This is a response to Vol 10 Stuart 8 ("Onward to 2.0")...
I now have a pretty clear idea what I want Archipelago Verison 2.0 to look like and I am eager to begin work on the project. But first let me tell you what I am planning so that I can get some input from you seasoned veterans.
The basic idea is to reduce everything to voice card format. The monopoly board main screen would remain, but would only be used as a hub for transfering to the archive stacks. The archipelago stack would no longer hold new book reviews, member cards, etc. and the buttons would not turn dark. Instead, all the current install buttons on the bottom part of the screen would jump directly to the appropriate stack.
I would make the buttons user-definable so that you could customize your own monopoly board. Some of you might take out the HPL button and put in a button that jumps to your favorite word processor. The Survey, Results, Archives, Make Contribution, and Checklist buttons would be removed. HECK/ASK and TRANSIT buttons would be added.
There would no longer be any packages or deadline calendar in the center of the screen. Instead, packages would appear as buttons on the new Preface card in the voice volume; the buttons would link to intro-voice cards in the contributing member's section. All of these changes mean that I would only need to send a fresh copy of the Archipelago stack when there was a new member.
The slack would be taken up by an enhanced version of the voice stack. In addition to the current voice and hello cards, there would be a whole set of new cards: book review, address, gift intro, Mr. Wizard, etc. Each of these cards would look like a cross between the current designs and the standard hello card; the titlebar, masthead, and gray button boxes would stay the same, the rest of the card would be tailored for the specific card type. Whenever you pressed the New Card button, a pop-up menu would appear with a list of all available card types.
Each new card type would include a button for adding the card to an appropriate archive stack; this way you can still accumulate book reviews separately if you so desire. You will also be able to start your own generic archive stacks to store cards on any topic; any voice card can be copied to an archive stack. I will re-release the current archive stacks in a new standardized format.
One of the advantages of this system is that it will be relatively easy for me to add new card types. Thus, if we want to create a "Travel Tips" voice card type, or a "Movie Review" card, I can create both the card design and matching archive stack before we're all too old to enjoy it.
Under the new system, I will only need to ship the current voice volume, the previous voice volume, and a fresh transit stack. All you have to do is read through the current voice volume. Everything we create will be in one place and will be documented as part of the existing chain of voice volumes.
To further streamline things, I will stop keeping separate archive listings for everything. Instead, I will simply use the new features of the voice stack to maintain an archive stack for all the intro cards and you are free to do the same if you wish.
The sound-of-the-month club could still appear in the form of a special sound card. Stuart could publish his poetry in a monthly poetry card. I'm still not quite sure how to handle the Quotationist: either a new quotationist card or else I could stick with the old way and simply send out the entire Quotationist stack each time (it's not that big).
My hope is that all of this will save you some time and make your lives a little simpler. It will cut my editing chores in half and make it much easier to add new members. And this thing may even start to have commercial possibilities. In it's current form Archipelago is unmarketable because of its complexity and the burden it places on the editor. After the new version comes out and evolves and stabilizes, I may start to think about trying to start other groups (this is at least a year away).
So what do you think? Are you alarmed? Excited? Confused? Do you have any questions? Any suggestions? Is there anything I've forgotten? Do you see some drawbacks to the new system? Any features I've left out?
Speak up! Construction is already under way! Archipelago 2.0 will be coming soon to a theatre near you!