Re: [unrev-II] TopicMaps, Ted Nelson, Virtual Files, and everything

From: John J. Deneen (
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 09:51:05 PDT

  • Next message: Henry van Eyken: "Re: [unrev-II] Random thoughts on MS, OHS, and everything"

    I couldn't find anything about NODAL from a google search, so where can
    I get more info ?

    Jack Park wrote:

    > Interesting post, Lee. Why do you think you need anyone's permission
    > to
    > offer up a conjecture?
    > I have a few comments interspersed below.
    > Jack
    > At 04:05 PM 5/30/2001 -0700, you wrote:
    > >In message <>, Jack Park
    > writes:
    > > > [some deleted]
    > ><snippage>
    > > >DocBook would nolonger be comprised of imbedded tags. Rather, it
    > would be
    > > >an "above the document" series of URIs into a rich information
    > > >space. Parsable as a DocBook document, but now, given the ability
    > to let
    > > >the URIs (tumblers?) pass through a grove engine, one now has the
    > > >capability of universal multimedia document generation, complete
    > with
    > > >reusable components.
    > >
    > >I'm with you entirely on this one. Another way of phrasing it would
    > >be to suggest that we have a soup of completely reusable components
    > >(nodes) which are organized using a small number of very simple
    > >primitives into an arbitrarily interconnected graph of nodes.
    > >Edges in the graph may be references to either local or remote
    > >objects, as long as every potential object has an easily derived
    > >external address (a URI). Information objects are then delivered
    > >outside the system by serializing views (Doug's term, the same as
    > >Ted's virtual file) using a variety of serialization algorithms each
    > >of which corresponds to some external document format (e.g. HTML, MS
    > >Word, GIF and JPEG images, ...). These documents only actually exist
    > >as serializations produced from various views of the interconnected
    > >node databases. Sounds like NODAL!
    > Well, it *is* NODAL!
    > > >Of course, one needs a mechanism to view (and edit) such an
    > enormous,
    > > >heterogeneous information space. Ted gave a great demonstration of
    > his
    > > >ZigZag technology that allows individual information-bearing nodes
    > to be
    > > >wired together, just as beads on a string, and wired into as many
    > > >dimensions of information one wishes. One node, many views. An
    > open
    > > >source version of ZigZag is available at
    > I
    > > >am persuaded to suspect that an application of the ZigZag idea
    > merits
    > > >consideration in just about any knowledge project in which one
    > might be
    > > >involved, including Doug Engelbart's own Open Hyperdocument System
    > > >(
    > >
    > >I wasn't particularly impressed with ZigZag, since it didn't seem to
    > >give me anything that I couldn't get with generic (and
    > >well-understood!) graph structures and algorithms. Ted's search for
    > >"revolutionary" data structures seems to be too much of a barrier for
    > >most programmers, let alone the users of his systems.
    > It's just the image I conjure up. You have this enormous (indexed)
    > space
    > of objects, some of which can include tags (e.g. <birthday
    > name="joey">...</birthday>. In general, you stitch them together into
    > graph structures as needed -- Doug's view engine. ZigZag just happens
    > to
    > be one engine that, while the vocabulary used to discuss it is hard to
    > embrace, does something like what I am describing. I am not sure that
    > one
    > needs ZigZag, but one needs, in theory, the ability to roam about in
    > an
    > indexed space, grab objects, and stitch them up into a structure for
    > presentation as needed. One also needs the ability to create nodes
    > within
    > the structure that, themselves, can be returned to the object pool.
    > ZigZag
    > offers an engine that allows stitching, viewing, creating, and
    > editing.
    > ><snip>
    > >I'm not entirely convinced that all structure wants to be "above the
    > >information" . I'd suggest that useful information has inherent
    > >structure. The real issue is the flexibility of the structural
    > >building blocks and the ability to reference and reuse this
    > structured
    > >information with a variety of higher-level structures. In order to
    > >reuse a birthday, I want to maintain the fact that it is So-and-so's
    > >birthday, no matter what the context that nugget is being used in.
    > See my comment above.
    > >So, with your permission, I'd say that the real failure of current
    > >systems is that the only level of reusable structure "above the
    > >information" is the document. That is just way too coarse.
    > Agreed.
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > >----
    > >Lee Iverson SRI International
    > > 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park CA
    > 94025
    > > (650) 859-3307
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Jun 06 2001 - 10:03:42 PDT