Good observation that graphics for managing what folks loosely call "ontology"
oversimplifies the problem of managing context. Would be great to see someone
come forward with an "ontology" for a few paragraphs of a letter, an article, a
book. Then organize ontology for a phone call, a meeting, analysis of a
broadcast or a report on a professional event. Then expand the ontology for
more calls, letters, etc. Very soon, in a matter of hours or days, the
complexity of organizing even a tiny fraction of daily life becomes
overwhelming, as Jack noted in a letter on 000221.
Eric Armstrong wrote:
> Alex Shapiro wrote:
> > ...With time, older nodes fade (or become more
> > remote in some other way) and eventually disappear. Nodes can be kept
> > visible, or if invisible then returned to visibility, by linking to
> > them.
> Quite reasonable. That's a different kind of prioritizing -- a "fading
> to oblivion",
> but it seems quite useful.
> > > a) In any series of sibling nodes, the highest-rated comes first.
> > My vision of this one, is that only the most relevant points are
> > actually
> > shown as part of the graph.
> I'm still of the opinion that a graphic display mechanism only works for
> small demos,
> because the complexity quickly grows too great with respect to the
> available display
> area. Given whiteboard-sized LCDs, I *may* be persuaded to change my
> (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
> display devices.
> > > b) Summary-attempts *replace* the threads they summarize in
> > > the hierarchy. The previous material is subsumed under the
> > > summary. That summary may be amended directly, or a
> > > counter-summary may be offered. In that scenario, a summary
> > > is always an "alternative" or "idea" that permits other items
> > > to live in parallel.
> > Yup. Summaries are very important. A summary can be another type of
> > post
> > that is encouraged by users, and that references all the nodes that it
> > summarizes. Another way to display summaries, is like hints (the way
> > the
> > TG LinkBrowser does it). Basically, users can either be explicitly
> > forced
> > to summarize, or an option could exist for others to summarize for
> > them.
> > > c) Some sort of voting activity takes place, either within the
> > system
> > > or outside of it, and an alternative (aka idea) is promoted to
> > > the level of "answer". At that point, it goes way up to the
> > top.
> > > ALL of the questions it answers (since it may well be a
> > solution
> > > to more than one problem, move UNDER that item, under the
> > > heading "Why".
> > >
> > > Under each of those questions, in turn, come all of the
> > >alternatives
> > > that were considered, as well as the reasoning surrounding the
> > > eventual selection.
> > I haven't thought about the question-answer structure here, but voting
> > is
> > definitely important. To be honest, I would explore the possibilities
> > of a
> > less structured discussion then one where nodes are labeled as
> > questions/answers. Then again, the question/answer division might be
> > very
> > natural and easy to implement.
> >From another post, I argue that it is important to allow structures with
> no typing
> at all -- the classical outline structure. But it should also be
> possible to add those
> types in proactively or retroactively.
> > The ultimate goal as I see it is the creation of a "Collaborative
> > Rewritable Document Editor".
> > We've got code reuse, but not text reuse. So much time is wasted by
> > scientists and journalists all over the place on simply rewriting what
> > has
> > been said before them. Wouldn't it be nice if people were able to
> > settle
> > on an accepted description of a certain issue, and then refer back to
> > it,
> > rather then rewriting the material. This would create symbolism on a
> > higher lever then just words. Paragraphs would come to be reusable
> > tokens. If someone thinks that they could say it better, then they
> > could
> > try, and then people could vote on which version they like. Ok, I
> > have
> > more to say on this issue, but I need time to gather my thoughts.
> > Maybe if
> > someone disagrees, it would help me to form a response.
> I think that is close to a good definition of the target. But it needs
> to carry
> 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
> 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
> started" would
> be the most important. Later on, the "8 things I keep forgetting how to
> do" would
> be the critical information. At an an advanced stage, the "6 things that
> only experts
> 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.
> Such ratings are context-dependent. My rating of a particular thing
> depends on
> my use for it. There are also "intrinsic ratings", but I'm not sure how
> to represent
> 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
> and a
> pencil-thin handle. It simply ain't gonna work. It's going to
> break, and
> 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.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Thu Sep 13 2001 - 04:28:03 PDT