[e-lang] Wiki?

Mark Miller erights at gmail.com
Fri Nov 17 17:41:42 CST 2006

On 11/17/06, Martin Scheffler <wooyay at web.de> wrote:
> I am currently learning E and I have a hard time finding documentation for pretty basic stuff.
> Thankfully there is #erights, where everyone is very helpful (especially kpreid).

Thanks Kevin and everyone's who's been helpful! I am not a habitual
IRCer myself, but when a particularly interesting topic starts, or if
you need me, please feel free to email me to let me know. However,
AFAIK, I can't IRC while I'm at work behind my company's firewall.

> Now when I find out something new it would be great if there was a place to dump that
> knowledge for future newbies.  I know there is a wiki page (linked on the erights.org
> homepage), but that does not seem very useful.
> What about setting up a new wiki? Or should I extend the c2.com wiki?

Thanks for raising this. We could use a wiki for many good purposes.
At first, I was enthused about the c2 wiki
<http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?EeLanguage>, until I got this complaint:

    [But also see WalledGardens. E language is very cool, but keep the
E stuff on
     this page, or start an E wiki elsewhere]

I have assumed without checking that this statement represents the
consensus etiquette at c2. Frankly, I don't understand this objection,
but I don't want to post pages where they're not welcome.

Brian Marick offered to host an E wiki rooted in
<http://www.testing.com/cgi-bin/e-lang.pl>. However, as you can see
from that page, it got spammed. I don't understand how it is that some
high profile wikis, like wikipedia, manage to survive this threat. We
could use CapWikis, like Waterken's, Sandro's
<https://www2897.ssldomain.com/higherlogics/www/Wiki.ashx/About>, or
Wideword <https://wideword.net/> as an access controlled wiki.

Some of the things I'd like see develop on some kind of wiki-like medium are

* A "security patterns shootout", where various small security
problems are proposed by advocates of various different paradigms, to
be taken as challenge problems by the advocates of other paradigms. We
have a draft of some text towards such a shootout using Waterken's
CapWiki at
However, for this one purpose, it's probably a strategic mistake to
host this on a CapWiki, as it looks like we're unfairly biasing the
playing field towards our own paradigm. Other existing possibilities

* Existing explanatory material, especially, as you suggest:
> Maybe the walnut could be imported as a starting point, split into a number of chapters
Also, much of erights.org, my thesis converted to html, several of our
other papers.

* I would like to start developing an informal but precise and careful
spec on Kernel-E, starting with the non-reflective subset of the
Kernel-E special forms. As a spec, I am not comfortable allowing the
open editing characteristic of wikis. I think a CapWiki would be good
for this.

OTOH, the erights.org site is already checking into Subversion
<svn://svn.synchrona.org/erights/doc>, so people can check it out and
submit changes to be approved and posted. I'm unclear on the tradeoffs
between wikis and simply editing a version-controlled website.

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