[unrev-II] Categories and Versions

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@eng.sun.com)
Date: Thu Nov 02 2000 - 18:40:28 PST

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    The issue of versions continues to complicate
    the node hierarchy beyond all reason. If the
    issues are resolvable, the resulting system
    will be golden, but...

    Today's thought question is:
      If we want categories, and we want versioning,
      how do categories interact with versioning?

    In particular:
      * Does changing the category on a node
        count as a change on the document it is in
        (i.e. a new version)? (It seems likely.)

      * But what if the category is merely renamed,
        for example from "ToDo" to "Action Item"?
        Do we mark every document that contains
        one of those as changed? (probably not)

      * But do we then mark the list of categories
        as having changed, so the changes can be
        seen? (Probably, so.)

      * But that implies the existence of two different
        versioning mechanisms: one for the node structures
        that comprise documents, and one for those that
        comprise categories.

      * It's a bit much to have two independent
        versioning systems in the same kernel. Should
        categories therefore be *excluded* from the
        kernel, and therefore implemented in the outer
        system? Such a system would then use one copy
        of the kernel for document nodes, and another
        copy for category nodes, and then tie those
        systems together in some way. Does that make

      * BTW: I need a word. The word "kernel" is
        wonderfully descriptive for the seed, the
        foundation on which larger systems can be
        built. But is there a word for the system
        that is built around the kernel? I've been
        using the "outer system" or "surrounding
        system". That sucks, though. Anyone got
        anything better?

      * For an even more interesting problem, what happens
        when a category is split in two, so that
        "ToDo" becomes "Bug:Open" &/or "Feature:Open".
        How are those changes versioned? (Traction
        solved this problem. So it is solvable. But

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