IdeaXchg Article By: M. Asherman

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IdeaXchg architecture overview

(Author's note: this page is obsolete, but it has been retained for further review and processing.  Some broken links to deleted elements may still be present on this page.  See IdeaXchg Development Tasks for current notes and references.)

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IdeaXchg integrates edited content (articles) with related, un-edited discussion (threaded messages).  Aside from a few "structural" pages, such as the home page, search forms, posting and confirmation forms, etc., the bulk of the IdeaXchg falls under the heading of either articles or discussions.

Edited content pages, or "articles", are grouped under separate folders, one for each author.  The folder names are of the form "by" + initials of author, e.g. "bymda" for pages authored by me.  (My intention is to allow for other people to become "members" of IdeaXchg, so they can author and edit their own article pages.)

By convention, every article includes a direct link (Discuss) to a "placeholder" message in an appropriate discussion area.  This allows you to instantly jump from an article to its directly related discussion.  Every article can be easily and openly discussed by anyone (anonymously or not), and everyone can immediately see or respond to whatever anyone else has to say about it.

The discussion in IdeaXchg is partitioned into topical "discussion areas", each comprised of  an edited contents outline, an automatically-generated outline of all threads in the discussion, and the associated message pages for each posting or reply in that discussion.  (Note that this is an extension of the model generated by FrontPage Discussion Wizard, which only includes the automatically-generated outline of all threads in the discussion, although FrontPage refers to this as the discussion "Contents".  In the IdeaXchg model we add a manually edited discussion Contents directory to the usual Threads, providing a more organized, subject-oriented way of navigating through a large discussion area.)

Discussion messages are stored in folders corresponding to each discussion area.  These folders have names of the form "disc" + number, e.g. "disc2" for the Discussion Discussion.  Multiple discussion groups are used to separate topic areas into more manageable units.  (By including multiple discussions within the single public IdeaXchg web site, as opposed to putting each into a separate FrontPage subweb, it becomes possible to support full-text searching that spans across all discussion areas.)

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