[unrev-II] Re: Categories -- a Specification

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@sun.com)
Date: Wed Sep 26 2001 - 15:32:56 PDT

  • Next message: Alex Shapiro: "[unrev-II] Farscinating"

    Hey, Alex.

    Traction definitely got the interface and functionality right wrt
    Much of my observation came out of a demo I was given on the system.

    One interface aspect that should be in some of the pictures is that
    the categories are shown as a linear list, in a light blue (pastel)
    to the right of each paragraph. That makes the categorizations
    visible, but the use of a pastel color puts them more in the background.

    Categorizing an entry in the system constitutes a "change", and every
    user of the system sees the result. That makes it possible for me to
    categorize a thing, and someone else's search for things of that type
    suddenly makes it show up. (Something that could be very powerful
    with topic maps.)

    In a mediated interactive FAQ, for example, you could ask a question
    that the system doesn't know how to answer. As a mediator capable
    of understanding your question, I could add categories to existing
    material, rerun your query, and deliver the new material. The advantage
    would be that in the future, similar queries would be automatically

    When changing the structure of the categories themselves, Traction
    produced a list of all entries that had the old category, and let you
    select the items which would fall in the new category. The demo I
    saw was this:
       * You decide to change the ToDo category to Bug/ToFix and
          Enhancement/ToImplement, as part of a larger hierarchy that
          contains Bug/Done, Enhancement/ToEvaluate,
          Enhancement/Deferred, and Enhancement/Done.

       * You go into the system and tell the system to rename ToDo to

       * The system shows you a list of all entries with the ToDo category.
          You can start with them all off, and select the ones you want to
          change. Or you can start with them all selected, and deselect ones

          that shouldn't change.

       * You carry out the transition to Bug/ToFix, and then rename the
           remainder to Enhancement/ToEvaluate. When the last ToDo
           item is recategorized, you retire that category.

    Finally, Traction maintained an audit trail of the changes you made in
    that process. You look at the change history to see what changes
    were made to the categories, which entries were affected as a
    result, and who made the changes.

    In short, it was beautifully done. The foregoing summary of their
    work constitutes a feature/requirements specification for
    in my view. Basically, they did it right.

    Now if I could just get Traction integrated with Mifflin integrated with

    Topic Maps integrated with...

    Alex Shapiro wrote:

    > Hi Eric,
    > I've been reading up on traction, and it seems pretty cool. In fact,
    > it
    > seems pretty close to what I have in mind as a fist stage for visual
    > forums. (With change logging as a big bonus)
    > All I've been able to find out about it though, is this article:
    > http://www.welchco.com/04/00067/60/00/04/1401.HTM, and another saying
    > basically the same thing.
    > Are there any pictures of the interface available? The site
    > http://www.twisted-systems.com/ is password protected. ... is there a
    > guest
    > account?
    > Thanks
    > --Alex
    > At 02:10 PM 9/26/01 -0700, Eric Armstrong wrote:
    > >"Faceted classification" was simply known as "categorization" in
    > >Traction.
    > >We've had categorization as a requirement for a long time.
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