Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

User Tools

Site Tools


Set Window of Discussion

Due to the self-determined growth of Wiki content, the effort needs to be refocused from time to time. For certain content, setting a Window of Discussion encourages a burst of contributions to get the content up to a certain level of quality, or helps draw attention to neglected sections of your knowledge base.


Pages documenting how to resolve certain issues in your project contain half-answers and haven't been touched for months. You create a meta-view that lists the pages, reverse sorted by the last date they were updated, to encourage people to work on the stale pages. You then post a notice stating that pages older than a certain number of days will be frozen, hidden, or removed (depending on the nature of the information). You also set the expectation with your contributors so they take a look at the pages. The 'important' or 'sponsored' old pages are soon updated to avoid the deadline, while the less important pages are allowed to be purged from the system.


You may want to apply this pattern if:

  • Documents remain in an uncertain state for too long. (See [Stale Pages] ).
  • Open issues are not answered. (See [Sponsorship] ).
  • Articles and/or comments often wander far from the stated purpose (See SingleProblem ).


  • Look at open issues and social tags denoting hypotheses on a regular basis. Then prioritize and assign a deadline to open issues. ( Maintainer role).
  • Set a date that the survey or discussion will be closed (and close it).
  • Set a release date where the work of the group will be presented to some audience. ( BarnRaising pattern).
  • A BarnRaising is another way to focus energies for a short time.
  • A Maintainer can help encourage others to keep things fresh and rolling.
  • Using the SingleProblem pattern will help to focus discussion.
  • Documents with Built-in obsolescence often become stale, not because of a lack of interest, but because the nature of the document itself.


This contribution was initially taken from Using Wikis to Manage Use Cases: Experience and Outlook, page 113 of Proceedings of Workshop on Learning Software Organizations and Requirements Engineering\

set_window_of_discussion.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/20 19:21 by splitbrain