Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Discuss the LLORG's and HTLAL forum's past and its future here.
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Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby David1917 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:56 pm

Since apparently I'm on wiki mode today, in another thought, and part of a longer project I've been working on, I think something needs to be done to remove or minimize the reliance on HTLAL threads. Many pages have a subsection of links to the forum, and the Assimil page for example simply references a user "Michael K." It is my understanding from reading another discussion that the wiki was created as some sort of corollary to the old forum, but at this point if the goal is to make it more readily accessible and comprehensive - the casual self-referential nature ought to be changed.

As a second point, the HTLAL site is volatile enough as it is. Perhaps when someone "adopts" a Wiki page, they might peruse the linked threads to extract the relevant information and (even better) distill several posts into a concise narrative. This might need some sort of standardized practice as well. Moreover, a curious lurker might want to learn about the pros and cons of Pimsleur without having to read a bunch of arguments between people from 12 years ago. I guess the question is (and perhaps someone can point me to the answer if it's somewhere on this forum): is the wiki intended to be an index of HTLAL discussions or a general source for language learning techniques and publications aimed at the public?

The "longer project" I mentioned above is sorting through the Lessons in Polyglottery subforum and creating some type of archive of Prof A's work there. He wrote incredibly long posts, sometimes with no ensuing discussion (much to his voiced dismay), and should HTLAL finally crash for good, that would indeed be a great loss for the community. I've exchanged a couple of e-mails with Prof A about this topic and he has even agreed to write a new introduction to the forthcoming "archive" when it is complete. It is with this spirit in mind that I suggest we pull text from the old forum when we can and repurpose it for posterity.
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby fcoulter » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:11 pm

David1917 wrote:Since apparently I'm on wiki mode today, in another thought, and part of a longer project I've been working on, I think something needs to be done to remove or minimize the reliance on HTLAL threads. Many pages have a subsection of links to the forum, and the Assimil page for example simply references a user "Michael K." It is my understanding from reading another discussion that the wiki was created as some sort of corollary to the old forum, but at this point if the goal is to make it more readily accessible and comprehensive - the casual self-referential nature ought to be changed.

As a second point, the HTLAL site is volatile enough as it is. Perhaps when someone "adopts" a Wiki page, they might peruse the linked threads to extract the relevant information and (even better) distill several posts into a concise narrative. This might need some sort of standardized practice as well. Moreover, a curious lurker might want to learn about the pros and cons of Pimsleur without having to read a bunch of arguments between people from 12 years ago. I guess the question is (and perhaps someone can point me to the answer if it's somewhere on this forum): is the wiki intended to be an index of HTLAL discussions or a general source for language learning techniques and publications aimed at the public?

The "longer project" I mentioned above is sorting through the Lessons in Polyglottery subforum and creating some type of archive of Prof A's work there. He wrote incredibly long posts, sometimes with no ensuing discussion (much to his voiced dismay), and should HTLAL finally crash for good, that would indeed be a great loss for the community. I've exchanged a couple of e-mails with Prof A about this topic and he has even agreed to write a new introduction to the forthcoming "archive" when it is complete. It is with this spirit in mind that I suggest we pull text from the old forum when we can and repurpose it for posterity.


You may be able to convince the administrators of HTLAL to create an archive of the entire forum and send it to you. In the event of a catestrophy, you'll be able to dig through the remnants if it dies before you get to it.

But you're right. A lot of long discussions in the old forums (and in this one, too), could be summarized and immortalized in the wiki. This would require someone with (1) good organizational skills, (2) no dogs in the fight, and (3) enough knowledge to know what's actually important.
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby rdearman » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:15 pm

Someone already pulled all his posts. I had a copy somewhere and someone recently pointed to a copy on the Internet. I'll see if I can find them.
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby David1917 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:24 pm

fcoulter wrote:But you're right. A lot of long discussions in the old forums (and in this one, too), could be summarized and immortalized in the wiki. This would require someone with (1) good organizational skills, (2) no dogs in the fight, and (3) enough knowledge to know what's actually important.


I think we could standardize some practices for this, but you're right, someone could easily summarize a discussion to their benefit by saying "the consensus is..." when really only 2 people were on one side with 20+ naysayers. Assimil has been discussed ad nauseum on both forums, so which posts are "more important" than others? Moreover, what benefit would such a summary have on a wiki? Would it make more sense to reference other online sources like reviews, etc.?

I guess one great feature would be on individual course pages to indicate some quirks that users have pointed out over the years. These would have to be presented as one user's opinion (e.g. instead of writing "This 2nd Russian Assimil course is dumbed down, awful, and useless" one should write "One polyglot (in this case Prof A) reviewed this course very negatively, even indicating that he gave the book away, despite striving to maintain one of the largest private language-learning collections on the planet.")
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby David1917 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:25 pm

rdearman wrote:Someone already pulled all his posts. I had a copy somewhere and someone recently pointed to a copy on the Internet. I'll see if I can find them.


I have all the Lessons in Polyglottery threads and some of the bigger ones on my desktop. I'm sure there are others I missed because the HTLAL search function is...special.
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby fcoulter » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:47 pm

David1917 wrote:
fcoulter wrote:But you're right. A lot of long discussions in the old forums (and in this one, too), could be summarized and immortalized in the wiki. This would require someone with (1) good organizational skills, (2) no dogs in the fight, and (3) enough knowledge to know what's actually important.


I think we could standardize some practices for this, but you're right, someone could easily summarize a discussion to their benefit by saying "the consensus is..." when really only 2 people were on one side with 20+ naysayers. Assimil has been discussed ad nauseum on both forums, so which posts are "more important" than others? Moreover, what benefit would such a summary have on a wiki? Would it make more sense to reference other online sources like reviews, etc.?

I guess one great feature would be on individual course pages to indicate some quirks that users have pointed out over the years. These would have to be presented as one user's opinion (e.g. instead of writing "This 2nd Russian Assimil course is dumbed down, awful, and useless" one should write "One polyglot (in this case Prof A) reviewed this course very negatively, even indicating that he gave the book away, despite striving to maintain one of the largest private language-learning collections on the planet.")


I think that one reason to summarize the posts is that the wiki could become a reference for more than the people who are active members of the forum. Instead, it would be useful for anyone who wants to learn a language other than their own. Pointing them only to the forum seems less user friendly.

The fact that forum regulars will find it useful, too, is gravy.
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby Serpent » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:14 am

fcoulter wrote:You may be able to convince the administrators of HTLAL to create an archive of the entire forum and send it to you. In the event of a catestrophy, you'll be able to dig through the remnants if it dies before you get to it.
They don't have access to any special tools for creating an archive. Also, mrwarper created a private archive.
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Re: Linking to HTLAL on the Wiki

Postby Axon » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:24 am

I also have a backup of those threads, which can be found here. They might not cover all of the posts though, just the ones before the mirror was made of course.
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