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Pluto is a publishing system developed for community journalism projects by the Electronic Publishing Group at MIT in 1996. It is still in active use but no longer supported. The principle feature of Pluto is its attention to the publishing workflow--it facilitates a smooth interaction between writers and editors.

I'm exploring developing a similar workflow within a MediaWiki. This would be in support of activities such as Jack Driscoll's journalism tutorial.

the idea

The idea is to use category tags as the equivalent of the basket system utilized in Pluto. To view a basket, it is simply a matter of visiting the category page for that basket, e.g., http://wiki.ourpublication.org/go/Category:Publish.

  • The principle baskets (story repositories) are the Publish basket, the Editor basket, and the Individual basket.
  • Each story (a page in the wiki) would be tagged with a category flag for the author. (Multiple-author stories would have multiple category tags. By default, authors would write stories under the User page, but this need not be strictly enforced.)
  • When a story is ready to be reviewed by an editor, the Editor category would be added. [[Category:Editor]]
  • Copy edits can be made in-line and comments made on the discussion page. If the watch feature is used, then the author will get an email notification automatically generated when their story has been edited.
  • When a story is ready to publish, the Publish category would be added. [[Category:Publish]]
  • A publication-date category could be added to facilitate the archiving process as well. [[Category:July2008]]
  • A series of simple templates can be used for navigation within an issue.
  • The front page could be constructed using the {{include}} mechanism and additional templates.
  • The Mediawiki:Sidebar can also be used as a navigation aid: direct links to the Editor, Publish, and Archive categories, for example.
  • Multimedia would be handled using the usual Wiki markup.
  • If desirable, page protections can be used.

I'm sketching out these ideas here: User:Walter/RyeReflections.

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