>I'm still of the opinion that a graphic display mechanism only works for
>because the complexity quickly grows too great with respect to the
>area. Given whiteboard-sized LCDs, I *may* be persuaded to change my
Oh, I didn't mention I had white board size LCDs? To me, it seems that the
problem is not limited display area, but the high degree of
interconnectedness of information. A large screen would not help, because
closely related items would end up far apart, stretched between other
The solution to this problem, is to only show a subset of the graph at a
time. So far, the only tool to do so is theBrain, and it only shows a very
small window into the data. There are much better ways. Have you checked
out this paper by the
way? http://www.cs.vu.nl/~frankh/postscript/VSW01.pdf What to you think?
>(I'll have to see, to be sure it works.) But I'm pretty darn certain
>that graphic displays
>of complex, interrelated information, simply will not fly with today's
> >From another post, I argue that it is important to allow structures with
>at all -- the classical outline structure. But it should also be
>possible to add those
>types in proactively or retroactively.
I don't understand what you mean here. Structures with no typing at all?
>I think that is close to a good definition of the target. But it needs
>connotations of "conversation" and "document aggregation", as well. My
>"HowTo" folders contain dozens of messages with little factoids I've
>on various subjects. That knowledge base needs to be sharable and
Sharable is easy, you just publish it (zip it, post it, whatever, it's a
joke anyway). Searchable is harder. My view of searching is that a lot of
work has been done on searching after-the fact. You write something, and
then you use a machine to go back and find what you (or someone else) has
However, a non-linear document would allow for searching to be build in to
the document. The author can anticipate what the readers will search for,
and provide the links right there. Also, readers can add links if they
think two pieces of information are relevant.
>Interestingly, its contents probably need to be sortable by people using
>rating scales. As a beginner, the "10 things I need to know to get
>be the most important. Later on, the "8 things I keep forgetting how to
>be the critical information. At an an advanced stage, the "6 things that
>know about" would want to be sorted at the top. As I progress between
>stages, the items I consider valuable would be organically changing,
>with new and
>interesting items at the top.
It's what? Later on when? What kind of process is going on here?
>Such ratings are context-dependent. My rating of a particular thing
>my use for it. There are also "intrinsic ratings", but I'm not sure how
>both in the same system. To clarify the difference:
> a) The hammer is bad (relative to some ideal hammer standard)
> --An intrinsic rating for a hammer build with a 5lb sledge-head
> pencil-thin handle. It simply ain't gonna work. It's going to
> be useless, so don't waste your money on it.
> b) The hammer is bad (relative to the task of cutting a board in two).
> --You can use the hammer, but you'll get lots of splinters and
> edges. A saw is much better for the purpose you have in mind.
>Thinking as I write (as usual), it seems clear that a rating is always
>to *something*, and the concept of a rating should probably include a
>referent that identifies the nature of the rating.
I was thinking more of ratings based on relevance to a particular
subject. Or truth. Say non-obvious interesting facts would be highly
rated, while obvious or uninteresting statements would get a low
rating. The 'who' that the facts are interesting to, would be the
participants in the forum, with the goal being to come up with a single,
objective (within the group) opinion.
Of course, ratings could be made relative to some context. This would not
be hard. The same facts could be reused in different discussion
groups/contexts, and given different ratings in each.
Eric, I think that we are talking about representing two different types of
information. You seem to be talking about time-dependent information, and
also description of processes. In my mind this is a hard problem.
To me, something easier, is to build tools for discussing timeless
information like scientific truth, or philosophical arguments. Maybe
forming a plan of what should be done for a particular project can also
fall into this category. But my vision of this, was that the plan would be
formed, and then followed, not altered in the process. Maybe altering the
plan would be a whole other process with stable versions in the
middle. Still, I think it would be hard to come up with something that
gives you 10 tasks today, and 8 tomorrow.
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