[unrev-II] Q: Relations and Interfaces

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@eng.sun.com)
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 15:22:10 PDT

  • Next message: Lee Iverson: "Re: [unrev-II] Re: Intel's new XML network devices"


    You're probably monitoring the unrev list, but I
    know you're pretty busy right now so I'm sending it
    direct to make sure it gets to you. (For some reason,
    I have two addresses for you, so I'm sending to both.)

    The issue is this:
      A few days ago, it became very clear to me that
      "relations" need to be "first class objects" in
      the repository. (That is, they are viewable and
      manipulatable like information nodes.) But what
      would the interface be? (I can see the data structures
      clearly, but I'm really at a loss to see how the
      interface would work.)

    Let's take an example: The "equivalence" relationship.
    Of several possible relations that would make sense in
    the system, this one may well be the most valuable.
    It allows a question posed by a new user to be equated
    to one that has already been answered, and it allows two
    discussions to be equated, so that the subtree under
    each is available for inspection and cross-ferilization.

    Suppose you are monitoring your "mailbox" and someone
    posts a question: "How do you do X?". Because you are
    a long time participant on the list, you recognize the
    question as equivalent to one of the FAQ questions, "How
    do you do Y?".

    Now, rather than having to answer that query, what you
    can do is add the knowledge of that relationship
    to the repository. So you say "equivalent to", track
    down the query it relates to, click it, and you're done.
    In fact, you probably have the FAQ window nearby for just
    such occasions.

    That part of the interface isn't too difficult to
    envision. The real question is, how does that knowledge
    addition appear to the original sender??

    What does that person see? What is that makes he/she aware
    that the answer they seek is available in another subtree,
    now one click away from their query -- and probably
    relocated in the display-space so that it appears physically

    Similarly, if you notice that discussions in separate
    threads both started from essentially identical observations,
    you could mark them equivalent. How would that information
    appear? How would followers of each thread become aware of
    that a new relationship had been posted which leads them to
    the other?

    Win an iMac computer from The Apples in stereo and other
    FREE great stuff at RollingStone.com!

    Community email addresses:
      Post message: unrev-II@onelist.com
      Subscribe: unrev-II-subscribe@onelist.com
      Unsubscribe: unrev-II-unsubscribe@onelist.com
      List owner: unrev-II-owner@onelist.com

    Shortcut URL to this page:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed May 10 2000 - 15:30:28 PDT