strictly confidential things were only viewable by certain groups, then the other 90%
of things can be viewable by anybody on InternalWiki. And only trusted people are allowed on
InternalWiki. So, let's trust them and get on with the work we need to do. 

-- mav

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