Forsyth Criteria

Pete Forsyth considered what qualities an environment needs to support effective collaboration. He outlined several software features or characteristics that provide for individual agency in collaborative writing. The idea is to identify necessary and sufficient features of a collaboration space, whether real or virtual. Ward Cunningham dubbed the set of features the "Forsyth Criteria."

This page is for refining the list of features or characteristics. The ideas in here were fleshed out more thoroughly for publication as a chapter of the book "Wikipedia @20" called Trusting Everybody to Work Together. Pete is interested to hear from anybody interested in the topic.

YOUTUBE O-ykvRYsk2o Pete Forsyth's talk in 2016 describes the criteria. See also Evolution of the Forsyth Criteria.

These criteria are well supported by the MediaWiki software used for Wikipedia. They serve the writers and editors of Wikipedia; incidentally, they also help discriminating readers to better understand the genesis of the content they find.

Users can readily perceive: - __that__ some content has changed (watchlists, recent changes) - exactly __what__ was changed (including access to the original version) (diffs) - __who__ made the change (user names, presented in various reports) - __when__ they made it (date stamps, presented in various reports) - __why__ they made it (edit summaries, entered optionally, presented in various reports) (see Perceive Why Change was Wanted)

Users have the ability to take the following actions: - __address__ the person who made a change - __undo__ the changes of others - __create__ changes of one’s own

Possible additions? (Related, but slightly different) See: * The Right to Leave * The Right to Change Your Mind

Spaces to Evaluate by their effective or missing criteria.

Failure to Communicate when meta-information (i.e. goals) is not shared.

Unexpected Federation Practices that might be worth adding.