Tasks with which you can help
If you would like to support the project's development, you can choose, according to your competencies, issues from the following list of "To Do" items. Of course, other suggestions for help are also welcome. You can exchange information with us via email (cybernetica [at] vub.ac.be), via annotations (only for short comments), or we can give you a password allowing you to transfer or edit files on our server via FTP.
- Proofread the Web. This applies as well for formatting as for errors or ambiguities in the content. Most of the material is in a kind of a half-ready state, with many things (definitions, references, formatting) lacking or unclear. Spotting all these things in 1200+ documents is rather time consuming. We would appreciate lists of errors or unclarities, with suggestions of possible corrections on any part of the Web. (of course, also debate or discussion of the content is welcome).
- Let others know about the Project. This can be done by adding links to our Web on other servers, or by publicizing the Principia Cybernetica Project in different places (mailing lists, newsgroups, journals, magazines, newsletters, etc. see e.g. the item in "Wired" magazine). However, we prefer directed publicity to people who are potential contributors themselves rather than mass mailings to all and everyone announcing that "PCP Web is the next cool place to be". Our server is not yet powerful enough to sustain hundred thousands of requests a day from people who cannot distinguish between cybernetics and cybersex. We prefer at present to reach a selected public capable of really appreciating our academic endeavours, rather than the big masses.
- Tell us how others see us. We are interested in all reactions and criticisms about PCP, and would like to know which other servers provide links to our Web. See the "Comments" node for examples.
- Spot related documents on the Internet. Since we are not only interested in developing our own material but also in collecting similar material developed by others, we would appreciate URL's of related servers so that we can add links to them in our "Related" node.
- Convert text to HTML hypertext. Most material on our FTP server is still unstructured text, which makes it difficult to consult it via a WWW browser. Some texts with an internal organization (e.g. PRNCYB-discussions or some papers) could be easily split up in separate nodes with links and a Table of Contents.
- Provide graphics or other illustrative material. If you dispose of, know where to find, or are willing to create, a nice drawing, photograph, animation, demonstration program or other item that would make the text of a node more attractive or easier to understand, we would like to insert it in the Web. Also useful are clickable maps of various parts of the web.
- Write items on recent PCP developments for the electronic Newsletter .
- Provide or develop software support. Various tools for intelligent retrieval of information (e.g WAIS), structuring the Web, editing of Web nodes, supporting group discussions (e.g. annotation systems) etc. can be very useful to make the Web more effective. At present we are working in a Macintosh environment, based on HyperTalk, AppleScript and Java, so we are not capable to directly include programs written for other operating systems. However, if you dispose of a server of your own, you might make these tools available there (perhaps even including a "mirror" copy of our Web), and we might add links to it from our nodes.
- and of course: Write new nodes!
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