Re: [unrev-II] Re: Towards an atomic data structure (Somuthinghappenedon the way to the forum)

From: Jack Park (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 14:10:56 PDT

  • Next message: Jon Winters: "Re: [unrev-II] BSD License?"

    Good questions, those.

    I don't favor anything. I am *biased* towards experimentation with WBI
    simply because Doug is. I don't recall saying that WBI is the solution. It
    is a candidate, a design point along a path, whatever.

    I am biased toward knowledge-centric thinking for two reasons: (1)we intend
    to build a DKR (read: Dynamic Knowledge Repository), and (2)that's the way I

    I also think Eugene gave a brilliant layout of his needs for an OHS, that
    thing connected to a DKR that users bang on to get stuff into and out of the
    DKR. There is an OSS Java PIM that uses XML as its storage medium. I would
    imagine that simply adding XLL to it would give it the linking ideas he
    spoke of, and you would be off with a prototype to play with and expand
    upon, heading towards that Version 1 we all dream about.

    In the end, things we don't talk about here, some of which Rod Welch already
    has running at his web site, must be pondered. One way or the other, they
    will be pondered.

    Firstly, we start with raw information. That's emails, journal papers,
    books, movies, diagrams, recorded spoken words, and so forth. Next, we must
    reduce that raw stuff down to filtered (read: interpreted in context) stuff.
    There is a whole literature out there on Information Retrieval, part of
    Knowledge Management. Here, we are talking about ways to build indexes into
    all that raw stuff. Indexes that make sense for all potential users, and
    that's the really hard part. If the primary categories in your world view
    are women, fire, and dangerous things, chances are that I'm not gonna come
    up with an indexing scheme to satisfy your needs. My world view spans,
    Newtonian and quantum mechanics, molecular biology, and lots more. Not sure
    how to map all that to women, or fire, or dangerous things. What is the
    point of a DKR if nobody can get into it?

    Following reduction, there is mapping to a representation system for machine
    inference. Do the reduction poorly and you don't do mapping at all.

    All this stuff about email vs web logs is pretty much surface level
    (implementation level) discussion that should never go on until you have all
    the requirements worked out. Eugene gave a series of scenarios that could
    easily lead to requirements for a prototype. What it will look like when
    implemented should not be on the discussion table (with such passion) at
    this time.

    In the end, Doug, as I recall, set out to get started on a machine that
    would enhance human productivity in knowledge related work. He took pains to
    outline global problems, like population, energy, environment, and so forth,
    and made it, at least IMHO, very clear that such a tool was of enormous
    value to our future. I happen to come from a background of believing the
    same thing. To design anything less, no matter what the first out the door
    version would look like, would be to completely ignore Doug's message. My
    experience with my program The Scholar's Companion tells me that I don't
    have to participate in the design of a first hack that prevents its own

    From: Eric Armstrong <>

    > Jack Park wrote:
    > >
    > > ... settling for what's doable is just liable to make it
    > > impossible to append what's hard on as an afterthought.
    > >
    > I would like to address that concern, if possible.
    > Can you give a functional view of a knowledge-based system
    > -- how it would act / what it would do / how you or I would
    > interact with it, or possibly an internal view of a design?
    > Or is this something that the group will need to explore,
    > investigate, and define?
    > If the former, I feel confident that we can take those issues
    > into account while doing the design, and we should schedule
    > a session to cover that ground, to make sure that we do.
    > If the latter, I'm not sure that we, as a group, have that
    > luxury. The group may decide that it wants to pursue that avenue.
    > I'm sure it would be valuable. But my understanding of the
    > present series of meetings was that it is focused on building
    > a relatively immediate "next step" so that remote participants
    > can take part in the design and discussions revolving around
    > the next version.
    > [Note:
    > I find myself arguing both sides of the case, here. With WBI,
    > I argue that it will be insufficiently robust, and with respect
    > to knowledge management, I argue that it may open up the design
    > space too far. So either I am inconsistent, or I am reaching
    > for a reasonable middle ground. On the other hand, I see you
    > favoring both WBI and knowledge-centered design. Do you see
    > a potential connection between these two?

    You have a voice mail message waiting for you at

    Community email addresses:
      Post message:
      List owner:

    Shortcut URL to this page:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 04 2000 - 14:17:14 PDT