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[ba-ohs-talk] Node Sequencing [Was: **** Instant Outlining !!! ***]

Eric et al,    (01)

I've already started an analysis of OPML and have taken a DTD
written by Wayne Steele, fixed some bugs and came up with some
improvements that I think are in two camps: (a) necessary for
OPML to be truly useful beyond its somewhat "proprietary"
current usage (though the spec is admittedly open), and (b)
recommended. I'm trying to figure out how to participate in
the OPML design process without joining Yahoo Groups, since I
won't encourage getting spammed ad infinitum by giving them
my email address.    (02)

Right after working on the XTM DTD I began looking at what I
thought was the next requirement to enable Ceryle up and running
as an authoring tool. Topic Maps provided a subject-based view
of nodes, but "obviously" for text or hypertext one needed a
linear or thread-based view. I wrote up a DTD last spring called
the Sequence Markup Language (SeqML), which essentially allowed
a Hytime-like sequencing of nodes, with spawnable threads across
one dimension of time, or whatever dimension the author wanted to
consider as the organizing principle of their text. It occurs to
me that Ceryle's roots go back probably five or six years now,
at least as far back as when I met Eliot Kimber and he blew my
mind with some cool ideas.    (03)

I was trying to figure out how to add multiple dimensions (ala
Hytime) when I gave up to concentrate on other things (I think
about that era I got transferred into JavaSoft).    (04)

Anyway, in looking at OPML I see something similar, though there's
a lot of (probably necessary) presentational dross there. OPML
has an <outline> element whose content is attribute-based, which I
think is really abusive of what is an "attribute", and problematic.
I'd recommend remaking that as element content so that it can
contain markup (I'd likely write up an XHTML+OPML DTD for this) or
do something similar to my earlier SeqML language by having the
<outline> element be a link to a content-bearing node. This latter
idea *really* opens up OPML as a possible organizing outline for
something like NODAL's nodes.    (05)

This is my current take on OPML, so if the OPML developers aren't
interested in my changes (or are already too locked into their
current language to make any) then I'll likely just resurrect
SeqML and use it instead. I'm guessing that if I have something
working in Ceryle with SeqML that as a proof of concept others
might then also be interested in it. [I was trying to get away
from the habit of designing markup languages in the shower, while
walking in the woods, etc. but it seems to be in the blood... :-)]    (06)

Eric Armstrong wrote:    (07)

> play machine wrote:
>>... a lack of expressive flexibility of all hierarchically
>>structured presentations, be they supported by tools
>>or not. It may sound trivial, but this exactly is the
>>reason why I don't like outliners. Not in NNTP, not in
>>Notes, and also not in Groove. They are too rigid:
>>just try to reassign a text snippet to another train
>>of thought.
> Absolutely correct. Full hierarchies fail in a lot of ways.
> For this, categories and more maleable node-graphs are
> required. A steamshovel is better than the manual version,
> too. But a hand shovel still beats the hell out of shoveling
> dirt with your hands.
>>There are also no simultaneous tracks
>>(crosspostings are strictly forbidden here), plain
>>trees only, no meshes, no rhizomes.
> Valid criticism about things that definitely need to be addressed.
> However, there will always be two ways to look at the
> content in such a system. One is TouchGraph / Tinderbox
> mechanism, with graphs. The other will be a hierchical
> projection of the underlying data. I suspect that the interface
> in use here -- with the potential for collaborative sharing --
> will remain in use, even when deeper semantics are implemented
> underneath.    (08)

Murray    (09)

Murray Altheim                  <http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/murray/>
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK    (010)

      In the evening
      The rice leaves in the garden
      Rustle in the autumn wind
      That blows through my reed hut.  -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu    (011)