ENGELBART COLLOQUIUM AT STANFORD ONLINE
An In-Depth Look at
"The Unfinished Revolution"
February 3, 2000
ENGELBART: Welcome everybody to session 5 of the unfinished revolution. You know a year ago they were talking about Engelbartís unfinished revolution; well my picture is the revolution is really just getting started. It is going to be mine, itís got to grow and become something that a lot of people take part in before it really gets going. All the years we worked on quite a bit of strategic framework for something that could handle the scale of that. Iíve been presenting things like that in the early part and weíve got a forum going on line thatís got a few people operating very eloquently. So we nabbed one of them to come in and start talking some at this session, it will service him right. Right? Weíre also going to try an experiment about getting more involvement with people here because one of the things thatís difficult for me through all the years is I build a framework with different concepts fitting together. Itís very hard to know if I just go through and describe them in some order like that. It doesnít seem quite to gel as a whole thing. So somehow we need to pick specifics and interact and kind of interlace those specifics with the general framework to try to help it grow.
SLIDE: Session 5, The Unfinished Revolution Ė II
ENGELBART: One thing I badly need is, I need personally is, really more dialogue about these different aspects of this framework of concepts, etc. So were hoping that we start with something thatís direct. So last week when we started opening up about what the open hyperdocument system could, thereís a spark that got there party by Adam coming through with his very reserved, Iím kidding, his very enthusiastic sort of way, which is very good. Weíre going to spend a fair amount of time at the end of the meeting dwelling upon that and try to knit that into some of the larger framework issues.
SLIDE: Weíre going to look at the bootstrapping part of the UnRev framework
ENGELBART: The bootstrapping part of that is something in which people say, well how difficult is it? So you say, well if I have compound interest on an investment in the bank then I know that every time I get some interest it goes in there and then that generates interest. Though a compound returning is another way of looking at, some people call it double loop feedback, etc. but the basic thing is if youíre going to make headway at improving things, improving capabilities of collective work and then you take notice that the improve in infrastructure of our society actually is generally a collective process. Well thatís very good, that if we early try to emphasize boosting our collective ability, called collect IQ, itís a set of capabilities weíve named CoDIAK. So if we say okay letís start working consciously to improve that and then as you improve it in clusters the effort around the world or should you deploy it best? Well thatís a choice and it turns out if you want to look strategically one of the really optimal choices would be to employ those improvements you had within the improvement infrastructure. In fact the improvement infrastructure thatís trying to improve your collective IQ and then as that gets better and better you start saying now I can start disseminating the capabilities out around the world more and a good place to do that would be in the other parts of the worldís improvement infrastructure. So thatís what the bootstrapping thing really talks about, and itís not all that complicated. This time we thought well letís take two kinds of things, one is a very broad scale issue and the other is a specific one and just look at both of them to see can they play together in a framework weíre talking about?
SLIDE: Orienting for huge "solution scale"
ENGELBART: So this huge scale is one thing that needs to be entered and we spent time at the beginning and several people objected because we brought it up several times in different sessions about the global scale of the millennium projects and the fifteen big challenges to society that are judged to be very large. So you look and say, do those have to be dealt with collectively? Collectively means theyíre disseminated, that solutions are not going to be by one small pocket of people or something that have to be involved quite a few people in an assorted community thatís going to be dealing on that. So those are the kind of scales that if the world canít produce the scale of ability and capability to do this collective IQ a lot better in scales like that you still going to be in a great deal of trouble, even though an individual company or group or team might be a lot more effective, itís just very important to get effective in the large scale and then you can easily point to things that weíll go do now. So this unfinished revolution I persist in assuming that it can only succeed if it applies to a truly scaleable strategic approach, scaleable. Iíll keep poking at that and sometimes over the last years, decades, that this has gotten me in trouble with people because theyíll say, well we want to get started and Iíd say, well there various choices you can make and the directions your going to take, canít we talk about strategic framework in which to choose them, there just trying to get in the way. What we would like to do is finally get a broad enough spectrum of people over the different levels, etc. interacting and things so that something about this evolves as a strategic framework and assumingly it may be quite different from mine, but it might still be more successful in my picture but the idea of going after that is important.
Weíre lucky today to have a visit from Professor Ohashi from Japan. Turns out that he, besides being a very active guy in the worlds committees of various sorts of products, also was appointed to be the president of an organization thatís called the bootstrap alliance Japan. This emerged after two different visits into Japan and so he just popped across the pacific like it was nothing to come here and maybe do something else.
SLIDE: Quality and Bootstrapping
ENGELBART: Between us we worked out the idea if you talk about the quality movement in the world, that was something thatís been under way for forty years, forty, fifty, and it just steadily assumed a bigger and bigger proportion, perspective on itís quality movement until almost every serious big manufacturing outfit in the world is involved in that kind of quality stuff. Itís been a very successful thing about that, so we say okay in a way thatís a model about how one got a whole bunch of stuff working in there. In another way itís also something that says okay what if we introduce, if were successful at boosting collective IQ in communities at large, how much can that start really sort of put new horsepower into the quality movement. So we say, okay thatís a very interesting sort of challenge. Weíre not sure whither heís professor and heís used to giving lectures, so what heís going to say, but were following him then with somebody local who works at SRI thatís been very involved in the quality thing to try also to point out some of the relationships. So are you ready Professor Ohashi to come and give them a talk?
SLIDE: TQM and Bootstrap Activities
MASAKAZU OHASHI: Thank you very much, this is an honor to speak at this colloquium and I have a brief introduction to the Japanese activity and those are relating quality control and bootstrap activities. We now call total quality management system basically starting with QC. QC means quality control, controlled quality products.
OHASHI: So RE70 and RE80, this is a strong tool for the Japanese production. So RE80 and next decade we call development this system, total quality control. This is control plus management system.
SLIDE: TQM (repeated)
OHASHI: RE90 we are standardized we call the TQM. TQM means total quality management system. This is a control plus management plus strategy. So cross-functional process management system is TQM.
SLIDE: Paradigm Shift of TQM
OHASHI: This is a paradigm shift of TQM. A fast generation quality control is enterprise organization image is manufacturing. Next generation is TQC is product competitive power is most important thing. But now TQM means respectable existence, this is most important thing that RE90 or probably next century. Target is fast decade; faster generation QC system has production quality, only production quality.
SLIDE: Paradigm Shift of TQM (repeated)
OHASHI: But TQC second-generation means product service quality is higher rather. TQM means management quality. Also quality intention is conformity is meaning the QC. The TQC means customer satisfaction. But the TQM means stakeholder satisfaction, and this is a little different.
SLIDE: Paradigm Shift of TQM
OHASHI: Also quality guarantee solution is a QC is a product out, but the TQC is a market in. Also TQM is a society in, means environmental problems, many complex problems last 1990. So control object is very different. QC is controlled production but TQC controls process and the TQM controls management system. Object is very different.
SLIDE: Idea of TQM
OHASHI: So idea of TQM is quality of management and also improvement of total quality. Quality means very different compared with QC activities. Management science means TQM not management, means not equal management. TQM is equal methodology of management science that is very important thing.
SLIDE: Vision of TQM
OHASHI: Also vision of TQM aim is respectable existence. Means co-delighting relationship with the stakeholder and also competitive and praised ability and activity is technology, speed and flexibility, and also vitality. Vitality means recently knowledge management system is very close to the vitality is make oneís presence felt, is most important thing. Also methodology of TQM is very complex.
SLIDE: Methodology of TQM
OHASHI: One is including ordinary method. Is all including, BPR, concurrent engineering, total productive maintenance, total productivity, just in time, 6 Sigma, ISO9000 and also CALS is very interesting best under TQM. But TQM method is a little different. TQM method is QC story, task accomplish.
SLIDE: TQM Method
OHASHI: This is the very best one on the QC activities. Also Q7, Q7 is a QC7 tools. We are arranging new QC7 tools we call N7. Also, P7 is new one, this is a planning 7 tools. Also, S7, S7 means strategy 7 tools. Also, quality function development reliability engineering. Also, many operations research methods are included. TQM means unify of management method based on the operations research or another new study analysis and the new management of technology.
SLIDE: Strategy of TQM
OHASHI: Also a strategy of TQM is corporate strategy, business strategy, functional strategy and management strategy submits always "what to do". But usually management strategies didnít say "how to do" this is not submitted. Also, life stage is most important thing of the next century. It means life cycle assessment; this is most important thing towards product able and more policy orientated or many social system or life cycle assessment. This is most very important thing. So TQM is suitable this life stage cycle. Also, TQM means open transparency of activities. PDCA cycle is like this.
SLIDE: PDCA Cycle
OHASHI: It is a review process, is called top management. Also planning process, performance process and also verify and improvement process. This is four cycle, four processes most important thing, PDCA cycle. This is invented by Deming. So P means plan, D means Do, C means check and A means review processes, action is review processes. Usually older system is only three cycles, three cycle means DCA. Plan Do C system is older one. But now PDCA cycle, this is adopted for the ISO14000 for the environmental assessment. Also resource management is important.
SLIDE: Resource Management
OHASHI: Resource means information and also IT technology and also including the human resources. The quality improvement of management system is leadership, vision, and strategy is also important. Progress of organization is one of the final aims of total quality management system. Technology, speed, and flexibility, vitality are the means. Also ISO9000 and TQM means close relationship.
SLIDE: ISO9000 and TQM
OHASHI: ISO9000 series is quality assurance model and also manage, perform, and verify is important thing on the ISO9000. Conformance is also means. TQM means quality management so building a quality in the process is most important. On the process and in the process is most important thing. Performance is also important.
SLIDE: Framework of TQM
OHASHI: Framework of TQM is like this. Lower label of base of methodology of TQM, I mentioned formally. Also resource is important, IT technology and information and human system, human resources. Third important thing is quality improvement of management system. Original QC system means quality improvement of the product system. Now quality improvement of management system is important. So this is the base three of the framework of TQM, so they aim on progress of organization. After this conclusion is respectable existence with stakeholder. That is the final aim of TQM. The future of TQM is now TQM has a strong relationship with knowledge management system.
SLIDE: The Future of TQM
OHASHI: This is also resource management system. This formula is not only based on algebra. This is a pure mathematic like a group theory or people theory like this. KM means knowledge management, P means people, plus means technology and K means knowledge. S means speed but probably recently we are now developing this formula probably S means schemes. Recently we call the mouse year. Mouse year is very high speed changing year around Silicon Valley. Japan is a dog year, so probably two or three years ago, advances, we are approaching mouse year. Organizational plus individual knowledge is very important thing.
SLIDE: The Future of TQM
OHASHI: Organizational is based on the TQM in Japan. But individual knowledge is based on probably on knowledge management system. The socialization, externalization, combination and internalization are most important thing. Knowledge model is very complex. Data and information is lot of things on the Internet, but structural system is most important thing for the knowledge-based system.
SLIDE: Knowledge Model
OHASHI: Probably open hyperdocument system and many other Engelbartís papers say knowledge is most important thing for the society or many people. We think also relationship with wisdom or improvement system dynamically related between wisdom and knowledge, this cycle is most important thing. Learning to knowledge management is most important thing because education is only a part of knowledge.
SLIDE: Learning to Knowledge Management
OHASHI: Lecture is a smaller one. So knowledge is a structured is individually learning activities. Education is only assisted learning, learning is most important activities on the individual scheme.
SLIDE: TQM and Bootstrap Activities
OHASHI: Finally TQM and bootstrap activities. TQM means A and B activities and also subset of bootstrap activities. TQM plus KM future model is trying to approach C activities but probably very difficult to this scheme because bootstrap activities based on digitalized system. Also a very important thing is bootstrap activity is totally activated on the Engelbart series.
SLIDE: TQM and Bootstrap Activities (repeated)
OHASHI: Our TQM system is only trying to approach in the C activities. TQM means subset of bootstrapping and also many Japanese projects is proceeding on the spirit of bootstrapping. For example, our project with the United States educational content through the United States through the people. Totally and many other trial in Japan are proceeding now. Next generation probably combining bootstrap activities including TQM and knowledge management system. Thank you very much.
ENGELBART: Thank you very much. You sit here and think about with this is the scale thereís a worldwide quality movement really working out there. On one thing itís like whatever else you talk about in the bootstrapping sense it needs to be able to integrate, thereís so much value there and process, learning about the processes, etc. It would just be stupid to start setting off, weíre going to have a separate way in putting together a human system processes idea thatís where the CoDIAKís integration part of it comes out there, that we have to integrate, the integration of the worldwide. Whatís learned and valuable in that and what can we add it if you bring in the kind of collective IQ and improvement infrastructure enhancement and such we talk about is very important to do. The bootstrapping is just going to do it, itís going to have to merge and participate. Thatís why the collective work is so important that we can find ways to reach across into all whatís going on there. Also the other aspect of it is a national program in there that every nation got to be able to participate, which puts a global stress. If your going to have an open hyperdocument system it has to support the collaborative activities throughout all the things heís mentioning but also the things we talk about and the interaction of that, itís just terribly important. So the next speaker, heís going to talk without slides. Heís Norman McCracken from SRI, heís a specialist in quality etc, and youíve got another title someplace in there too.
NORMAN MCCRACKEN: Yes, productivity and so on. When I was asked by Marcelo to comment on Dr. Ohashiís presentation I felt humble in a way because of all the experiences I have had in my career, the visit that I made to Japan in 1981 to look at the Japanese quality movement, to interview members of that movement, including Janichi Chacuchi, Professor Itchikawa and Dr. Naguchi, who was at that time heading the Japan unit of scientists and engineers. That was one of the most important, if not the most important, formative experience in my whole career. One of the things that was striking about, I think, Dr. Ohashiís talk was how many deep tools and approaches and prospective have been woven into total quality. If I were to take out the M or the C at the end of it, if we were just to just talk about total quality, the way I do sometimes as a consultant, itís the total system perspective. Course I graduated from Stanford in 1979, I was finding out how much I didnít know about the campus since then when I was coming over and finding out how many roads have been constructed in places that used to be pathways. When I thought back at that time how much learning I did in Japan by simply observing how Japanese companies, despite the language barrier, observing how Japanese companies were in affect thinking about the early stages of the bootstrap process through continuous improvement, kisen. If you think about continuous improvement it was being mobilized in Japan through the work force involved in production as early as the 1960ís based on Demingís original lectures to Japanese mangers in 1950, so itís a fifty year old tradition this year in Japan. This tradition has grown, as Professor Ohashi has described, from focusing on production and product to total customer satisfaction, which is still how many companies in the United States view it today to in affect total planetary responsibility and stakeholder responsibility when you consider the larger prospective that he had identified. What I find fascinating is to think back to those early days and think about it in relationship to what we now call knowledge management. Back then there wasnít such a thing, at least it didnít get the big press, but I can remember attending a meeting, it turned out to be a very privileged occasion, the 1000th meeting of QC circles in Japan in April of 1981. At that time I had the privilege of sitting and listening to presentations by Japanese workers that were as sophisticated in their understanding of process and their ability to communicate to other people about that understanding is anything I had seen industrial engineers do in the United States. So what weíre seeing there was the ability to do something that has become a famous book title, and I gather itís tributed to Joel Burnbaum, if only we knew what we know. One of the things about knowledge management today is in effect uncovering what we know making it explicit and tangible enough to share and use for improvement in locations different from where the knowledge was originally discovered. That process in various ways is TQM or TQC, it is also knowledge management, it is also benchmarking, which I made my professional career on at SRI, which is in effect observing other organizations matching against a client organizations needs and uncovering opportunities for improvement. Virtually all of those activities come together around the idea of continuous improvement. So the plan do check action cycle, that Professor Ohashi described, is one of those unifying things that from the very first days of Demingís original lectures in Japan, to the present day looking at the complete scope of TQM, even at the societal level, we are still focusing on that basic process. I see an intimate relationship between plan do check action in that larger sense and the CoDIAK process itself. The process of continuous learning by plan do check action and Iíve also done some work over the years in looking at the relationship between plan do check action and the scientific process. If we remember, if any of us have taken the sociology of sciences, I did when I was at Stanford, one of the things that is interesting is look at science as a process as opposed to just the results of science. How do we operate? In science we do plan do check action. The same CoDIAK process of learning from experience and integrating and communicating is part of the scientific communities way of making progress. So thereís such a fundamental relationship among the things I see Professor Ohashi talking about that in a way it describes what humanity needs to do in a on going way understanding more and more about complex systems in order to put together better ways to manage not only our organizations but our politics and our international relationships as well. So thereís just a tremendous scope in whatís there. I might also comment in closing that my visit to Japan and my study of total quality and total quality management is what I would call my secret weapon. In every consulting assignment Iíve ever done the principal tools that I have used have been derived from total quality. Those tools are absolutely universal. From the 7 QC circle tools, through to the planning and strategy tools, those tools are incredibly powerful for understanding systems in a group context so that people learn together about them and to be able to make improvements. While it sounds like thereís a movement there thatís focused somewhat narrowly, I see in fact TQM is a process for almost universal improvement and itís so intimately related to bootstrapping that itís hard to describe a boundary between them. Thanks.
ENGELBART: Thatís great. Thatís a more example of the kind of integration that you can say, well if everybody was interested in what Iíve been talking about just moves into that camp of total quality could we help them boost? You stop thinking well itís going to take a mixing in of communities with different kind of compositions from the ones that are generally total quality in order to sort of boost the kind of collective knowledge capability weíre talking about. We ought to feel like there isnít anyway that you can set up a bootstrapping community which stands all by itself, itís got to be one that reaches out and really gets involved with lots of communities, and so there will be communities of communities, etc. This part of the strategic framework is how do you start cultivating what communities can be brought in early and what you can do with them? Today weíre going to move on into the OHS kind of thing with some of the ways it can evolve. But when it evolves it really needs user communities because itís the interaction cycle with the user communities there the ones that have been focusing on the human system side of it to get the co-evolution you want, but also to get the interoperability you want. If you build an open hyperdocument prototypes and thereís things that in the end couldnít evolve to fit these needs then we say back up, weíre not going in the right direction. We can have fun making local pretty toys, but if itís a strategic push like that we need to keep thinking about requirements for growing up open hyperdocument system that there be in there.
So this is the kind of thing weíre going to be talking about today. I could of given you a long discourse and all kinds of aspects of bootstrapping, but I sort of tend to instead go through it in a cursory way and then get more examples coming out and like we point to later weíll see that.
SLIDE: Extending the framework with the critical "Bootstrap" principle
ENGELBART: We want to talk something about the model for any organization and weíll get some dialogue going on that. Weíve already then heard about the TQM as a very significant big thing to do it. Then we want to do some specific examples later on bootstrapping the OHS evolution and the open source way of doing it. We are going to try opening up, in the middle of this thing, with more dialogue and since you guys are here we can grab you, youíre going to be the ones elected to participate today. If people out at a distance, we wish we had environment set up so that we can really be doing real time interaction collaboration with them. So youíve seen this diagram before.
SLIDE: What "Social Organisms" (SOís) can you list, as modeled like this?
ENGELBART: The thing about this capability infrastructure is just very real. One of things that would be very handy in my world is to start getting people interacting about capability infrastructures. What capabilities seem to come up to the top and to give an organization? Which subordinate capabilities down there do they depend upon? Which of those lower order capabilities are ones that many of the higher-level capabilities have to depend upon too as components of their infrastructure? So itís that sort of not a hierarchy but a multiple interlacing on down of dependants on there that gives it an infrastructure idea and so one of the powers that just came to me looking at that initially back in the early 60ís was if weíre talking about making a significant difference in how people can think and collectively work together, thatís going to be applicable throughout these infrastructures. So as they are theyíll change the nature of almost any component capability in there. Well when you change the nature of one of them down here, thatíll make it a different candidate for inclusion in some of the higher level ones. Which independently, since they can do their knowledge work better, would probably change but now they can change about the way in which they knit together other things down there. So that whole infrastructure is likely to start changing.
SLIDE: What "Social Organisms" (SOís) can you list, as modeled like this? (repeated)
ENGELBART: The thing thatís changeable clear down at the bottom level down there is how we learn how to harness peopleís native sensory, perceptual, motor and cognitive activities. Those things have all also been conditioned through the years to work with infrastructure as it was. The very language weíve employed, for instance, we grew up thinking that thatís the natural way humans interact, well itís the natural way in the environments that weíve been involved with of course. But some of those environments are well whatís the natural language to use? Well if your going into some stronger discipline or something you need to start learning a new vocabulary, a new verbs and nouns and adjectives in ways to work like this, yes, to get affective in there. Then we can say, well we can actually start modifying the actual physical interface with which we interact out in the world because now that doesnít have to be quite like this. The ways I can communicate directly with people could probably get a much wider band if I learned better ways to communicate and thatís one of the reasons why last week I talked about Neil Scottís activity with the handicap. Where theyíre really learning different molds of using the kind of sensory and perceptual and motor activities that those people are left with. Itís a very important thing to say; okay we sit here and think that because we are endowed with a balance set of capabilities, about sensory and motor capabilities, weíre doing it the right way. Now thereís just a lot of change potentially down there so if you start changing the interface here, with the kind of functional capability of all the tools and then the human system change, these infrastructures are in for just huge readjustments. Happen stance is they will cause a lot of strange things happening and itíll be very handy as if you can get a better perception down stream of whatís coming in different places so organizations are more ready for suddenly realizing that some very dominate capability right here is going to be replaced by two or merge with another one and be much more effective. So those things need foresight ahead to think about in looking at and planning and collective capability about handling the transitions of that, etc. So those are the B parts you have to get ready for and see like that. So you say okay you got a picture here, so then one thing we like to do is just have some dialogue among you guys and Marcelo Hoffman is going to be our group recorder and heíll call on me once in a while for any arguments or something. Weíre just going to see if we get people talking and what Iíd like to talk about is this model and the idea of calling it a social organism, you say okay what does it represent? On one hand it can represent a person and on the other hand it can represent a nation or something like that. So Iíd like some dialogue because I donít know whatís getting across. So Marcelo you start. Itíll be interesting to get the ideas of people. Well what specific examples of types of social organism would interest you? Some of them you might say I donít think that model will work for those or will it work or what can we do? Just taking that. What can we say about if you pick different social organisms to talk about? Whatís the adequacy of their improvement infrastructure within that regular infrastructure?
SLIDE: Audience Participation
PETERSEN: One social organism that actually has a capability improvement infrastructure is the large industries. Very large companies, fortune 500 companies, they often use management advisory firms like Ernst and Young as their capability improvement infrastructure. They can select among different companies, those different management advisory companies give best practices. So in a way theyíve outsourced it to a certain extent. Which actually makes some sense because these companies like Ernst and Young can go around and collect ideas from many different companies. So I think the remarkable thing here is not how well the bear dances but the bear dances at all.
PETERSEN: Iím not saying itís a great system but at least these companies have actually thought about how do we improve our capability infrastructure and actually spend real money to bring in new ideas? Where as I think a lot of social organisms have absolutely nothing in terms of a formal structure to try and do that.
MCCRACKEN: I had a similar reaction in some ways, being involved as I have been for last 20 years in benchmarking, Iíve seen it used as a systematic improvement process at several different levels in an organization. Thereís the nature of learning good practices from other companies, which is in part a process of humility, in part itís a politic process. Benchmarking that is looking at what other companies have done is somewhat akin to a scientific experiment that says, yes this really is possible to do, no we donít have to continue to do it the way weíve always done it something else is available. The difference between benchmarking and traditional management consulting advice is that a consultant can sometimes get perceived as a person whoís speaking in a way not quite realistically or is that really possible.
MCCRACKEN: But in doing a benchmark youíre actually looking at operative practices that have been proven successful by companies who have a track record. That way you get over the argument, it canít be done. You began to unfreeze the organization to admit the possibility of change. It becomes an objective, sort of a learning process, but a learning to learn process as well.
ARMSTONG: I guess I wanted to question the slide. I donít see that slide, in my view, as talking about a recursive process to improve anything but simply taken apart what exists. Mentally I construct the left hand side of that slide as the social systems, the communication systems, and the knowledge. Then there are the human systems that are actually working on human perception, learning, training skills. Thereís the tool set and then thereís capabilities that we derive from the interaction of all those things. Any organization has those characteristics whether are not theyíre choosing to continuously improve them. Governments come to mind, just any social organization we have.
EUGENE KIM: I actually had a very similar comment. I was going to say it in probably a more caustic manor. Iím not sure if I think the first question that you asked, what specific example of social organisms that can be modeled this way? Iím not sure if thatís a fair question. I think that maybe a better question is, what social organisms cannot be modeled that way? Iím not sure if I can think of an example where you canít take any kind of organization and demonstrate how it relies on certain infrastructure both tool systems, human systems and so forth. The second question, I think is more interesting and I think it goes back to what your presentation was, actually I think, in the second session, one of the problems really is that itís easy to be sitting in a classroom and to say these are things that organizations have to think about.
KIM: I think itís easy for management to be sitting around saying weíve got a deal with improving our infrastructure. The question is, what incentive is there for them to improve? I think the reality of the situation is a lot of time organizations are bottom line; they want to see if Iím going to invest in this improvement infrastructure I want to see profits or some other kind of bottom line improvement.
RICHARD KARPINSKI: Well Iím interested in noticing what works and Iíve been in a field of computing where a very large fraction of the big projects actually fail. They fail typically after investing in enormous amount of resources that at the end it didnít come together. The one fellow that Iíve met who made it very clear how to completely avoid those giant failures is this fellow Tom Guilb and he had only three little details to take care of. One is, what is it your trying to do? What are your goals? To the point where you can get a numerical measure of how well youíve met each goal. Secondly he addresses the problem of document after document being prepared with no check on whether weíre still going in the same direction by doing some analysis in a very specific three person, four person group which he calls inspection. The final thing is never to allow more than about 1/20 of the projects resources to be consumed before you deliver an improved working system and if you do that then you canít have more than 5% failure at any one time.
KARPINSKI: It vastly reduces the problem and gives you redirection of your projects while your going along the course. Itís like we do not start at one end of the Mississippi River and say now which direction is New Orleans? Now weíll set the boat and tie the rutter, no no, you want to make corrections very often, especially in big projects. So doing them in lots of little pieces is enormously important.
AUDIENCE: I was thinking of terms in a negative example that might spawn positive thinking and that is the way the software industry is tended to forget the lessons learned along the way. The specific example I was thinking of was speech recognition. Since 89 weíve been using systems. Weíve had pigs and troths where when Windows came along all that we learned about DOS got thrown out but with it all the things weĎve learned about speech recognition got thrown out in terms of how it was used. So we started off with very primitive systems again and then as we went through each version it was obvious that a new team of people came on to create each version and they didnít go back and learn what we already new, and so we had these crappy designs each time that would then eventually evolve through and maybe catch up with the old ones. It just seems that we never seem to learn that lesson.
AUDIENCE: I think we have examples of super organizational learning structures in markets where companies are competing for production of some good or service, like automobiles, or cameras, or stereo equipment. Because the metrics are well known and mature they all know that theyíre going to be competing, there going to be compared and they end up in kind of a coalition improvement infrastructure even though the specific improvements occur at the company level, there all sort of involved in a learning organism together.
BYRON HALE: Iíve had the privilege of listening in to meetings of a large fortune 500 company, which I canít name but itís interesting to hear the management turnover, sometimes a new boss every 90 days. People who donít really know what thereíre doing and canít agree but seem to be determined that things are going to be done that way and that can take months or years to do anything about. Practically speaking you can talk about introducing all these ideas, but unless you have someway of goal setting that can somehow numerically evaluate goal setting itself I donít think that these things are ever going to be useful in practice because there to many egos evolved.
AUDIENCE: One thing that seems to being said is that the question should be not about social organisms but about social disorganizations. It seems that we often lump a group of people maybe at a company or a project or government whatever as an organism organization when really it isnít, itís just a group of people that happen to be in the same building or something.
AUDIENCE: I think weíve been talking a great deal about organization and process but it strikes me that all of our symposiums, including the one today, one of the common factors in all of the things we discuss is values. The organizations are attempting to establish and produce values and I think that the complexity of trying to do that, whither itís with religion or products or whatever it might be, is at the heart of much of what weíre here to discuss.
AUDIENCE: When I think personally, for instance, of a large complex problem, the kind weíre describing here, I would describe it to myself as a problem that if you donít solve it, it will attack you. It will be a consequence for not solving an urgent complex problem and so often they are involved with again value. So the question arises, how do you deal with those things? How do you deal with the values that get in the way with the onset of the solution? As this gentleman here was just saying for example.
AUDIENCE: So far seems to be most attention is focused on commercial type of companies. I think for government or military we probably need different kind of focus or different techniques. Probably the general framework can be modified little bit. From my experience with consulting to the military here, I think software project most company in the fortune 500 they can pay very high salary to very best programmer but for the military they donít have that kind of luxury so they usually pay very low and even they give a contract, doesnít give very high profit margin.
AUDIENCE: So I think we need to look at several factors. One is the incentive part of how can a long profit have a motivation to improve itself. Number two is the budget process, how can the budget process be improved? The third thing is the mentality of the origination, for example in the military most the commanders say, I want to conquer that hill in two days. They have the mentality but in software you cannot say, I finish this in two days. Thatís number one. Number two your military sometimes you can say, I want to send more people if I cannot conquer that hill I send ten times more people. But in software usually ten times more people gets you to cause more problems. So there are a lot of things like that so I think offering would probably lead to thinking for different organizations, different type of organizations may have different emphases
BENZY DARA-ABRAMS: One of the things that I think is striking, especially in the valley, is the difference in teams working together in a start up venture versus in an established company. I think that would be useful in terms of looking at the infrastructure and how it operates differently in a high performance team that does get a lot of work done, a lot of innovated work and other teams that seemed to get bogged down in a lot of political discussions and meetings and really donít produce what they set out to produce.
AUDIENCE: One of the common themes that seem to be underlining a lot of the scenarios weíre bringing up. Someone mentioned the incentive that we have to change or improve. Well the opposite side of that is also what is the cost or the effort in time and dollars and personal career being at stake, for instance, in pursuing a particular path. Iím I as an engineer on the front line whose boss is saying, we need this result in two months, going to rely on my own wits or Iím I going to access somebody elseís idea and give that idea a try? So there are some fundamental human issues, I think, in relation to this and part of what a knowledge management system, I think, needs to do is to help us access the knowledge thatís out there with a minimum risk, maximum ease and convenience so that we can take advantage of it given our priorities.
ENGELBART: That was very interesting. A couple of comments on the outset that so many of the people initially assuming that this is a corporation. So thatís fine, thatís one kind of social organism and theyíre quite a few others in our society that are important too that we should improve. University or the whole higher education system, for instance, or the entire education system, for instance, in which each of those is a sub component capability. They improve the capability of the scientific teams around the world that together are trying to solve cancer problems. The people around the world that are trying, not only clarify, but tackle some of those grand challenges that the millennium project was done. Anyway, thereíre all these different kinds and in each one you can point to a lot of instances where today they are less than perfect. In a benchmarking sense, that Norman was talking about, when would be learn sort of go out and assess what the collective IQ of that organism seems to be? It would very nice if they had a benchmarking way in which there was enough collective interest in that in the world that just likes the quality movement they go around and can really assess and find people with leadership and give awards to the companies or outfits that do the best quality. How far away are we from learning enough about what the collective IQís are to go out there and give awards to the companies? Another aspect to the thing is thatís what consultants are for. Theyíre the ones that are there to tell you where to go. A consultant comes and says, let me tell you how to do it, is one kind of help. Thatís maybe some of the work, etc, like that. How much difference that is from saying, we can show you, come and look at the way our organization runs. The quality movement has to do that where there is interaction between guys that operate drill, pressers, and shapers is also the engineers works, etc. So there is all these levels of interaction and they have to be talking to each other about this and the consultants can do help and guidance or something but if your really going to do an evolutionary thing in a big way, that seems to fall short. Unless the consultants are saying, we operate collectively with the highest IQ in the world, so you come and look and weíll help you learn. So if you find them like that thatís great. It would be very interesting to start taking the leaders in the information technology business out there and say, would you mind opening the doors and showing us how you use information technology to boost your collective capabilities to do things? Donít just tell us about your products or give us a demo in a demo room about how you use your products, show us how you do your work differently and newly. That would be a big change in the world out there. So much from what I understood about the way the quality movement in the world works, itís sort of like that. The doors are sort of open for you to show from your factory what the quality activities you do. It doesnít mean you open the door for the product information or something like that thatís in there, but these processes that make a difference in there. About nine years ago one division of a big company had just one this big prize, Baldridge award, they came to one of the meetings, our bootstrap meeting and they were all excited and they said, just think of this, there were these executives that used to be so stiff and closed like this, what are they saying now? Theyíre saying, the thing to do is yes compete like hell out the front door, but cooperate closely out the back doors together. Things about that kind of attitude if the quality movement started getting that to prevail itís just a terrifically valuable human system cultural sort of improvement. The ideas of sharing, Iíll talk a little more about that later too, this incentive sort of thing people are bottom line, this is talking cooperation. If the stock market keeps like it is now and the day traders are at work heavily like that, just every little dip a CEO is going to be somebody compound on him for a dip or something like that. Much less for quarterly not meeting the good expectations, the stock price goes down a bit. So how in the world can a guy thatís in that position invest very much beyond the next quarter? Itís sort of hand tied. How did the board of directors deal with them like that? This whole perspective of the forced inattention of the commercial industrial, the people who have corporations on the market, forcing there to be so short term and so how does this speak about how long term things are dissolved? In the same way the market place, like in an automobile market place, once you got an environment where the consumers were busy doing their thing and there wasnít that much distinction among them, then the market place does a lot to drive up quality and price down, etc, like that. What do you do to help people and organizations boost their collective knowledge work capability? Which is going to be extremely critical in the future about how smart organizations can be, how well they harness their individual talents? Well if that canít blossom in ways because there arenít going to be sharing in the market place out there if the thing that the vendors of the information technology hype is so much short term in pushing and theyíre putting money into what they think they can sell and get market share. You look at that dynamic and you say, how much does that kind of dynamic serve this need for organizations to get collectively smarter? The only way I can see that the market place would work, in that respect, is if the organizations that want to get collectively smarter get a lot smarter about where they want to go and what the future really has. We sort of show this co-evolutionary frontier out there in a very simple two-dimensional way. There are so many paths out there that dig down deeper or take different roots, etc., that says, whatís going to cost me to take a blind alley to listen to a given pitch from the vendors, etc., and go that direction? I donít have any other picture about where itís all going to happen, out in that foggy distance. So the thing about doing this collective work on scenarios out there and really keeping case studies out in the open in a study a lot of the things that the quality movement got, so that you can guide yourself, it just looks very important. Letís talk about schizoid organizations you see different factors in the organizations. Well you look at a real schizophrenic person which personality to have when you look at them in a given time, split personalities. You got organisms with example theyíre not going to be able to perform very well. Whatís going to happen out in the world of what a competition, or what ever it is, for organizations to realize that to reduce the amount of schizoid ness in them would be a huge difference? Not that they shouldnít have difference of ideas and opinions but if they have different commitments or something. There are a lot of things to talk about in here and I just very much enjoyed what you were talking about. Lets move and open up the possibilities of doing another one. Hereís the kind of things starting to talk about bootstrapping.
SLIDE: Suppose this SO did full-time improvement of other organizationís "Capability-Improvement Capability"
ENGELBART: Suppose I have a social organism whose major product out there is something that you know as a matter of fact is a product that can make a difference in how peopleís improvement, organizations improvement infrastructure works. If we sort of feed that back then we got bootstrapping. So the better you get at doing your product, the better your going to get at improving what youíre trying to do which means this will get better which means you will get better at this. Now itís really that compounding thing. So thatís the basic sort of picture about bootstrapping and it can work in any size infrastructure. So itís very important that we start learning how and different kinds of infrastructures you can introduce these kinds of capabilities to improve and get in there. This really means a lot, so thatís the kind of thing to C community stuff is going to do. Well thereís another thing to think about, what if itís an organization only part of its output is that applicable? Great, still worth bootstrapping, right?
SLIDE: Suppose only part of what this SO produces can improve otherís "Capability-Improvement Capability"
ENGELBART: So different organizations or institutions out there the kind of major thing theyĎre trying to do have different amounts of potential feedback. That means different amounts of potential for what they do can directly enhance the kind of collective IQ that can help the improvement and etc. Lets just generalize on that a little bit, lets say we have a number of social organisms SO, kind of cute number, so each of them has a varying amount of its output is valuable.
SLIDE: SOís Capability-Improvement Infrastructures (C11s) served by pooled C1 resources.
ENGELBART: But if we have something thatís process of pooling what theyíre doing out there like that and feeding it back in to help their own capability improvement infrastructures, theyíll all benefit by that pooling. This is really qualitatively different from saying weíll depend upon on a consultant running around here and coming back and telling them that itís qualitatively different. Consultant might work fine in some incidences like this but this is the way the quality movement did it and it just was extremely important for that. So this is what lead us to looking at this C community because a lot about what I just showed you here is really that business about what can help their capability improvement work better is the C.
SLIDE: SOís Capability-Improvement Infrastructures (C11s) served by pooled C1 resources. (repeated)
ENGELBART: Capability improvement has to do itís own work is the B activity. So weíre really pulling the C in there and thatís what we show here in what we call a networked improvement community.
SLIDE: Networked Improvement Community ("NIC")
ENGELBART: Itís pulling the C and itís also then by being networked to say, lets really with this dynamic knowledge repository and better tools and methods for really doing that, we can really amplify a great deal what each of these organizations is going to invest in that kind of improvement thing. Thatís the sort of basic idea for the improvement community we talk about in accelerating and augmenting it. If you are going to go out early and you can only manage to recruit ten organizations to get in there to pull together, etc., so which ones would seem more attractive to you? Immediately you might say, some of them are trying to cure cancer or fix the environment would be very important for us to get, that end product would be important. Then the other thing to consider strategically, what are they doing producing if pooled back in would actually bootstrap you more, add more capability to improve and capability?
SLIDE: Audience Participation
ENGELBART: Lets just get into another phase of audience participation to deal with this. We have about ten minutes for that.
HOFFMAN: We will like to do the same, get suggestions. Who would you suggest would be the best organization, organizations that will reflect facilitator?
BENZY DARA-ABRAMS: One of the issues is who would want to put the energy into being an involved social organism and then the other on the flip side is who would we want? Those could be different because, I think, the ones that want to be involved are the ones that are having some difficulty or else their not going to feel that they need to improve. Those may or may not be the candidates that we want because weíre looking for the ones that will have the high value to get back into the chain. So I think we have to look at that because if theyíre kind of fat and happy they might not think that they need to improve.
DARA-ABRAMS: In yet those organisms and organization might have more to offer.
ENGELBART: Sure, thatís terrific. One of the things that any group thatís going to try to make this work has to learn how to do is to develop the realistic value propositions to say, if you participate in this, this is going to be the value and to have to be strong enough to compete in all the other competing things you can spend extra resources on. So this is one of the things that the web has done a lot for is get people aware of, the change. We almost got people interested ten years ago but itís a very different world now. The business of a value proposition has to in one hand make relatively realistic the kind of pay offs from this and another one the needs, whatís going to happen if they donít start investing in this? Another one maybe their pride about saying weíre going to very early start working on this sort of assessment kind of thing to say, your corporation looks like it has a relative IQ about 40. Do you contest that or do you want to go. Letís shift a little bit.
STEPHEN: It seems to me that the open source programming movement is one thatís a great example where people of very large companies now, Sun, IBM, Apple are kind of rolling over and saying, this is the way I can get bug free code and itís good for all of us.
ENGELBART: Thatís good because for the next hour and a half is all in that. Did anybody prime you for this?
ANDREW PAM: Also I think there is a multiplier effect and you just have to be able to sell that. Basically once there is a momentum happening then anybody who comes in and contributes can get back more than they put in. Obviously if thereís only two players then each of them is only getting back the same that theyíre putting in. Once you get to the point where there is ten or fifteen players then each of them is getting a huge multiple what their putting in.
ENGELBART: Thatís a good point. Part of that value proposition has to sure them that those other guys are going to be honestly about contributing. So there is a way to design that to sort of help meet that. The other thing is when you get back, it isnít just knowledge like somebody can tell you about it, you have to have some of your people involved at good experience and thatís how the design really works. Okay Norman.
NORMAN MCCRACKEN: Well I was thinking about joint ventures Silicon Valley and the other activities happening here in the valley socially and inter organization is a very interesting situation as well. There is so many clear problems in the valley that challenge the rich resources that are here and in fact some of those problems are barriers to growth in effect. Like traffic, which I feel everyday. So this is one of those areas were we could look not only at individual companies but also at inter company cooperation with multiple sectors for improvement in a fairly clear way.
ENGELBART: Thatís a big part of why we talk about these improvement communities, etc., and call them NICs and then the levels that those can go to. Which you can have an improvement infrastructure that you can say industry wide or then state wide, so weíre going to be knocking on California State one of these days and finding some progressive representative from that area that we can say, well what about it. So letís see, Eric.
ERIC ARMSTRONG: In terms of narrowing the search, it seems like the companies or organizations that are competing are probably least inclined to want to give their benefits to other organizations.
ENGELBART: Did that happen in the quality movement?
ARMSTRONG: I donít know, I see that sharing going on through organization, you have to correct me if Iím wrong, but through teaching but not from company to company directly. To say, I found a great way to improve our quality General Motors why donít you take this itís not going to be forwarded.
ENGELBART: It took another environment to think it collectively participant in to provide that.
AUDIENCE: To get very concrete, I think, the main charity structure in Santa Clara County, which is where a lot of Silicon Valley is collapse recently, I guess itís being rebuilt. Also it turns out that Second Harvest America feeds approximately ten percent of the US population at some time during any give year. Those are two concrete examples. You might also think about why in a country that supposedly has such a great boom, that ten percent of the people find the need to be feed every year.
ENGELBART: You look at it and say the market isnít working in that respect, and there are a lot of things the market place doesnít do, itís been doing some marvelous things but for a lot of collective problems like that there has to be some other way you collectively deal with it. We have to get collectively smarter at it. In one hand itís easy to ignore so people get all caught up in what their environment is and they can ignore that, but how human is that? Thatís another thing. Oh look what weíve turned on; Australia gets a chance here because they say their going to escape tomorrow.
AUDIENCE: Actually those people who are on the verge of entering or just entering a particular social organization, are not necessary inure yet to the processes of that organization and there for are probably more open to seeing more than one set of processes and being able to compare and contrast and see where things are and arenít working. The problem is once you get inure to something itís very easy to not see even where itís not working. So I think narrowing down to those people can be a big help as well.
ENGELBART: That though has two sides to it, when you first get into an organization itís easy to see why it doesnít work but how you try to correct it knowing the personalities and the history, etc., is a second one like that. That takes a valuable thing.
BENZY DARA-ABRAMS: Going back to the joint venture Silicon Valley example, per concrete example, out of that came Smart Valley and out of that came CommerseNet and CommerseNet is one consortium in which companies have worked together in this area.
ENGELBART: Would CommerseNet be a useful one to try to recruit?
DARA-ABRAMS: Yes, I think thatís a situation where companies said, okay if we work together then we can over come some of the barriers in electronic commerce. They saw a reason to help each other.
ENGELBART: We only have a few more minutes and letís try to concentrate on what kind of examples, and if you donít hit some Iíll bring them up like that. Who has a good example?
STEPHEN: When you think about communities of communities, the American Medical Association is one community of doctors but Iíd like to see them benefit from being able to talk to the other communities of doctors around the world who are chiropractors or doing acupuncture in weird parts of the world or whatever. So they all kind of learn from each other.
AUDIENCE: Iíd like to just take the discussion a little bit to why we want to work with what company. It seems there are certainly lots of really important problems out there that need to be solved. But one of the main things it seems here is developing the tools, whither itís a knowledge repository or if itís an open hypertech system, whatever and I would think we want to choose companies to work with or organizations to work with that have problems that would be solved by the state of the art of the tools we have right now and where we can next take them.
ENGELBART: That would be gratifying but will that be sort of lifting you up so you get better and better able to help them?
AUDIENCE: Well it would certainly allow you to start working in developing the tools and get the tools up in a place where they might be used.
ENGELBART: What weíre talking about then is there are a lot of things that would be appealing, but just which ones that can be both appealing and their involvement would accelerate things? Yes, the bootstrapping retentive.
AUDIENCE: The exception of this room around the world there are some huge problems with aging communities and disabilities and one of the reasons that I decided to come to this colloquium, apart from wanting to come and hear more of Dougís work, was we want to see the growth of a global repository of knowledge that will help people remain independent. That I believe is a total candidate for the type of thinking weíre doing. Where the person who knows the most about how to handle a disabled child in many cases the parent, and being able to share that knowledge with other parents who have just had a disabled child is a true bootstrap situation of being able to, we will help you, you put back the knowledge thatís more fresh then we give you and weíre bootstrapping our way.
ENGELBART: This would be appealing to me but Iíll tell you the kind of things that Iíve been thinking about.
ENGELBART: If we involve the quality movement look at the kind of processes that they evolved in the past a lot of them would be applicable and all kinds of improvement infrastructure and bootstrapping.
I think weíre going to quite; weíll pick up on this after ten-minute break and everybody donít say a word during the break. Weíll be back.
Engelbart Colloquium at Stanford
An In-Depth Look at
"The Unfinished Revolution"
February 3, 2000
ENGELBART: Welcome back to the second part of session 5 of our unfinished revolution discussion. We had a very good early part of this in the experiment about getting more interaction is very rewarding for me. I liked it. So in the second one we are going to pick up again about the OHS and focus for a while specifically on the open source approach with that. I'll give you some introduction and we'll get some speakers going. The coDIAK, which we remember, is concurrent development integration and application of knowledge,
SLIDES: Open-Source Pursuit of CoDIAK and OHS
ENGELBART: which is sort of the best summary and acronym fashionable thing we can get to say, these are the basic capabilities they're going to have to cultivate in order to get better at this collective IQ stuff. The open hyperdocument system we hypothesize is something that whatever the name is has to grow and involve in the world. No matter where you jump to with your links it's on a style that your browser knows how to deal with and it may have different grades of capability that you can click up to with different kinds of interfaces. You have to have the basics that your knowledge packages convey their knowledge in some standard ways and having structure in them, because a lot of our knowledge really is structured. Turns out it helps, in then having optional views, look at it in ways that for your particular needs at the moment helps you derive in what you need to know from looking at that knowledge container. We have known, by things that have been experimented with in the past, that there are a lot of very interesting things that people have done that aren't yet integrated out in the world. They have to be integrated and we know about that so we hypothesize that and it's a mixture of dealing with the content specification and the way the properties are encoded, etc, within the knowledge container. Having that be standard and at the same time they are going to be a rapid evolution, hopefully, and what kind of properties we find are really useful in there and that those get encoded in a standard way. Then the standard kind of operations you want to do in them need to be something if you are going to share views, etc, with people. Also their option for having wide ranges of capabilities still able to go in there with an appropriate interface setups with a lot more variety to it then today. Something that lets really high performance people move on ahead and function with a lot more capability inside the knowledge domains that they will be sharing with other people. We have talked about all these things in the past. This open hyperdocument system needs to evolve in order to fulfill the need for that kind of open, standard, global sort of way in which the knowledge containers are and the functionality for operating on them. The emergence a year and half or more ago of more and more awareness about the open source movement was just a very important sort of move for us to look at. Something like that would be the only way I could conceive that the evolution of this sort of thing we talk about in this open hyperdocument system. The only way that evolution can really happen in such a wide spent way, in which concurrently your going to have to be involving in many given knowledge domains but still in the way that you can inter-operate between them, etc, and also between different languages and things like that. So itís a dynamic way in what weíre talking about. You need to have participatory communities that are actively involved in using and improving the both CoDIAK and OHS.
SLIDE: Open-Source Pursuit of CoDIAK and OHS
ENGELBART: In order for having the evolution of the OHS be in harmony with the evolution of the CoDIAK capabilities themselves, you just have to have relative communities out there that are focused on improving the different aspects of it in cooperation. The functionality of that is something that the open-source mode just seems perfect for that. What we need from that is an initial framework for this hyperdocument architecture, an initial framework for the functional tool systems, and also a framework for dealing with intellectual property in that. We need a basic organizational framework for that evolution, you canít just turn it loose out there, and every open-source mode itself has got someplace that releases different new versions. Someplace there has to be some decision process that says okay thatís version 17, we might have three versions 17 a, b and c, but in order to keep from having just random and staffing, you have to have some kind of process, whatever you call it governance or coordination in sort of dealing with that. That is similar to the process by which standards are set today that you have to have a community of people involved with setting the standards for any of these things so that has to happen, well those communities are all subject to being able to be improved in their capability by adding to their CoDIAK. We talked before the break about what kinds of social organisms would pay off the best to get started? If you got the kind of evolutionary communities that are involved with this stuff early on, be involved you see the experience theyíd get would help guide them a great deal in what sort of things are necessary to build the CoDIAK and the OHS. There may be some of those committees out there that are so embedded in the old way of doing things and their all representatives that they might not want to move but it would be a real feather in the boot strapping cap to be able to make a value proposition to those kinds of communities that they get involved in the evolution of the OHS, CoDIAK too. They are getting more effective in their collective work, which would be a boost for it all. So I use the word governance in there and we need to talk about it right out in the open, it is like saying thereís no way any collective activity can go ahead and get very completed without some process by which they decide which direction they are going to go collectively and how they spend their collective resources on this pursuit and what kind of standards they set up, etc. Thatís a real process thatís not unlike any other governance process we see in society today. Governance processes themselves are capabilities, which are just marvelous ones that need improving, so lets start talking about that. I wonít even embarrass California by saying, how far would you have to mature in some of these prototypical communities before you can reach out to a state and say, which state is going to get smarter first? Then you are going to start ringing the doorbell in different countries and say, why donít we start examining the improve in infrastructure that can be nation wide and which countries are really going to go about it? Thatís why we brought Japan over here, is to embarrass some of the other countries that might be tuning in on this and then you say, where in the country would you push the doorbell to say, hey wake up country, why donít you start getting serious about your improve in infrastructure and then help finding the ways you can improve your improvement process, etc.
We will go from that back down a few levels to the open hyperdocument system and consider some of the things about it. The intellectual property that would start being generated is something that needs care and feeding.
SLIDE: More about Intellectual Property
ENGELBART: These questions have come up off and on through the years. Theyíre the options to make it totally open or totally what. So thatís the kind of thing that will get a very good treatment about here. So we have to learn more about it and then make our choice and for the best chance that OHS or CoDIAK can evolve to the scale, capability and pervasiveness thatís required for the challenge of adequately boosting mankindís collective IQ. Think big. If you think big enough you find it just crunching you to the ground. I think its worth really thinking about so thatís what were getting to do. Weíre now introducing Christine Petersen, executive director of Foresight Institute in Los Altos. I have known her know for a decade and I get more impressed all the time.
SLIDE: Orientation: Open-Source Development
ENGELBART: Her husband is Eric Drekler who has done so much to get nano technology launched and I often think about if it werenít for Christine how big an impression her husband could of made on this, because she is very effective. She will tell you about more of the capability things that sheís involved with. Christine.
PETERSEN: Thank you, Doug. Before I get started Iím going to be talking about open-source. I should mention Iím not the worlds expert on open-source and I know there are many of you in the audience today who are quite knowledgeable on open-source. So, if I say anything that needs correction please jump right in, donít wait, we donít want to confuse anybody in the audience. Before I get started, how many of you here today already are fairly familiar with the concept of open-source? How many of you already feel that the open hyperdocument system really needs to be open-source? Okay, I guess Iím done and Iíll just sit down now. For those of you out in the electronic audience, we had a very high show of hands on both of those questions. Iím not surprised. The open-source community for those of you who may not be familiar with it, I think is the best example of a networked improvement community that I can think of. Itís really remarkably well organized considering that the organization comes from the bottom up. In other words, there is no top down organization, there are no governmental or corporate structures that make the open-source community work. The definition of open-source, thatís on the web and Iíll refer you to it at opensource.org, there is more to it then just the source code of software needs to be available. In addition there are other requirements, free redistribution without royalties, you have to be able to allow changes to the code and no discrimination. For example, it might be tempting to say, we want our software to be completely open-source and available to everyone, except for people at this one company. Now I wonít give any names of a particular company, you make up your own company. The fact is you canít do that. It is either open-source to everyone or itís not open-source to anyone. Thatís why Sun, which has a real issue with one particular company, doesnít feel comfortable with the open-source model. They have come up with their own model, which we should cover; I think itís an interesting model. Examples of open-source software include Linux, of course, the operating system. Even more interesting then Linux, I think, is Apache the web server, which is extremely successful in the market place. I believe its still gaining market share, I think they have the highest market share and are still gaining market share against Microsoft for example. The open-source model is starting to catch on among many of the companies; in fact Apple is going partly open-source with their new operating system. HP is doing some open-source stuff, of course SGI has gone totally over to the open-source model as an attempt to come roaring back as they used to be. The only one whoís really not playing, well Microsoft is not playing; the only one that you might expect to play who is not playing is Sun. They have gone for a different model; they are going for the Sun community license. The reason for that is Sun gets to keep ultimate control of the code that way and they feel strongly and sincerely that this is the way to go and it will benefit everyone. Itís an experiment that I think we should have some sympathy with. I donít think we can say weíve explored license space thoroughly for software, its early days yet. So I think if Bill Joy wants to do some experimentation, I think surely heís earned the right to do that given what heís given to the community.
So what is required to have this process work? Itís been said, by the fellow who did Tickle John Austerhout, that it takes about five thousand users to get a really healthy open-source effort going, thatís users not developers. In other words, the pressure from five thousand users is enough to get a robust process working. So that will be our goal, I feel, that will be my goal for the open hyperdocument system, is to get whatever we come up with good enough so that there are five thousand people using it in a real way and then weíll have something that will successfully boot strap, continue to boot strap, we will have succeeded I feel if we can get that far. I should mention that open-source software is not a new idea at all; you know the previous term was free software and even before the term free software original software was all open-source, it was traditional for software to be open-source from the beginning. There has been no invention of an extremely new theory of software, in a way we have gone back to the roots of what worked in the early days when the Internet was originally developed. The reason that the name changed from free software, which is still a viable name and we use that sometimes when we want specify that specific subset, the reason it changed from free software to open-source is primarily because it was very hard to get companies to pay for free software. In fact you couldnít even get them to listen to free software or anything about it. Theyíd hear it, they think share ware, they would be extremely confused, it was necessary to come up with a little marketing spin so thatís what was done. So itís not like there was a split in the movement or anything like that, it was just a marketing move. Why is open-source the way to go here? One of my favorite reasons is that it cannot be killed. Those of you who write code, if you ever written code for a company, you know that the company owns the code and if they want to use it for something, they use if for something, and if they donít they lock it up in a closet and it disappears forever. You canít do anything with it, nobody can do anything with it and given the way the IP laws work you are not even supposed to use the ideas, those ideas may belong to your employer now. Itís very hard to do those kinds of divisions of your brain, so that oh I did that at IBM in 1989 and I did this at HP in 1990, thatís not how the human brain works. This doesnít work very well in reality and when you think of the amount of intellectual property thatís locked up in closets now and I love Xerox Park, but letís take them as an example. How much software developed by Xerox Park is just sort of sitting around doing nothing? The answer is, I think, is a huge amount and for no reason. What I think would make sense would be if in fact a company, any company, has software that theyíre not going to anything with. The reasonable thing to do, both for their own benefit and for the benefit of their employees is to open-source it. It helps the companyís reputation. Another way it helps is by helping reduce the chance that some other company is going to patent the technology that this company has already come up with. If you have it in the closet nobody can tell that you had it earlier. The prior art is not out there. The way the patent system is going now anybody can patent anything, whether it is new or not, it happens all the time. So if you want to protect yourself and make sure your company will always have access to that technology, youíre not using it in a commercial project, open-source it. Get it out there. Your programmers will love that. It will be a great recruiting tool if you can tell them; look if we are not going to commercialize it will be open-sourced. This helps the programmerís reputation and thatís what motivates the very best programmers. Money? Yes they can get lots of money, but these people are artists. They love their work; they want to share their work with other people across company lines. How can you enable that? At the very least you can tell them look if we donít use it weíll can open-source it. How do you motivate people outside your company to help you with your open-source project? There is the reputation value. Letís say youíve got a company Red Hat, lets take Red Hat, and how do you motivate people outside Red Hat to help Red Hat with their software? Well you may recall when Red Hat IPOíd they used the friends and family stock offer to reward key people who have helped them. So in a four-profit environment it is possible to give, not just reputation value, which the programmers value a lot, but actually cash, which is always nice, and is a symbolic of acknowledging their contribution, which they also like. Why am I focusing on the commercial side? The reason is that you can do a great open-source project, but unless itís eventually commercialized you donít have the marketing dollars to get the attention of people out in the world to get them to use this thing. You can have fantastic software but think of the volume of information that comes at you everyday about new web things. Itís totally overwhelming; you have to fight it off. So how can you ever find out about good open-source software? Somebody has to have some dollars to get the news out to you. Another advanced of doing things in an open-source way that I donít hear mentioned very often and I think itís because companies donít really like to play this up, is that by making your product open-source you can pull help in from other companies, regardless if whether the other companies want to or not. The license of the code is set, it cannot be changed, it canít be stolen, so whether your employees can work on the code if they want to, which they are going to do whether you like it or not and the project is benefited no matter where these employees go and given the way they circulate so quickly now you canít do a project where every two years or six months you loose all the information in a human beings brain, youíve got to have access to that. So for the project, if not for the employers, itís a big pay off to have continuing access to that expertise. I mentioned that open-source projects, I believe, get the best architects and programmers. I think there is no question about that, because they are getting reputation value of payments youíd have to pay them a lot more in cash to get them to give you their intellectual property, especially with the knowledge that you may lock it in a closet and their reputation may never benefit from this. A lot of you have probably, I know some of you here in the audience, have written books, if youíve read a book contract the way it reads is if the book goes out of print the rights revert to the author. Right? Doesnít that make sense? If the company who owns this thing is no longer interested in it do they get to just lock it in a closet? No, it reverts to the author and you can see why that would make some sense with software as well. Thatís in essence what open-source ensures that the creator of this work will never loose access to at least the reputation value, he or she may loose everything else but the reputation value will stay. Open-source seems to be more likely to follow existing standards out in the world. You remember when there was the big Netscape Microsoft battle on the browser technology? The goal there was not to support existing standards; it was to do great new features regardless of what the standards were. Part of the reason for that is the standard organization was to slow and I think thatís why the whole model of how do you establish standards and software is changing. I think instead of having a bunch of people sitting around a table or online debating making theoretical academic arguments, instead it will be an open-source process where the way you would establish a standard is by writing great code and showing, saying alright this is good and proving that way. If only all standards could be done that way, it would be great. I think for that reason open-source efforts tend to be much more likely to become standards. Theyíre in conformance with existing standards and they move faster. I think open-source projects move faster, they have access to many more minds; the openness is critical to having a lot of input from people whose employers may not even approve of this.
One common advance of open-source is said to be fewer bugs, thatís kind of an obvious thing. If you think about a large software program, think about for an example Windows 2000, Iíve heard that it has fifty thousand lines of code.
AUDIENCE: Fifty million.
PETERSEN: Fifty million, thank you, see I knew I would need your guys help sometime. When that number was announced at the first open-source developers day there were all programmers in the audience and someone said fifty millions lines of code and they went "ah", thereís a gasp, they were appalled by this number just the sheer magnitude of that complexity. How can you get that to work? We will see, maybe it will work great, I donít know. The question, you think about that much code and you say how many people have actually looked at each piece of that code? How many? The one person who wrote it, okay, thatís one. Anybody else? I donít know. At least with open-source thereís a chance that the code has been reviewed by multiple people. It makes it possible the thing is going to work. Thereís a question of speed of development. Itís important to realize you have a greater speed of development for a given level of quality. Now there has been fussing about the speed of development in Linux. Well, thatís because the technologists are in charge, the marketing people are not in charge and so the technologists are going to wait until their ready and until then itís just going to wait. There is no one saying we have to release this on March 1 because there is this trade show, itís not how it works. There is no one saying well weíre going to make up ten new dumb features to put on the outside of the box so we have something to write in a press release so that somebody will upgrade to this new version, it just doesnít happen.
For our open hyperdocument system perhaps one of the most important advantages is that in theory at least we can attract diverse funding sources to the same project across company boundaries, Doug likes to talk about government, I donít like to talk about government, I would never go to government for this but okay we can disagree on that. One thing I think we can agree on is that, how many of you have heard about this Red Hat center for open-source? Not so many, there is a reason for that which is it was announced in November they say that theyíre going to have eight million dollars to promote the open-source concept, even beyond the software development borders. In other words you can take the open-source theory and say well what if you applied it to politics? Business? The open management kind of thing, itís kind of like open-source in business. Thatís eight million dollars that I think that the hyperdocument system project might want to ask for. They havenít been doing a lot of advertising of this yet, I donít think it is really set up, but Mark Ewing, anybody here know Mark Ewing of Red Hat personally? Okay, heís the man, we have to get to Mark Ewing, and heís going to be running it. Now in terms of selection of the open-source license, assuming we do decide to go open-source with this, itís not my area of expertise itís a complicated issue. The actual licenses themselves are pretty straightforward but the question is what kind of social results come out of it? People will argue that the ganu public license leads to less forking of the code, thatís a possibility. The Berkeley license, which we use for our crit project, allows more flexibility in what happens with the stuff after you release it. Is that a good thing or bad thing? Weíll be debating that; itís not really my area. About spreading the open-source concept to other areas I think we have to say we are doing that. This project that Doug is proposing is not just a software project, itís beyond that. We want to take these concepts and push them. In addition to the Red Hat Center for open-source, another organization that tries to do that is Foresight Institute, my organization. We will be having a meeting May 19 through 21 where we will do some of this; it will be in Palo Alto. If you want to go to that meeting or interested in details, donít wait because last year this meeting sold out about three months early and it was very difficult to get in. So if you are interested come and give your e-mail address either to me or to Tanya and weíll get you that invitation.
ENGELBART: What is it again for? Explain again what the meeting is about.
PETERSEN: Doug wants me to explain what the meeting is about. Thatís kind of hard. Foresight looks at coming technologies, powerful technologies such as nano technology and tries to look at ways to maximize the benefits and reduce the risks associated with them. I think that there was a talk by Neil Jacobstein earlier in the series that talked about some of the down sides and how to head them off in nano technology. Thatís the kind of thing we talk about in the open hyperdocument system is one of the tools that we are attempting to do. We did a very tiny piece called crit; I think Tanya Jones talked about that earlier in this series. So we are working on a lot of the same problems that Doug is. So that is May 19 through 21, and if your interested donít wait, please come see me or Tanya. Thatís it.
ENGELBART: Do you want to stay for a few questions?
PETERSEN: Yes, are there any questions? Comments? Corrections? Yes, Shane.
CHANG: Open-source tends to lead to a very mixed issue; Iíd like to hear your views on liability?
PETERSEN: The question is about liability and liability issues with open-source software. Well itís an interesting question and thereís a couple of ways to come at it. One is you can say, all right whom are you going to sue? In the case letís say Linux, you can sue if you donít like Linux, if there is a problem with Linux for you, doesnít work, it blows up your plant, whatever. If you got your software from Red Hat you can sue Red Hat and I think that because it came out from Red Hat I donít think the question of who wrote that individual line of code that caused the disaster would come up. I think itís Red Hat that would be legally liable for that, which means Red Hat better feel pretty comfortable and confident in the code. A more serious problem, I think, is patent liability in software and that has not been resolved. I think the answer there is not to let it inhibit us on open-source, the answer is to try to reform the software patent system itself and actually thatís one of Foresightís charters, one of our current missions is to take that on. I know itís very difficult, were up against some very large companies. On the other hand we have some pretty good tools we can use on this. Itís a very ambitious project to reform the patent system for software but weíre going to take it on. The last point on liability is that we at Foresight have taken the attitude of well we are not going to let fears of liability inhibit us from doing what we know is right, what ever it is. The thing is these days there is so much legal liability for everything, itís like you take a step and you can be sued for something, who knows. You can either let that intimidate you into doing nothing, or you can go on your way and do it anyway. Take Ebay for example, Ebay actually has always been violating California laws about auctions. They were from the beginning. Did they care? Did they even know? I donít know. Now theyíve got the money, now that they succeeded, theyíve got the money to deal with all of that stuff but if they have worried about it at the beginning they might have never gotten to be where they are. The whole liability thing is such a mess that I just refuse to let it paralyze me.
AUDIENCE: When you started discussing open-source it struck me that the ultimate open-source for humanity is perhaps the human gene project and that reforming the patent system for software could very well be spring boarded from reforming the patent system over treating of human genes. I find it personally offensive, I think if a company could own rights to a gene in my body where they didnít even know it existed when I was born. So there is something morally offensive to me about the idea of patenting human or any other genetic material not generated in the laboratory. It would seem to me that thereís a lot of leverage in pursuing that route to challenge software patents as well.
PETERSEN: Yes, I agree thatís on our list too, were going to go after that one as well because I think itís just ridiculous that they are permitting patents of natural genes found in nature. I mean new genes, okay, we can talk about it, natural genes, Iím sorry you didnít invent them.
AUDIENCE: You can talk to the Pope about prior art.
AUDIENCE: I understand that in at least in California that unincorporated associations every member in the association is legally liable. Iím not an attorney, but I would prefer to see anything that I joined to be say a non-profit corporation just for that reason.
PETERSEN: Yes, in terms of actually one reason that I can afford to be so cavalier about legal liability is that Foresight is a non-profit corporation and we have excellent directors and officers insurance that covers the volunteers as well. So if any of you want to do anything thatís a little nervous making come see me and Iíll refer you to my insurance agent and you can be covered for this too. Actually the non-profit corporation form is very useful for dealing with liability. Yes, sir.
AUDIENCE: Can you talk more about the difference between the Sun Microsystemsís model and the open-source model?
PETERSEN: Okay, yes. The main difference between the Sun Microsystemsís model, called the Sun community license and the open-source model is that Sun wants, and I may have this wrong and stop me if I have it wrong, but I believe Sun wants final say on code that is being redistributed. In other words, if you want to take Java and go off in your dorm room and change Java, you can do whatever you want to Java. If you want to take Java and start redistributing it commercially, number one I think Sun wants to see that code in advance and approve it. There concern is compatibility issues. You can see why they have compatibility issues concerns; they just won a lawsuit against Microsoft for exactly this issue on Java. So they have issues here. The other thing is I think if you do it commercially and make money you have to give them a royalty. So the main difference is that under the open-source model you really do relinquish control to the process, you trust the process. Under the Sun community license model you relinquish control to Sun, and you trust Sun. Now there are a lot of people in the world who feel more comfortable trusting Sun then they do the open-source process. For example, I think Bill Joy believes that big companies feel more comfortable interacting with another big company then they do, as they might see it, abandoning themselves to this unknown not well-understood process. I can understand that. He might be right. I think for our purposes for open hyperdocument system thatís not an issue, but for Ford who knows what their incentives are.
AUDIENCE: Iíve actually been working on Sun in terms of with Genie, which is another technology, which actually pioneered the scuzzle Sun community source license and basically what you are saying is right. But the interoperability is a real key thing there that the idea of the technology for Java, that your Java pro wonít run everywhere and some companies like Microsoft would do their extended embrace and change it so you canít use it, you would have to use theirs on their platform. So that is a major concern and I think it would be a concern also for an open hyperdocument system in that if you want to have multiple organizations being able to have their documents read by each other, they need to be interoperable. The other difference I would say between the two is one that you actually brought up between yourself and Doug, which is the governance model; the classic model for an open-source project is hopefully benevolent dictator. You just trust that the person who held the original vision for the software is going to be the one making all the decisions and you just sort of trust thatís going to work out and if it doesnít then thereís a forking in the code and sort of a revolution happens. The Sun model right now has been one of a community governance system where the community members do have a say. So itís not Sun controlling it, itís Sun saying we want to make sure weíve got a process here where change can happen, even change Sun doesnít particularly care for, but change will happen inside the governance of the community so the whole thing will move as a hole.
PETERSEN: Thatís a very real concern. The interoperability thing is a very real concern as for whether we have to go to the Sun community license model. I think the reason people think of that as sort of the benevolent dictator model, one reason is because of Linux, and Linus Trovals and that model. I think, and again help me out here, but I think the Apache model is different.
ANDREW PAM: Among others, yes. The Apache model is a group of people who form a kind of, collective if you will, and there are a number of other significant open-source projects that do not have a novelty title ship model. So even though that is certainly quite common, itís by no means the only open-source model.
PETERSEN: I should mention, Iím going to wrap it up. Doug says Iím going to wrap it up.
AUDIENCE: Benevolent dictator.
ANDREW PAM: Pearl is another classy example as well.
PETERSEN: I should mention that itís possible that the Sun community license model given that thereíre trying to develop the same kind of thing where you have a real community that is not totally Sun dominated, itís possible that as time goes by we may find that the way that it operates isnít that different from the way the Apache model or the Pearl model operates. That will be good if it happens and we all hope so and I certainly think, as I said before, I think Bill Joy and Sun deserve a chance to try out their model.
ENGELBART: Thank you, Iím a great admirer of the young lady here. Thank you. There are a lot of questions that still are there and so we know that there are different models and dialogue about the different models in particulars and if we get serious about going ahead with the OHS and the rest of the CoDIAK environment which kind of model would best pursue that. I donít feel comfortable with the benevolent dictator role exactly.
I sit there and all kinds of things turn in my head but I think it would be better to go ahead with the sort of schedule we have. Some of the schedule things are there to fit, but I wonder if we have a little bit of unscheduled thing is Andrew, back here, is leaving for Australia and he was mentioning to me ahead of time that the things about the Xanadu project where there where lots of resources put in for years about that and some how it never wrapped up. Heís got some things to say because heís been a close partner in that world for a while. So do you want to just speak from using that microphone there? Is that okay?
ANDREW PAM: I think it probably would be better if I come up though because I will have to hold the button here for a while otherwise.
ENGELBART: Thatís fine. Assuming it will take him a little while to get here, that this model that I showed some time ago is an old one but it embodies a conceptional thing that I think is a very important about getting ahead with what we want to have an open hyperdocument thing. One of them is different classes of users, another is different classes of devices out there that you are going to want to be able to operate from your cell phone or what ever else is out there like that.
SLIDE: Application-Independent User Interface System
ENGELBART: So you need this sort of virtual terminal operator like that. So that whatever youíre doing gets put into that. You also need to have the user profile and whatever different language and interface youíre going to establish and stuff like that. It just has built into it a lot of what the potential evolutionary potential is out there that weíve got. Thatís what Iíd like to do and so Andrew tell them your name and address and what you want to say.
ANDREW PAM: I should just probably give a brief. Iím Andrew Pam but my affiliate is actually a bit more complicated because Iím involved with a number of different things. For example, Iíve contributed a favorite to Linux here and there recently. Iíve been working pretty extensively with Xanadu project since 1994. Prior to that was a beta tester and I also worked with my partner Katherine, who is here today, on a thing called Glass Wings which is about creating media and publishing on the net and preserving literature and so forth, which kind of overlaps with the Xanadu goals except that Xanadu is more about enabling the tools where Glass Wings is more about actually doing it. So I just wanted to briefly say that Xanadu itself does parallel Dougís vision quite a lot. Tedís vision is really more about enhancing the capabilities of the individual. Not to say that there is no concept of collaborative work but that the focus has been more on how can we at least make tools that better use digital technology, communications and computer technology to enable the abilities of the individual to correct things. Where as I see Dougís vision more as how do we enhance collective intelligence, thatís what this has all been about? The two obviously do overlap to a very large extent. The same set of tools often benefits both goals. Anything that benefits individuals does often have application to the group and visa versa. Thereís certainly been some degree of overlap and as I said Iíve not only been affiliated with Xanadu Iíve also spent some time tracking other hyper media projects over the last, at least, half decade probably longer. Iíll just give a quick bit of information with some URLís they use. The Xanadu project itself information is at Xanadu.net and that started out as a kind of a monolithic project because when Xanadu started in the 1960ís there really was no internet, no open community, there really wasnít any share ware or open-sources we know now. Even though the standard in the early days was to share the source code there really was no user community of a kind that there is today. So the original model for Xanadu was a single project and itís goal was really to, as I said, enhance the ability of the individual to correct and to preserve literature, information and knowledge. That sounds simple but of course it turned out to be multi-faceted and very complex indeed and there are a whole lot of different aspects of that involved many people, many very bright people including for example Eric Drexler who was involved in it in the early days for quite some period of time. There was a period between 1988 and 1992 where in fact Xanadu was a research branch of Autodisk and that was in fact proprietary at that point. When we open-sourced that code last year at the Montreal open-source conference, Mark Miller remarked that having had that previously proprietary work that he done locked up for ten years and finally having open-source was like getting a big chunk of his brain back because now he can actually do other work without having to always worry about how was that going to tread on stuff that he wasnít aloud to talk about?
ENGELBART: We could go on along time about the nature of the things, but I think the value here would be how do we go ahead that a lot of valuable work there and Ted said, a little buddy of mind for years, so how can we sort of merge and integrate?
PAM: Exactly, so that sort of went on until 1992, then from about 1994 onwards basically we really reexamined it and rather than trading Xanadu as a model with a single project we started to look at were there separable components? We found that yes indeed they were, there were a whole bunch of different technologies effectively that would enable the overall vision and that you could break those up into separate projects and each of those could be separately useful, but if you design them so that they would all interoperate then you would be able to reconstruct the overall vision. So a lot of those components are now being done as open-source projects in various ways in conjunction with other research groups, in conjunction with universities. For example, the Crit project which has been mentioned a couple of times was envisioned as an ounce or two how to do the annotation part of the Xanadu vision. So for the last few years really Xanadu has been working on advancing each of the separate technologies and in such a way that you can plug them together and I think that fits right into it, the idea of the open hyperdocument system.
ENGELBART: The people that developed things we got to give them the space. So the big thing you got to say is, how can we get in touch? Where are the URLís? Whereís the community dialogue, etc and start integrating?
PAM: Exactly, well as I said the homepage is Xanadu.net. There are also two other things that are particularly relevant, one of them is that thereís historical stuff and mailing lists and so forth reachable from there which at the moment, for lack of anyone else, Iím running at Xanadu.com.au that is linked to the other page anyway.
ENGELBART: So if we go to Xanadu.com.au we can find out and will you set up something special for people here to sort of answer the questions?
PAM: I can certainly do that. There are already mailing lists that are also visible on the web, but I can always create more mailing lists.
ENGELBART: So we can provide you with one of our mailing list entries in which you can put some URLís?
PAM: Absolutely, and the last thing thatís relevant is that there is a separate project of Ted Nelsonís which is not directly associated with Xanadu called Zig Zag, which is about creating a kind of a structure model thatís useful for manipulating knowledge in small chunks and constructing and visualizing that, which I really havenít got time to go into now. We found that can potentially also be used for some of our related goals and can also be used for some of the bootstrap goals. So thatís worth looking at as well. Iíll just give the two URLís for that. The original demonstration of that which is in Pearl is available at Xanadu.net/zigzag, there is now a new invitation at Java at gzigzag.sourceforge.net.
ENGELBART: That does it, thank you. I didnít want to be impolite but some how what we need you to do is provide us with the links and youíve in stimulated stuff ZigZag is a fascinating sort of gadget. Ted and staff have been working on it for years. Itís the important integrated so the process is how do we; letís see, some place there was a statement about heretic rebel a thing to flout, my enemies came up and were shouting me out, but love and I had the wit to win we drew a circle and took them in. Thatís what this thing would have to learn how to do is draw the circles and start integrating and we got a purpose and the only way it works is by integrating lots of kinds of capabilities out there. So, thank you Andrew.
Adam Chiro is going to come and talk for a few minutes about his stuff too and then weíve got another speaker thatís been preparing for talking about his thing. This was Adamís slide and he didnítí sneak in her did he? No. So I think a good thing to do would be the next speaker here his Eric Armstrong and would I like to see is Eric come up here and he can comment some upon this and then heís taking off on his own slides and we can find those as soon as youíve said something about this. All right? Meet Eric Armstrong. Do you want to just make sure that they see whom you are and you tell them a little bit?
SLIDE: Further OHS-Planning Suggestions
ERIC ARMSTRONG: First I would like to say thanks for the opportunity to talk here because this is a really high power group and itís quite a thrill to be part of it. I really canít think of anything more compelling to work on, anything more important to spend time on and my employer if I might have something to say about that in the near future. I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend a lot of time on these projects. When I got into computers to start with it was to augment human intelligence to solve complex problems, so the fact that Doug has been spending so much time and got so much talent on the problem for so long is just thrilling.
SLIDE: OHS; A proposal for moving forward
ARMSTRONG: This was the electrifying slide that Adam put up last week. What he did was to summarize and constrain the problem down to dimensions that are tack able, feasible. This line here where he just says, the documents we want to be able to manager are e-mail, html, augment and source code. Nicely constrains a problem that we can attack with an open hypertech system and itís elegant and itís simplicity and I can assure you that nothing you hear in the next twenty minutes is going to approach that level of conciseness. We need to be able to publish with version control, we need to be able to look at it in different ways the same way we count an augment system, and we need a simple editor. His main concept was that we absolutely need to be able to look at it in HTML so that itís open but that we may need to come up with a proprietary editor in order to be able to do manipulations of that data at least at the outset. He looked at options for publishing; he looked at different ways to views. The main concept being lets use open hypertech system as a
ENGELBART: Would you use open hyperdocument please? Theyíre a whole knowledge container, not just the text.
ARMSTONG: If you have your open hypertech document system then thatís the first step in creating a larger knowledge repository. There is a lot of things that are not being addressed here; weíre not looking at knowledge management, weíre not looking at model building systems, or abstract knowledge systems or expert systems and thatís important because the tools we need to build those systems are at very minimum this system, which makes it perfect for bootstrapping. So, I guess I need to move onto my slide now.
ENGELBART: I apologize for this.
ARMSTRONG: Now Iím suggesting that our initial target for a bootstrapping system should be aimed at improving open source efforts.
SLIDE: Improving Open Source Efforts
ARMSTRONG: It dovetails nicely with what Adam is suggesting as a starting point. We need to integrate e-mail, web, source code and the augment system. It is true bootstrapping because the system we design to do this will provide a positive feedback loop for bootstrap. So what we start for version one will help us to evolve version two, will help us to evolve the knowledge management and other systems that make sense. Now the two areas where we see a lot of output that could be generated back in are management, organizational things, everything about open hypertech system and the information management system itself.
AUDIENCE: Hyperdocument system.
ARMSTRONG: Hyperdocument system. Iíll do that just keep correcting me, I do learn. That feedback loop will get us to where we can start building the knowledge management systems, the expert systems, take account with people we learned and build it up. It gives us a concrete problem, we can focus our thinking on and it gives us a familiar problem domain. Now there is a danger there that the first system might be to overly limited.
SLIDE: Improving Open Source Efforts (repeated)
ARMSTRONG: We might be only looking at our own kinds of problems and not the other problems we need to address but it gives us a tool that we can use to build the next system.
SLIDE: Major Features
ARMSTRONG: What it needs to do, it needs to track the discussions and the documents we do for requirements, functional specs. I think most the people here are conversant with software, so Iím not going to go over each of these documents but these are the traditional documents you see in the life cycle of a software system. One thing thatís really nice about open-source is that your development plans can be event driven rather than time driven. Instead of having to march to a time clock to reach some production goal, so your marketing people know what they are doing, you can say when itís ready we ship it. Thatís an advantage, and itís an advantage that isnít shared in the commercial market place. Now design decisions, I really want to emphasize the importance of being able to track design decisions.
SLIDE: Advantages (1/2)
ARMSTRONG: At one point I kept a design document, as I was going along, the alternatives I considered why I rejected them, which ones I selected and why? I found myself in a meeting at one point and they were saying that weíve got to do something differently. To be able to take out of that document and say, no we shouldnít and here are the reasons. In another meeting when I was attacked on a point, I took out my document and said here is the assumptions I had when I made that decisions, and it turned out the assumptions were wrong and I can make the change. The important thing was that I was sitting there in this meeting, three months after making that decision and I couldnít remember the reason why I made it but I knew there was some reason. I was very afraid to make that change because I had no idea what kind of thoughts have gone through my mind, what I was going to run into if I made it. So it told me that it was okay to change and I had a list of alternatives sitting right there.
SLIDE: Advantages (2/2)
ARMSTRONG: Now if we but this kind of system together weíll have interactive collaboration. Weíll be able to do versioning and attributions. Itís nice to look at a piece of source code, like Doug mentioned, and say who did that? As weíre looking on e-mail lists we see a lot of rambling discussions, which are very important, they introduce a lot of knowledge but itís important to reduce that at some point into the next version of the document. So the system needs to be able to do that. You also get, and Iím assuming XML here because I frankly donít see anything else on the horizon that will come close to being possible to do it but Iíll leave the design space open and just use XML as an example. There may be a better alternative sometime in the next twenty years and when we see it we should do it. We have also some benefits of storing source code in XML that you canít get any other way and I want to touch on those.
SLIDE: Interdocument Linking (1/2)
ARMSTRONG: Main thing with linking is being able to connect your documents and connect the reasons for making decision with the results of that decision. At each point you wind up at the bottom with code and moving backwards through it. The hardest question to answer when your looking at a piece of source code is, why was that done? The hardest thing document in any short distinct way is why that was done. If youíre looking at starting at the bottom of it, even a simple bug, it can take a long explanation to explain the changes. Starting with your design decisions, your development checklist and the various codes you put out. The first version of a piece of code is typically very simple, you put out a bunch of things you want to do, a bunch of short explanations and it reads it flows, itís really nice. Then you start testing and your users start giving you feedback and you start running into problems. Then pretty soon, if your documenting, the code becomes completely unfollowable, the thread of it is completely lost and if your not documenting you wind up with mystery code that no one understands why itís there. It becomes completely unmaintainable and the kind of system were envisioning here can solve most of those problems. Linking is one real good reason.
SLIDE: Interdocument Linking (2/2)
ARMSTRONG: You minimize the number of code intrusions. You can put the code in put a link to the explanation. You put the code in put a link to the document design decision. Now you have very small amounts of documentation inline and itís possible to make sense reading it. You reuse the explanation multiple places, if it takes a page to explain a one line insertion, which Iíve done, and it needs to explain multiple different places, why is this variable here? Why did you store information there? Why did you act on it? That explanation can be reused in multiple places and linking gives you that capability. Weíre used to using plain text systems. Thatís practically Stone Age. In some ways given everything weíve seen about hypertext we might as well be doing binary code. There are a lot of advantages to hypertext weíre not taking advantage of.
SLIDE: Source in XML: Benefits
ARMSTRONG: When you put source into hierarchical systems like XML, one of the things you get is the virtual reduction in size. Your code, instead of looking like one monolith of directories, if you remember the days of linear directories, just one big long list of file after file after file. They were very large. Iíve got maybe twenty, thirty directories on my system. I go into them when I need to get something done and the other day we had to put it into Outlook and Outlook kept telling me how may folders it was searching. There are fifteen hundred directories in my system, I had no idea it was that big. To me itís a twenty-directory system and when I change my context thereís another ten or twenty things to look at and at each step itís very simple.
SLIDE: Source in XML: Benefits (repeated)
ARMSTRONG: Another benefit is rapidly being able to move things. Hierarchical systems are unique because they are constrained; there is information in the document about where a structure starts and where it ends. That means, every entry is a handle and you can move a method or routine by grabbing the handle and dragging it, the same way you would in the directory system. Literate programming style, your code could look like a series of comments. You are not actually doing literate programming, the way Knuth describes it, but what youíre looking at can be a series of comments were tucked under each comment is a piece of code. There is also the option of eliminating structural syntax on some of the problems thatís attendant on those.
SLIDE: Literate Programming Style
ARMSTRONG: Now hereís an example of literate programming style. Image that this is a program viewed at the top level. These are the steps that I would conceive as something that could operate as a servlet that would be a front end to augment and let you interact with it as a hypertech system. Notice thereís going to be a lot of code inside of each one of those sections, but when you collapse the document and look at it you can see what the thread of that code is. So youíve taken out some of the problem with getting the flow of the code by adding links to major sections, major comments. Youíve also are gaining it by being able to collapse in a hierarchy.
SLIDE: Eliminating Structural Syntax 1/2
ARMSTRONG: Now again itís possible to eliminate structural syntax. Weíve started a, Iíll give you an URL here I forgot to put it into the slide, itís extende.sourceforge.com and weíre having major trouble getting anything. Weíve finally got the mailing list set up, and we donít have a web page set up yet. I will send out an e-mail with the addresses but weíre starting doing some thinking about what it is like if you start putting source code in the structural system. Because the end of the structure is well defined, a compiler or translator can look at this and it knows where to put the braces. You donít have to put them in yourself.
SLIDE: Eliminating Structural Syntax 2/2
ARMSTRONG: Comments, if I got a // at the beginning of the end that known thatís well defined, I donít have to put a // on the beginning of every line. The compiler is perfectly capable of figuring out where that lines ends. If I have a block comment again everything under that is constrained so if I do that /* then the */ that ends the comment can be automatically supplied and that means I can comment out an entire block of code. On a plain text system this is impossible because that second comment down there, when it sees the ending */ terminates the first comment and everything that follows underneath that tries to be compiled. In a hierarchical system itís not a problem and I can put that code in or out by changing a single character. Now one of the things you see if you program at anytime that there is a brace missing somewhere in your program, be a good guy and go find it will you?
SLIDE: Benefits of Simplified Syntax
ARMSTRONG: If you made a lot of changes, it can be really hard finding them, that goes away. Another thing is the impedance mismatch between what the compiler sees and what you see. The indentation suggests to you containment, but what the compiler sees is something completely different and you can spend hours trying to find those kinds of bugs. Because we think like people fundamental and learning to program is fun, I mean learning to think like a computer so you can see the mistakes it sees. What do we need to be able to do source and XML?
SLIDE: Source in XML: Requirements
ARMSTRONG: One thing we need is a filter that will take existing plain text programs and put them into XML structures. One of the nice things about the Sunís architecture that David Brownell put together is that if you take an existing parser, any parser in fact that recognizes a data set and have it generate sax events, which is one of the XML protocols, you can plug that into a parser that will generate XML out the other end. So that one is fairly easy to do given someone has a parser and knows how to use it.
SLIDE: Source in XML: Requirements (repeated)
ARMSTRONG: The second part is a XML to plain text. Now the interesting thing there is that we have to store the line numbers when we do that because when the compiler gives line number errors, actually it did this by the way. When I started that company to develop an outliner I wrote a little plain text filter and used it to do source code programming, so the examples Iím giving you come from experience. The one problem with using the system was that when the compiler gave me a line number I had a hard time finding it in my outline. But in XML we have attributes and we can adjust those
attributes as we produce plain text. Obviously you need a XML editor, but my claim is that XML is approaching a level of ubiquity that will make XML editors the standard much as plain text editors is today. I think there is a long way to go before that happens but thereís a lot of editor projects in the works. Itís so much easier to program with XML because itís well formed that it took us five years to see even one HTML differencing utility. There is five or six already in the works for XML; itís just that good of standard. Weíll need a go to line number function to be able to translate the exceptions we see and the compiler errors, but eventually there is no reason not to have XML aware compilers.
SLIDE: Source in XML: Futures
ARMSTRONG: They can process the XML directly, we get rid of the filter and then the error listings can have links that directly there. So you click on the link and just go straight to the line, one less step. You still have runtime exceptions but thereís no reason that the class structure canít store an URL instead of a line number and do the same thing. Now those, I think, are basic functionalities and I just start thinking about version two. I think integrated them, one of the issues that I still have is, how do you integrate an IBIS style design discussion that Dick Karpinski was nice enough to point us to?
SLIDE: DKR: Additional Possibilities
ARMSTRONG: This is where you have a question, alternative design possibilities, pros, cons, an endorsement, I like this idea and then finally decision. This is the one we decided to do; those are the QAPCED and one of the questions we have to ask is what does it mean to integrate that kind of an ongoing design discussion? Because itís fundamental of this kind of structure that records those design decisions. Hereís the alternatives weíve considered, hereís the reasons we liked it, hereís the reason we didnít, hereís the decision we made. We can also look towards possibly doing a patterns repository.
SLIDE: DKR: Additional Possibilities (repeated)
ARMSTRONG: Gamma and the Gang of Four did this wonderful book on patterns but itís all, hereís a pattern, hereís how it works, hereís a pattern, hereís how it works and those are all great but itís hard to use them, what pattern do I need right now? I donít know. Unless I know all the patterns I canít tell which one I want to use. So to invert that structure in a way that says, maybe itís a fact, maybe itís a listing of hereís problems that you can solve. As I go through that series of problems I look for ones that ring a bell that relate to the issues Iím facing and I can go to the repository and see that pattern and find some good way to learn how it works, something interactive. That moves us towards the kinds of knowledge systems we need to do management structures that we need to do the other organizational thinking.
ENGELBART: We have to kind of close. We go off the air and I need a few minutes to close.
ARMSTRONG: Two different approaches, Iím just going to put them up here and Iíll put them on the e-mail list, we can use augment, front end. The main constraint there that itís not open to everyone.
SLIDE: Q: How to Implement? (1/2)
SLIDE: Q: How to Implement? (2/2)
ARMSTRONG: We can use a new open system that makes it usable by everyone, all the open source efforts. Itís going to be a lot easier with the tools we have today then it was initially.
SLIDE: DKR for Open Source: Summary
ARMSTRONG: Summary, taken an initial focus of email, web, source, and augment. Itís a true bootstrapping project. Itís a familiar project domain. Itís a concrete problem to attack and it will lead us to the next series of things we need to do. Thank you Doug.
ENGELBART: Thanks a lot. Itís very stimulating to listen to that because I was just realizing with over thirty years ago we moved all our source code onto hyper linkage stuff and a lot of things he mentioned are things we learned we needed to do and found ways to do it. So it really kind of provides for me a challenge about how can we some times just sort of show the way a lot of those things worked together. As you start accruing them you find you have to start getting some generalized principals about how itís going to work so that each individual trick you can do is just a special case. Somehow we have to find a way to do that and you guys might all be saved here by technical difficulties. Itís sort of by my inadequacy and moving around in this space. I can say okay you guys fix it.
Thank you Eric, that was great. We ought to sometime describe more about all the things heís done, the books heís written, etc. So one of the things we know that a lot of communities that are going to be involved and the functions you have to do.
SLIDE: OHS-Dev Sub-Communities
ENGELBART: So these are all basic kind of functions that in our DKR weíve been isolating and listing. So the very intriguing thing to do is to do that sort of thing in the source code software development where weíre trying to be as general and basic about the way the repositories work, about their back linking, about the attribution, about bringing in IBIS and its successor GIBIS, etc. in there. Then how to integrate the stuff that Xanadu offers and many other people have came up with them like that. But in a way in which there focused on there and the open-sourced thing where you saying, look letís really try to get in and augment, you know boost the capability the software guy is doing their work that one of the knowledge domains your interested in is the source code. So it should have itís special capabilities for embedding the properties you want but they still should be as general as you possibly can and so people can come in. So people that arenít all skilled in that can come in look with a simple form of an interface, sort of like that.
SLIDE: Capability-Evolution Communities
ENGELBART: Sort of a model like this, that youíve got communities out there that are tying to boost their evolution capabilities and involving in that are all the methods, processes, procedures, customs, governance, techniques and everything else that evolutionary human system and theyíre busy at developing, integrating and applying the open-source tools. Which also involves the OH standard document structure, which weíve been, assuming would be XML and that you get the communities dynamic knowledge base out of that. So this is just the model we would like to have in mind as we get all this started. So Ericís list of nice thoughts and such are very interesting, I get very intrigued in saying, oh this is how we do that with augment, etc. but augment its code structure and everything else is totally out of date but the capabilities in there are something to just show people. What I really like in some way in which we actually can demonstrate or else have some special sessions where we demonstrate and we donít try to web cast it or someway in which we do that. So anyway, there a lot of things Iíve learned about why weíve got to have interoperability and I donít want to detail that to much.
SLIDE: Up front, about Standards:
ENGELBART: The standards for the unambiguous description, naming and use of the properties for our knowledge containers. So this is where the XML world and so weíre going to get a real lecture of why John Bozack sometimes. Is that right? Wake up John and tell us. Then the unambiguous description also naming a usage of the functions of the tools, mistake, should be our tools. Anyway, those are all parts of what a DKR should really provide for us. So itís been an exciting sort of thing, I think, just a few little things to tailor with are the term.
SLIDE: Vocabulary, world-wideÖ
ENGELBART: The vocabulary issue comes up for me all through the years and the developing and common evolving vocabulary is something society opens and society does and it sort of evolves. So this is what we need to do is the terms, the processes, the conventions people are going to use when they do some of this back link management and attribution support needs conventions. The customs, the terminology, the language we use, all that needs to evolve and thereís just absolutely no way it can evolve with a proprietary push underneath it. So the open-source, open hyperdocument, open community for evolving the whole stuff is just what we have to have. So I think with that, even though I may have more slides here, I think itís time to close because I think our whole ninety minutes has run out. Thank you very much; weíll see you next week.