From: Bernard Vatant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: <unrev-II@yahoogroups.com>; Nicholas Carroll
> I had a look at your overview at
> I've some comments about what concerns directories, hierachies, etc.
> As a matter of fact, I've drifted during last year from activist Open
> Directory editor to Topic Map true believer :))
> with a due passage through a non-hierachical crisis last summer. See
> Now I've come to a more balanced viewpoint, see
I'm pleased you have recovered from the mal au foi.
> 1. Most topics are multidimensional and are in fact the intersection of
> several hierarchical threads.
> 2. The hierarchical relationships - or associations, to use the Topic Map
> terminology - are but one type of associations any Topic may be involved
> We have a strong basis to consider Topological Directories, with no "top
> level", but a "semantic core" of highly connected topics, where browsing
> would use both accurate hierarchical links, and all sort of directions
> transversal to this hierarchy.
> It looks like the general structure of such a "topological directory" will
> be, if not a formal Topic Map, at least something very Topic Map like.
I am not sure the eyes are able to fully understand complex topic maps.
The body is much better at understanding three dimensional structures.
> My hunch is the next generation web directories will be built on such a
> structure. I agree that the management and updating of such directories
> will need a wise blend of google-like algorithmic and ODP-like distributed
> human expertise. There is a great waste of human energy in ODP now due to
> the very incapacity of the mono-hierarchical structure to manage
> complexity, both at content and social model levels, leading to permanent
> power games and ontological unstability
The blend of algo/human I use is not particularly sophisticated; if there
is any explanation for it working fairly well, it is that I had substantial
experience in massaging databases years ago, and I hate sys admin work,
which leads me to put smart people in control of data as soon as
possible. But right now there is still a certain amount of batch work
being done. Yuck. For the *next* generation, I hope the human
expertise is being used to play the database as a conductor leads
-- ________________________________ Nicholas Carroll email@example.com Travel: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.hastingsresearch.com ________________________________
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