Linux and The Catholic Encyclopedia : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Some of you may be aware of the Linux phenomenon. It is a Unix-like computer operating system (OS) that was completely developed by computer experts working for free through the internet. It is distributed free of charge and it the most serious threat to Bill Gates4 Monopoly today.

What has it to do with this catholic forum? Simple: the way it was developed (mode details below). I was wandering if other voluntary joint efforts may be accomplished via the net, and of course it came to my mind that a sort of "Catholic Enciclopedia" might be developed in the same way, with any person contributing with its peculiar expertise. For example, one would take charge of General Apologetics, another of Church History, the third Cannon Law etc. I am aware that there are many catholic resources in the internet, including home pages of people frequenting this forum. While it is great, I think there are two ploblems with it. First, there is much dupplication of effort (two people answering the same questions in their respective sites), and second, it makes it difficult for a person to find every page (excess of information).

The Linux OS only became a success when the computer community realized that if every nerd in every university in the world tried to build his own complete OS, what you would have in the end was tons of incomplete and more or less low quality software (which is exactly what happened before Linux). The net allowed the joint effort by a very interesting model of development, which I am professionaly researching now. Every aspect of the OS has an "owner", who organizes the contributions of everybody and submits it to everybody else for peer review (the peer review process is the keystone of Linux4s amazingly high quality, light-years ahead of Windows).

How would it work? Each subject would be taken up by a volunteer (e.g. Dave Palm in General Apologetics - Protestant Views ;-) ). If I had made an essay about this subject, I would sent it to Dave, who would in turn make a first assessment on its quality/orthodoxy/logic etc. Then, he would distribute it for everybody else for further comments. In the end, the revised essay would be published in a central web site.

If we could make this a movement, in two or tree years we would have an amazingly wealthy web resource, in possibly any subject conceivable concerning religion. If we could make it known, it could even become a portal. But the idea is that 90% of the questions one might ask would be readily available in the site, avoiding link-chasing.

I don4t know if there is any such effort today going on, but if there is, it is not strong enough yet, for if it were, we would have heard of it already.

Thanks for comments. Send also questions concerning the development model.

Regards, Atila

P.S. I am aware also that there is already a Catholic Enciclopedia in the net, but it is static, being the publication in the net of an old paper enciclopedia. Though it is great, many "modern" issues are not covered there.

-- Atila Belloquim (, December 13, 1999


Response to Linux and The Catholic Enciclopedia

Atila, the idea seems very good. Though I am no expert on anything, just a catholic interested in knowing his faith every day more and more, but who is ready to work so that others may also know their faith better, I am ready to help. Where and how do I start?


-- Enrique Ortiz (, December 14, 1999.

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