Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal (Formality Harmful)

From: Simon Buckingham Shum (
Date: Mon Sep 17 2001 - 08:50:04 PDT

  • Next message: Alex Shapiro: "Re: IRe: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal"

    Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal (Formalit

    At 12:36 AM -0700 9/17/01, Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
    A few words on the methodology I've been experimenting with.  It's very

    1. People discuss things in an unstructured fashion -- e-mail, newsgroups,
       web forums, whatever.

    2. One or more moderators build a dialog map of the discussion, with
       granular links to the original discourse.

    3. Partipants frequently check the dialog map, and have the option of
       commenting on it in their unstructured forums or even in the dialog map

    this looks extremely interesting work

    the key feature is that your IBIS/graphical representation is post hoc. You are investing intellectual effort after the event to edit and distill. Naturally, this is valuable in itself, and from what you claim, even more so in visual form.

    I guess a key challenge is whether visual discourse works when 'normal' people do it, or whether it sinks under the weight of individual variations in node classification styles, node granularity, node naming and cross links. If only specialists can do it, it won't scale to the masses, but be more of an advanced tool for knowledge curators.

    This is precisely the challenge that we have set ourselves in the ScholOnto (Scholarly Ontologies) project, in an early state of dev. []

    As Eric noted, I've been using QuestMap primarily.  I've also experimented
    extensively with Nexist, and I wrote some conversion tools in Perl, which
    allowed me to tinker with an underlying data model for IBIS.  Eric also
    posted some design notes several months ago, which I found very useful.

    Based on my experiences with IBIS, the existing tools, and my methodology
    experiments, I've started to put together a design for a collaboration
    tool to support this structured/unstructured form of dialog.  My first
    step will be to build a set of Java classes that implements an underlying
    IBIS data model.  I plan on using these classes to build my own dialog
    mapping tool, but I hope that others will find it useful as well.  For
    instance, I have some thoughts on how to integrate Alex's TouchGraph with
    these classes, but he will probably have a clearer idea on how this could
    be done, and he'd be free to use my library to demonstrate this.  The more
    people who play with the classes, the better the APIs will become.

    A Java descendant and augmentation of QuestMap exists, closely mimicking its interface and designed to handle its exports, codenamed Mifflin (as described in some of the Compendium papers*. This is currently owned by Verizon, but open source release is being considered. If you are interested in it please mail me with subject line Mifflin, and I'll keep you posted if it's released. An indication of the demand for it could help a decision!


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