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[ba-unrev-talk] Response from ADM to Eric Armstrongs review of our product.

Hi there,

Thank you *very*much for the encouraging yet appropriatelty critical review of ADM below. 

Your suggestion - and that of Eugene - for incorporating xml into version 2.0 will be discussed with my partner Arne, who is also the CTO of our company, (he may already have planned for it) when I reach Vancouver later this week.

I will interpolate responses to your other remarks below.


By the way, thank you for the demo you gave of your system the other
day. I have a lengthy review to post one day, but for now I'll try to hit the

ADM is clearly "more than an outliner". It looks like:
a) A great web browser that promotes "bookmarks" to first-class
citizens, making them outline-entries that can be easily copied and

===== Agreed.  Marking and accessing all data types including urls is a key element in adm.

In addition:
b) It's an authoring tool
c) Pages can be annotated with additional information.
d) You can link to other outline structures, which makes easier to
"graft on" other structures.

===== all of above is correct from my perspective.  Moreover, the forthcoming addition in of linking to urls, files, and topics in the pages (currently only the topics accept links); and the addition of multiple windowing, together with ability to emulate webpage type styles in the pages, will *greatly* augment the authoring and datasharing capabilities in version 2.0

However, to my mind it falls short of being a "knowledge management
desktop", because there did not appear to be any good way to import the
*collective* wisdom of the group -- or more importantly, the collective wisdom of the
global web community.

For example, the ability to annotate pages has tremendous potential for
adding Amazon-style ratings. But unless I can find all such entries, made by
anyone who visited that page (using backlinks), then I can never get a complete
picture of what others are thinking. (Given such capabilities, the next step
would be to merge the rankings, Amazon-style, but a google-style backlink-server
would be a minimum necessary condition for that capability.)

====== I will discuss this idea with Arne.

The system we looked at (and the upcoming version we discussed) had two
other notable limitations, as well: a) A proprietary, binary data format for the outline structures. More than anything else, this choice will limit wide-spread adoption,
because the structures will be neither as easily readable or as readily
constructable as HTML or XML documents. (I hope, therefore, that
you are considering switching to an XML format, in future.)

======  Yes, this is an option I will discuss with Arne.

b) A windows-only implementation.
A "reference implementation" is needed that the open source folks
can utilize and extend on a variety of platforms -- because *no* web
based solution can hope to achieve ubiquity if it only runs on a single
(And if multiple platform implementations must depend on a single
small company acquiring the resources to develop them, then I fear
that the effort is doomed from the outset.)

=====  Maybe not doomed.  We are very tenacious.  Also, logus notes and adobe are counter-examples of formats which have achieved widespread adoption.

Finally, a word on the interface. I was favorably impressed my much that
I saw, including the various mechanisms for acquiring entries and
shuffling them around.

===== Thank you.  I am personally very proud of the drag-and-drop capabilities for linking all file types and urls into adm datat structures.  A key upgrade in version 2.0 will be ability to also browse *all* file types in the internal adm browser, rather viwing only urls in the internal browser and needing to view other file types in their native applications.

Although I've never been a big fan of the Lotus-style 3-column
hierarchy implemented in the current version, I look forward to the collapsible

====== Slight correction to above:  There are currently 5 different dataviews - one, two, three panel, cards right for viewing documents and url's, and short-long two panel.  Also, as you note, a collapsable outliner will be added.  Moreover, the present `speed screens' have there own advantages in terms of *blazingly fast' construction and navigation of datastructures, unmatcheable by any tree or collapsable view.  This aspect has to be experienced with realworld tasks to appreciate just what an advantage it affords.  However, as the collapsable view has its own merits, in terms of juxtaposing different extended outline topic branches, and in terms of preparing linear reports, etc., we are definitely set to add this capability in version 2.0.

Unfortunately, as you are no doubt finding out, collabsible tree
components only allow for single-line entries, rather than multiple lines -- a
factor which more than any other has limited the functionality of any GUI-based
outlines which have been developed in the last couple of decades.

======  I'm not clear on what you mean by the above.   To my knowledge, our collabsable view will, like the current views, include multiple line viewing of any topic.  Have I missed something here?

Thanks again for your detailed feedback below.  I intend to share all of it with my associates.

Very Cordially, Eric Sommer, CEO, ADM


Advanced Data Management Systems
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