[unrev-II] Letter to support open source release of Mifflin IBIS tool

From: Simon Buckingham Shum (sbs@acm.org)
Date: Wed Sep 26 2001 - 11:17:09 PDT

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    Compendium Institute

    Dear Colleague,

    As you may know, members of the Compendium Institute have been
    developing a hypertext concept mapping tool that supports IBIS-style
    issue/argument mapping. The system, codenamed Mifflin, is written in
    Java, and currently uses an Access database, running on Windows. It
    is descended from and compatible with the QuestMap product that you
    may already use [http://www.gdss.com/omq/aboutQM.htm].

    For historical reasons Mifflin has been developed at and is owned by
    Verizon, USA), although the design effort has drawn in recent years
    on the wider membership of Compendium users. We are now making the
    case to Verizon that the release of Mifflin on an open source basis
    is the most powerful way to see it developed.

    As someone active in knowledge management, dialog mapping,
    argumentation, concept mapping, or some other area that has a
    connection to this, we would like to invite you to be a signatory to
    the letter below, to strengthen our case that Mifflin is of interest
    to a wide spectrum of users who would like to take it further. Maybe
    you're already trying to build an IBIS-style concept mapping
    environment. Or you can find immediate application for it. Or can see
    useful extensions/customizations.


        * Please reply to this and send Simon with your
          Name (Position, Affiliation) if you would to be a signatory

        * If you're willing also to write a letter of support expanding
          on applications/visions for the tool, then please also do so and
          send Simon a PDF (just a single page please!).

    Please forward to any colleagues who may be interested.


    Albert Selvin (Verizon eBusiness, USA)
    Simon Buckingham Shum (Knowledge Media Institute, Open Univ, UK)



    To (Verizon Management)

    I have been working with Albert Selvin, Verizon eBusiness Technical
    Group Leader, since 1998, on the Compendium approach to meeting
    capture and business requirements analysis. As a researcher in
    knowledge management and knowledge technologies, I regard the work
    that he has been doing as unique within the field, and am delighted
    that it is now being recognised more widely.

    The Compendium approach is based around a hypertext system that Al's
    team has developed in recent years, codenamed Mifflin. This enables
    teams to capture their ideas and discussions in a visual, hyperlinked
    medium. There are now many research groups who would like to use
    this, and extend it further. Some are developing their own tools, but
    this effort is simply duplicating what Mifflin already does. Mifflin
    is robust, and its design and implementation make it an attractive
    platform for many exciting new applications.

    You will be familiar with the concept of Open Source software as an
    internet-centric approach to developing promising new software. made
    most famous by the Linux operating system. Software given away,
    extended and re-released by a community committed to it.

    I, and the undersigned international colleagues, are writing to
    strongly support the idea of releasing Mifflin for free download over
    the internet, plus the Java code on an open source license.

    We would urge you to seriously consider this as the most creative and
    powerful way to see Mifflin evolve in the future.


    Simon Buckingham Shum (Lecturer, Knowledge Media Institute, Open Univ., UK)

    The undersigned plan to use/extend Mifflin should it be released on
    an open source basis:

    <your name here!>

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