Benjamin Mako Hill is a Debian hacker and author of the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible and "The Official Ubuntu Book". He works in the Computing Culture group of the MIT Media Lab, and is on the boards of Software Freedom International (the organization that organizes Software Freedom Day) and the Ubuntu Foundation. Hill was on the board of Software in the Public Interest from March 2003 until July 2006, serving as the organisation's vice-president from August 2004.
This talk will present a new wiki-based research project from the MIT Media Laboratory designed to allow collaboration between partially diverged documents or articles. The system is based on ideas and code from software-based distributed revision control systems but provides a text-based and wiki-like interface of branch tracking and accounting, history sensitive merging, and conflict presentation and resolution. The system has important applications for collaboration between forks of Wikimedia projects (e.g., the original proposal for Citizendium), collaboration between branches of articles within Wikis during major revisions of articles, and conflict resolution during normal editing or extended offline work.