[unrev-II] For Discussion: Early OHS development candidate vector

From: Doug Engelbart - Bootstrap Institute (doug@bootstrap.org)
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 15:04:00 PDT

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    (Note: Originally submitted 5 Apr; something didn't work.)


       I keep returning to this "vector" again and again, and decided that it is
       important to me as possibly the best course we could take. So let me
       describe it; and then we can talk about it.

       It would defer until later some basic, and ultimately critical, parts of the
       OHS Tool System Architecture -- e.g., integrated editing and multi-class
       UIS. But it would have high immediate utility, and provide unique usage
       experience to many "outside users," and especially to categories of web
       users we'll want to have become seriously involved in subsequent


       Heavy involvement of IBM's WBI (Beb-Based Intermediary)

       1. Assume basic operational mode ...

          1A. URLs targeted toward designated files would be intercepted by WBI

             Likely have extended syntax to these "URLs" -- see below.

          1B. WBI retrieves the designated file from the designated server

          1C. WBI "transcodes" the designated file into the transcoded-file form
          which the user's browswer can access and display.

             Simple step -- if designated file is HTML, then the transcoding
             employs reproducible algorithm to affix "purple numbers" as
             target-tags-on, and links-to each paragraph ("label/link tags").

                Every time this file goes through this retrieval and transcoding
                process, it will have the same label/link tags affixed to the same
                paragraphs, so that e.g. "#5B" on a user-transmitted URL would
                always position her browser window to the same "5B-labelled"

             Added nicety -- INDIRECT LINKING: Special syntax on the initial URL
             indicates, "go to position X in File Y, pick up the link there, then
             do the above transcoding on that URL's designated file."

             Serious "OTHER-FILE LINKING" -- where the designated file is not one
             which the browser can position or display. E.g., "native file forms"
             of MS Word, Lotus Notes, ..., or especially software source-code,
             requirements, specifications, status reports, user guides, etc.

                The transcoding produces specialy structured and formatted HTML
                (likely later extended into XML), with label/link additions.

             Then, when files are transcoded into browser-readable form, the
             transcoder would provide optional, additional "deliverable"
             alterations to the content (and formatting/structuring) to create any
             special "views."

                Considerable "co-evolution" here, exploring optional ways to do the
                structuring, formatting and viewing.

          1D. WBI sends the transcoded file to the user's browser to satisfy the
          location/view specs held in the (extended-syntax) URL.

       2. Staged goals:

          2A. First, to get addressable label/link tags installed in our own
          DKR-web email and docs.

          2B. Then, general web documents -- so we can begin usefully to cite
          specific passages in anybody's web pages.

          2C. Then begin providing useful view options in our DKR email and docs
          -- and on "out" to anybody's web pages..

          2D. Then pick a target software-development environment: source-code
          language? Likely trial-user communities?

          2E. In collaboration with trial-user community, establish and implement
          initial set of transcoding specs for project source code, requirements,
          specs, project status reports, relevant email dialog, user docs, ...
          toward a trial prototype software-development environment.

             NOTE: Of special potential, for a targeted user communities, would be
             a/the Open-Source OHS-Developer Community.

          2F. During all of this, establish a healthy set of user representatives
          as active stakeholders in the co-evolution of human- and tool-system

       3. Somewhere in the above sequence, develop at least the framework for an
       OHS architecture which would enable the integrated editing and other
       whole-system operation.

          As funding and participatory interest emerge, the above sequence would be
          modified appropriately.

    AND ... ***********

       This is all open for discussion; plus, there are interesting partnering
       possibilities emerging with the Software Productiviey Consortium. And, ...
       what companies/agencies/societies might be interested collaborators?
       OpenGroup? ACM?


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