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IBIS-Lift Project ABOUT =========================================================== IBIS: Issue-based information systems This project implements a Structured Conversation platform, similar to: http://debategraph.org/ or http://compendium.open.ac.uk/ Structured Conversations ======================================== Structured conversations consist of: Questions Answers Pro arguments Con arguments Reference nodes Each entry, like a "tweet" or microblog entry, is a node. Nodes are collected in tree structures. In an indented outline form, a conversation looks like: Q: How do I participate in a structured conversation? A: Follow these steps A: 1- double-click a node to read in detail A: 2- select the Respond tab A: 3- select the type of response desired A: Question A: Answer A: Pro (argument) A: Con (argument) A: Reference (link to information) A: 4- Type in a response (very much like a tweet) A: 5- Optionally, add detailed descriptions A: 6- Click the submit button Structured conversations are a direct way to engage a group of participants in researching a topic by creating and answering questions, justifying each answer, and supporting or challenging claims. Structured conversations require care to avoid confusion. A few important rules of good conversation are these: 1- Limit each response to one topic. By offering just one topic, it is then possible to continue the conversation about that topic, and not waste words showing which of several topics is in the conversation. 2- Try to make sure that another response does not say what you want to say (don't duplicate answers). Instead, if you find an answer that you like, and want to say more, add a response (Answer) to that node that amplifies the earlier response. 3- It is frequently a good idea to ask a question rather than start an argument with a Con node. Sometimes, a Con node, e.g. "That's impossible", does not convey any useful information, and risks stopping an otherwise useful conversation branch. A question, instead, can tease out of the idea being challenged, some detail that might actually allow for discovery of unknown ideas. A new conversation can start with an Idea (answer node), or a Question. An idea is a well-posed statement that suggests a topic for conversation. Use the Details section to explain the topic. That topic might invite many different questions. Starting a conversation with a well-posed question is a typical way to begin. When we say "well-posed", we mean that the Details section is used to explain the nature of the question, background concepts, links to further information, and so forth. For more information, consider starting with slides found at http://slideshare.net/jackpark/ Some websearch terms for structured conversations are: dialogue mapping issue mapping argument mapping Road Ahead ====================================================== The IBIS-Lift project can stand alone as a powerful online platform for civic dialogue. We expect to continue evolving this platform with more features, including tags and connections. For more about connecting nodes, visit http://cohere.open.ac.uk/ At the same time, this platform is a testbed for components that will serve a much larger web activity we call knowledge gardening. Getting Started ================================================= Configuring the platform: The default.props file contains a number of important config values. The most important one is static.data.path which must be set to the absolute path of the installed /static/ folder inside webapps Others are a bit more benign: invite.required defaults to false; setting to true means that an Admin can add an email address to an invitation list; only those on that invitation list can sign up. authentication.required defaults to false; setting to true means that only those who are logged in can see any content on the site. landing.title defaults to "Conversations that matter"; it can be set to any message desired to define the site. From command line: sbt e.g. c:\projects\IssueQuest\IBIS-Lift\IBISLift>sbt c:\projects\IssueQuest\IBIS-Lift\IBISLift>set SCRIPT_DIR=c:\projects\IssueQuest\ IBIS-Lift\IBISLift\ c:\projects\IssueQuest\IBIS-Lift\IBISLift>java -XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled -XX :MaxPermSize=256m -Xmx512M -Xss2M -jar "c:\projects\IssueQuest\IBIS-Lift\IBISLif t\\sbt-launcher.jar" Getting Scala 2.7.7 ... update e.g. > update [info] [info] == update == [info] :: retrieving :: Lift#lift-sbt-template_2.9.0-1 [sync] [info] confs: [compile, runtime, test, provided, system, optional, sources, jav adoc] [info] 28 artifacts copied, 0 already retrieved (21093kB/943ms) [info] == update == [success] Successful. jetty-run e.g. > jetty-run [info] [info] == copy-resources == [info] == copy-resources == [info] [info] == compile == [info] Source analysis: 30 new/modified, 0 indirectly invalidated, 0 removed. [info] Compiling main sources... etc Then browse http://localhost:8080/ sign up (which logs you in). Then click: "New Conversation" Or click any conversation listed on the front page.