Above and Below the Double Line: Refactoring and That Old-Time Revision, Michael C. Morgan

Similar to the writing process for an individual author, wikis have their own process. “Writing on a wiki proceeds from ThreadMode to DocumentMode by way of Refactoring.” (160) These WikiWords define three separate processes of a wiki that can happen sequentially, and as an ongoing, concurrent process.

ThreadMode is described as a discussion. It generates topics, positions and arguments. ThreadMode is public thinking which is grounded in specifics. The purpose is to allow others to understand and create their own threads. It is not persuasive, nor is it intended to win. ThreadMode is similar to Web discussion boards. If you have participated in the discussion boards in D2L, you have experienced something similar to ThreadMode.

The major difference between ThreadMode and discussion threads is three things: 1) Threads are incorporated in the evolving shared document; they cannot be separated. 2) Threads do not follow a chronology of posting. 3) They tend to be concise and pointed.

DocumentMode correlates to an exposition. In DocumentMode, the threads are drawn together, similar to drafting an essay. Theads are converted from first person to third person, active voice. DocumentMode is unsigned. Ideas become the focus, and the document is written in “transparent style”.

Refactoring is like a document revision. Refactoring takes the ideas present in ThreadMode and creates an organizational pattern of those ideas. We refactor in everyday life by reorganizing a grocery list to map it onto the physical store. It makes it easier for human maintenance.

Ultimately, the reasons for ThreadMode, DocumentMode and Refactoring can be traced to the purpose behind wikis. Wikis are self-correcting. One technique used in the self-correcting process is DoubleLine to separate the DocumentMode OpeningStatement from ThreadMode discussions. The double lines help coauthors and contributors determine the state of knowledge on the page.

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