Re: Free/open source knowledge base system

Subject: Re: Free/open source knowledge base system
From: Doc <dlettvin -at- attbi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 10:37:22 -0400

Hi Darren --

First let me say that your name and your organization's name are
felicitously evocative. There is nothing I would like better than to
be barefoot on the Cape right now.

The term Knowledge Management varies in definition. If I were
consulting for you on such a project (I do that, didja know?) I would
ask some further questions rather than guessing at possible answers
Here are some of them..

1. Would you and your organization be willing to pay a small amount
for the software or is there a philosophical or sociological reason
behind your wanting free software?

2. How do you do it now?
* What authoring (word processing, authoring, text-editing) and
graphics (illustration, flow charts etc.) programs are already in use?
* Do you want the software to provide an editing interface or use one
that you already have? (Remember that you will have to recreate any
templates in the new format.)

3. What is the nature of the information?
* How large are the proposed database entries?
* Do you need to control who edits the entries
* Do you need to combine the entries into larger documents or will
each stand alone?

4. When you say publish them on the web, do you mean publish the
content or do you mean publish a retrievable document or both?

5. How much time can your org dedicate to setting up and maintaining
the infrastructure? (The reason most KB, CMS, and LCMS software is so
expensive is that you are paying for the expertise to set them up.
You'll find that there is a balance. The more work you do yourself,
the less you pay. BUT The more work you do yourself, the more
person-hours are lost to doing other jobs.)

6. What do you expect to happen? What problem does your org have that
a KB will be expected to solve?

There are other questions that would help narrow things down. but
answers to these will help me recommend some solutions.

. . . and BTW no charge ;->
David W Lettvin
South Hamilton, MA
"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." - G.K. Chesterton

On Mon, 1 Jul 2002 14:24:48 +0100, "Darren Barefoot"
<darren -dot- barefoot -at- capeclear -dot- com> wrote:

>We're looking for a light-weight knowledge base system. I've had a look
>through the archives, and found several recommendations for systems, but
>all of them are of the pay-money-for-them variety. We're hoping to get
>something for nothing, so to speak.

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