-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal
Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2001 14:14:43 -0700
From: Eric Armstrong <email@example.com>
You're there, Jack. You have arrived.The target is a system that
a) Is as easy and comfortable to use as email.
b) Is as browsable and well-organized as well-crafted web pages.
How does that happen? The answer, I believe, is what I have been
calling "maleable archives". The old discussions are still around, and
can even be viewed chronologically, if desired. But the bedrock of the
system is an archive in which decisions and useful information, instead
of being buried at the bottom of a thread, are hoisted to the top.
I see several ways for that hoisting to occur:
a) In any series of sibling nodes, the highest-rated comes first.
So if we have 3 alternatives to a question, the one that is most
well-liked comes to the fore. Or, if there are 3 questions, the
one that most important questions (as determined by ratings)
b) Summary-attempts *replace* the threads they summarize in
the hierarchy. The previous material is subsumed under the
summary. That summary may be amended directly, or a
counter-summary may be offered. In that scenario, a summary
is always an "alternative" or "idea" that permits other items
to live in parallel.
c) Some sort of voting activity takes place, either within the system
or outside of it, and an alternative (aka idea) is promoted to
the level of "answer". At that point, it goes way up to the top.
ALL of the questions it answers (since it may well be a solution
to more than one problem, move UNDER that item, under the
Under each of those questions, in turn, come all of the
that were considered, as well as the reasoning surrounding the
Each of these operations has slightly different benefits:
a) Ratings move important/useful/well-regarded material to the front,
where it is more easily found. It also helps to narrow your search
when time is limited.
b) Summaries allow for more readable, better-organized synopses,
which improve the browsing experience. (For example, when you
are catching up on a group's activity.)
c) Promotions simplify the top level of the hierarchy, so that what
known/what has been decided is right at the top. But the answer
to the all-important WHY is still available, along with all of
alternatives that were considered -- and that is information
that NO current design methodology captures adequately!
(Thatnls for your post, Jack. It brought the items above in a clearer
focus than they've ever had for me.)
Jack Park wrote:
> I have a confession to make.
> I have a login password for Bernard's web site. I have yet to use
> it. Why? Because I am lazy. It is far easier to hit NewMessage in
> and type "unrev" and then ship off some gem, than it is to fire up my
> browser, type in enough of a url to get the browser to remember where
> want to go, then log in, then navigate to some appropriate page, then
> up some gem. Eric Armstrong has been right all along: email is
> But, email is far less useful in a couple of senses: it's not well
> organized (in contrast to a well-designed web site as is Bernard's),
> and it
> tends to allow rambling, which, I think, calls for some structure, as
> example IBIS provides. But then, try to put IBIS threads into email
> you lose the structure of the discussion; web sites are better for
> that. So, I conclude, email is easier and for those of us of the lazy
> persuasion, better. But, I also conclude that, for purposes of
> coherence in discussion and knowledge space, web sites, particularly
> designed as knowledge portals like Bernards, are better. Go figure.
> What would I like to see come out of this? How about something along
> lines of a Wiki in the sense that folks can easily jump in and add
> to some web page, but, at the same time, those comments are framed
> into an
> email to be shipped off to some favored email list. Oh gads! What a
> kluge. How about a Wiki that accepts emails and knows how to install
> them? Probably another kluge. Oh my! How 'bout banning email! What
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Sep 12 2001 - 15:29:12 PDT