Re: [unrev-II] multiple hierarchies + visual newsgroups

From: Jack Park (
Date: Wed Aug 22 2001 - 21:20:16 PDT

  • Next message: Peter Jones: "Re: [unrev-II] multiple hierarchies + visual newsgroups"

    Every once in a while, somebody lays a great idea out before this
    group. Eric Armstrong started it all with IBIS. Now, TouchGraph. I
    believe that all readers of this list should go play with TouchGraph, and
    download it, as I just did.

    At 09:52 PM 8/22/2001 -0400, you wrote:
    >Hi, my name is Alex Shapiro, and I am very interested in the evolution of
    >hypertext, and computer-based mediums of interaction in general.
    >I've read the thread on Malleable Archives, and the one about Taxonomies
    >and TopicMaps, and have a response that is vaguely relevant to both issues.
    >(Funny, as I type this, my spell-checker tells me that the correct spelling
    >for "Maleable" is "Malleable", supporting the notion that the author should
    >be able to go back and alter his/her messages).
    >I am developing some software (opensource), which can bee seen at
    > whose eventual goal is to be used for browsing
    >multiple hierarchies, and associative networks. Currently, it is just a
    >nice graph layout applet, and another for organizing links, but in a few
    >months the underlying structure will be completed, and rapid development of
    >features should be possible.
    >The technology of easily browsable and editable associative networks will
    >make possible the creation of visual newsgroups. I envision such a
    >newsgroup as a network of nodes, where posting a message will consists of
    >adding a node to the network. The advantage of this type of format for
    >discussion, is that related messages can be placed next to each
    >other. Whereas conventional newsgroups already achieve such adjacency with
    >threads, they have the disadvantage that old threads get forgotten about,
    >or not read by new members. In a visual newsgroup, however, one should be
    >able to bring old threads back into focus by adding a link from current
    >messages to the old ones. In fact, adding links rather then posting new
    >messages could be another way of contributing to the discussion. Along the
    >same lines, one would no longer be constrained to responding to just a
    >single message. One could chose to simultaneously respond to multiple
    >messages thus bringing the messages responded to closes together. Some
    >experimentation with this idea using TouchGraph technology can already be
    >seen at
    >Speaking of taxonomies, I think that a type of taxonomy that has been
    >largely ignored is that of hierarchies with multiple inheritance (or
    >multiple hierarchies). It seems that a lot of information could benefit
    >from being organized into multiple hierarchies. For instance, look at the
    >leaf-most categories in the open directory project. Often we find lists of
    >links containing over 200 items. Yet splitting these items into
    >subcategories would be impossible without making subjective choices. The
    >best solution, would be to offer the user multiple options as to how they
    >want to divide the items. That way one could narrow one's search to a much
    >more manageable set of 10 items or so.

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