W3 Interactive Talk

WIT is a forms-based discussion system which we invented immediately following WWW94 in order to allow discussions on W3 technical matters to be stored in a more structured fashion.

Ari put the scripts together in three days, so the format may yet change, and they are not yet released for general use until we have a bit more experience with them.

Using WIT

A WIT discussion has a certain structure to allow people (or programs) to see what the state of play is. It is an attempt to improve on the mayhem of newgroups and mailing lists, where you can't see whether a point has been settled, and it is very easy to bring up the same point agaian and again. If you contribute to a WIT are, your message will not evaporate after a few days, but will be part of the knowledge structure of the database.

Discussion areas

Discussion areas are set up by system managers. (As our server is set up curently, this just involves creating a directory called "Discussion" at any point in our web). The area heading indicates what dicsussion is an is not appropriate in that area. You can of course make cross-references between areas.


Within each area, topics can (currently) be craeted at will. A topic describes an issue, which is not resolved. Examples of topics might be Topics are just more specific than areas.


A proposal is a statement up for discussion. It is NOT just a smaller area for discussion. It must be something with which people can agree or disagree. Examples might be:Don't use a proposal to bring up another topic: if you do, people won't see it in the list of topics, to they may miss is; they won't be able to make proposals about it.

More information

Ari Luotonen, Tim Berners-Lee