[unrev-II] More on GZigZag

From: Jack Park (jackpark@verticalnet.com)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 08:06:59 PST

  • Next message: N. C a r r o l l: "Re: [unrev-II] More on GZigZag"

    I believe I have mentioned Ted Nelson's ZigZag before. I may even have
    mentioned that there exists a GNU Java implementation called gZigZag at
    Sourceforge. I now revisit gzz by noting this url:
    http://www.gzigzag.org/nutshell.html <http://www.gzigzag.org/nutshell.html>
    The project is maturing. I strongly recommend downloading the latest
    version, booting it, and becoming thoroughly confused over a completely
    different way to visualize high-dimensional information spaces. Here's a
    couple of paragraphs from the nutshell page.
    "ZigZag is a way of representing the structure of information. Compared with
    the previous ways, ZigZag is very different, for example the concepts of
    'file', 'folder' and 'application' are abandoned. Because of this a bit of
    fantasy, creativity and an ability to forget previous knowledge is needed in
    order to understand ZigZag.

    A ZigZag structure consists of cells and dimensions. A cell is the basic
    unit of information of a ZigZag structure. Cells containing related
    information are connected with each other along dimensions, the number of
    which is infinite. A ZigZag structure is separate from its visualisation (=
    the way the data is presented on the screen), which means that a ZigZag
    structure can have many visualisations designed for different purposes.

    Even though a ZigZag structure is separate from its visualisation, a ZigZag
    structure is not separate from other ZigZag structures. Every piece of
    information stored in a digital device using based on ZigZag is in the same
    space: the same cells can be connected on several dimensions created for
    different structures. For example, the cells containing the names of one's
    relatives can be connected on dimensions created for a family tree
    structure, an address book structure and a photo album structure."

    Of primary interest to an OHS is the idea that an information cell need not
    be cloned into several places for different views. Rather, one cell can be
    a member of an infinite number of 'threaded' views. That way, only one cell
    ever exists for a particular concept, and that lone cell, once modified, is
    immediately available to all views which would use it.

    I confess, it'll be a long time before I understand how to use gzz, but the
    idea makes sense.


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