I like this and your other summarizes. I especially like the way you are
referring to a debate on issues to create a set of requirements.
I have a thought related to this and other subsequent posts by people,
which is that since email is really the most widely used application on
the internet, we need a clearer statement with details and use cases of
how much better an OHS/DKR will be to solve any specific issues than
email in a threaded email viewer.
I like your list. What might make it even more useful is tying each
point to a qualitative statement of how much this issue cannot be
handled by email (the difficulty it entails for example, and how
frequently it comes up). Perhaps we could start by refining the list,
characterizing how one might address each issue with regular email (even
if it required a certain disciplined use)?
That is not to say finer grained linking will not be better, but it is
to say, how much better. For example, referring to an earlier reply to
Eric, I would guess "ecovillages" are already using email (and the web)
to communicate and solve problems.
Sorry I don't have more time right now to reply in more detail to the
specifics of what you and others bring up. In general I think what you
write is a very good summary of core requirements.
I think the overwhelming difference from email is the "fine grained"
nature of references we are talking about.
The Pointrel system I released is designed in part to accommodate that
-- although there remain issues of shared conventions for distributing
Obviously there have been discussions on this list on how to do such a
fine grained linking in regards to the specifications and the purple
numbers (acting like chapter and verse numbers in the Christian bible)
accomplish the same thing.
However, as an alternative, perhaps a more disciplined use of email
subjects in a threaded discussion (including splitting replied into
multiple smaller emails) would immediately address this issue with
conventional technology? [Although that has it's own difficulties as it
eliminates the notion of connected "essay" from the system.] For example
Rod and SDS exemplify disciplined KM, but it takes effort and developing
certain work habits. Or, perhaps something as tiny as a modified version
of an email client to be able to link to those references already given
email would then go a long way towards this? Or perhaps, this would not
be so essential if we had a standard way of referring to messages not
being directly replied to?
Obviously we can imagine a much better Augment like system, I am just
looking for a clearer statement of the limits of the status-quo
conventional email (used with a relatively decent email client) relative
to requirements for tools able to handle problems of the scale we are
Previously, Eric Armstrong has demonstrated the power of email when he
did great summaries of previous issues and submitted links. However, in
this sense he was doing disciplined KM with the tools at hand.
Obviously the international space station, the Boeing 747, the Taj
Mahal, and the city of New York have all been built without OHS/DKR.
(What tools did people use?) So we are not saying you can't make complex
things without OHS/DKR. We have to be more making statements about cost
or speed. Then implicitly the reason for OHS/DKR becomes that lower cost
or quicker speed may make developing a solution more politically
feasible given limited resources. Or, another reasons is that
technically, it may now be feasible to address problems that would
otherwise morph faster than the solution could be devised. Again, though
the issue is which problems have this requirement, as opposed to just
using plain old text email to resolve?
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Dec 22 2000 - 06:38:44 PST