A vision for Codidact

Codidact’s goal is to enable communities of shared interests to come together and determine for themselves how they pool, share, and teach their collective knowledge, as part of a shared network of like-minded people.

We’ve known since at least the time of Socrates that asking questions is central to learning. Q&A is central to Codidact; it is by asking and answering each other’s questions that we grow. Community is also central; all are welcome to ask and answer, but a successful community has a core of people who are there for the community, to build and curate and expand the community’s repository of questions, answers, and other knowledge.

Codidact puts people first, because people build strong communities.

Q&A is central, but it is not the only tool a thriving community needs. Codidact supports other forms of knowledge-sharing too. Whether your community wants to build a set of reference articles for key topics, or a framework for critiques of users’ work, or a “sandbox” in which to refine questions (learning how to ask), or a blog, or something we haven’t thought of yet – Codidact supports these types of content alongside your Q&A.

One size does not fit all. Different communities have different needs. Decisions about communities should be made by the communities.

Codidact is not an SE clone. It’s not just Q&A. We’re aiming higher, and we’ll learn as we go right alongside the communities we host. We’ve identified a set of core features that we need to launch, but that’s just the beginning.

Our big ideas for the platform include:

  • Community-defined categories of content (like Q&A and wiki and blog), which support different types of posts and maybe different licenses. Not everything is a question. Graphic Design can do critiques; SciFi can have an on-site blog; Worldbuilding can have a question sandbox; User Experience can have its set of templates for common Balsamiq components.

  • Effective signposts for all users, whether new or experienced – just-in-time help, action-oriented guidance when something isn’t quite right, and transparency so users aren’t left wondering why a post got the reaction it did.

  • A system of trust levels that allows everyone to start participating right away, with more privileges gained with successful participation.

  • A way to see context-relevant information about users – for example, that this answer is from somebody with a lot of well-received answers on this specific topic.

  • A way to have the discussions that are sometimes necessary to improve a question or answer without getting in the way of people just looking for answers.

  • A way for community members to interact informally, strengthening the bonds within the community – because communities are made out of people, and people need to have the option to get to know each other.

  • Community self-determination in everything from site design and functionality to who the moderators are, with support from the rest of the network on an instance.

These are our broad goals. Codidact will evolve over time as we learn more from our communities. We see our communities as our partners. We won’t have everything right away, but this is the path we are on.


So glad to see this all summed up so clearly here. It’s inspiring and encouraging. Thanks! :clap::clap::clap:


Great sum up, thank you.


Good idea. Code Review never worked as part of SO, but on itself it can work quite well. Explicit support for sites that are a little different than your standard Q&A would make quite a difference for communities like that. Development-wise it could be a pitfall though.


I like what you summed up. Thank you.

It’s just five paragraphs and seven bullet points too long to be called a vision. :wink:

That’s what the first paragraph is for.

Sounds good. If @cellio agrees it would be great to visually indicate that.

Hey, some visions are more involved than others. :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, this is my attempt to lay out where I think we’re going and why. “Why” is important. The bullet points are consequences of the “why”. It’s not meant to be a sound bite.


I’m looking forward to seeing what can happen with this community on Codidact. Writing as a topic always felt kind of pasted onto SE’s Q&A engine, but I stuck with it for the sake of the community, and seeing how working within limitations would pan out. I think it worked well, but I’m definitely anticipating new opportunities and new challenges here. Hooray!


For me the biggest mistake on going is not clearly separate what is “the software” and what is “the community”. When this point becomes crystal clear for everyone there will be a vision.

Somebody got it, but not all involved (I inferred this reading a lot posts here). This thread is a good step, but actions will be determinant.

“Is” Codidact the Mediawiki or the Wikipedia?

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I agree, we are still in an ask four people get five answers state…

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Codidact.org is the Wikimedia. Codidact.com is the Wikipedia. The same people are currently doing both, which is why the lines fuzz in discussions sometimes. Thanks for raising this, and please do ask people for clarification on specific points when it’s not clear.

To address your edit:

  • Codidact is a software platform. It’s being built by the team here as an open-source project under the codidact.org banner.

  • Codidact.com is (will be) an instance of the Codidact software that hosts a variety of communities.

  • A to-be-structured organization that is definitely not commercial or for-profit will oversee codidact.com. The team currently here building the platform and planning the instance will have leadership roles in this organization. We’re not going to hand over the instance to folks who don’t get what we’re doing.

  • Other people/groups are free to take the Codidact software and set up their own instances with whatever policies and organizational structure they want. We’re aiming for software that would let those instances talk to each other if the people on both sides want that. We hope that the instance we’re running will be suitable for many communities (and all the ones we’ve identified so far).


An alternative way of looking at it: Codidact-the-organisation is the Wikimedia; Codidact-the-software is the Wikipedia. They’re called the same thing, which also makes it a little fuzzy.

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Monica sorry, I used the wrong term. I wanted to use MediaWiki but used WikiMedia.

This is the problema. You couldn’t be both. SEI aren’t. MediaWiki aren’t.

SEI is Wikipedia, Software is just a man, not the end for them.

Mediawiki sells (for free) the wiki platform. Is up to you use it as you like. Some people form Mediawiki contribute to Wikipedia which is a totally different project. That’s ok. Of course Wikipedia needs are addressed by Mediawiki, but they are distinct projects, eventually ran by same people.

See How do we separate distinct communities?. If Codidact is a software platform, like Mediawiki is, this discussion is wrong. This discussion is good if Codidact is a community, like SEI. Just an example.

Another example: Keeping the site free. This wrong discussion for the software.

Make a good software for people exchange knowledge. This is important here. How people will use is not important. Mediawiki provides a good software based on wiki, it is not Mediawiki business how people use it. People download, install, configure, add plugins and use it.

People want a good software to exchange knowledge, maybe based on Q&A (maybe not, listen George Stocker). People don’t need a new community. Just a bunch of persons need this.

Don’t get me wrong, community can be another project, or product (profitable or not).

To be clear, I’m not say what you should do, just putting my 2 cents. You can do something really big here. I want this. I will be frustrated if the chance be lost.


I used the wrong term. I wanted to use MediaWiki but used WikiMedia. Can you reformulate? Sorry for inconvenience.

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Ah, that makes more sense. So - Codidact-the-organisation is equivalent to Wikimedia, i.e. the organisation. We “sell” Codidact-the-software, like Wikimedia “sells” MediaWiki. We will run an instance of Codidact-the-software, which will be our Wikipedia.


Ok, this is good. Most people need to read and understand this thread. Some discussions here doesn’t make sense when we think in that way.

Please split Codidact.org and Codidact.com discussions. For everybody, make it clear that the software (Codidact.org) serves all people looking for a Knowledge exchange software to run a community in your own way. Doesn’t matter how people deploy, configure, extend or rule the software. Of course some people will prefer to use Codidact.com and will embrace this community rules and deployment, like SEI or Wikipedia are, but better :slight_smile:


Yup. We’re on codidact.org here, because we’re discussing about the creation of the software. Once we’re running it, it’ll be run and communities will be hosted on codidact.com.


Actually I don’t remember that decision having been made. The last I remember is that the Codidact name was only for the software, and the site name was to be decided on later.

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So many people call it Codidact now; why should we change and confuse people?

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