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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] new version of graph model paper posted

Alex Shapiro wrote:    (01)

> Not even a 2-D projection.  Written text is really a 1-Dimensional
> construction.  As I've written before, http://qwer.org/tglt.html , the
> experience of reading a document would not be much compromised if one had
> read the same information on a ticker tape.  (And a ticker tape is 1D)    (02)

The analogy given in the remainder of your post is an excellent thought
experiment. I agree that it aptly represents the *process* of reading.
(To make it even more accurate, I would imagine drawing with a tool
that was being followed by an eraser one inch away. Then the reader
would be trying to "build up" the picture as they go.    (03)

Or perhaps an even more accurate analogy would be looking at a large
portrait in a darkened room, with a highly-focused spotlight. You could
see a portion of the image, and as you moved it around, you could see
more -- and also move back or forward to visit other parts.    (04)

Of course, that analogy still leaves out the "presentation sequence" that
makes you think in terms of a single dimension. However, in terms of
accuracy, it makes sense to distinguish the "document" from the act of
"reading". (I don't know that it's an important distinction, but accuracy
tends to be valuable, so let's press on.)    (05)

A document consists of a linear sequence of words, and it also captures
notions of "containment" or "togetherness". The notion of hierarchy is
arguably another "dimension" captured by the document. Other relationships
exist, as well. For example, "a reference". If part of document A references
part of document B, then the "reference dimension" has a partial ordering
of A->B. (It's a full ordering if no references from B lead back to A,a
partial ordering otherwise.)    (06)

Interestingly, too, the act of seeing a picture is sequential, as well.
Experiments have shown that they eye darts around a picture, taking
small snapshots (like the flashlight in the dark room). The "picture"
then comes together in the mind. That's why it takes babies quite a
while to begin making sense out of what they see.    (07)

In some ways, the whole point of hypertext is to allow that kind of
"darting around" when reading, instead of being confined to a linear
presentation, in order to facilitate the ability to "put the picture together".    (08)

Again, I don't know that it makes it a lot of difference. But it seems clear
that the act of reading and the act of seeing are both one-dimensional
actions. But the things being viewed clearly have several dimensions.
Since color and time are dimensions, we are always looking at a 5
dimensional world, at a minimum.)    (09)