[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

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

At 10:21 AM 4/23/2002 +0000, Murray Altheim wrote:
>Yes, this was what I'd come to last year, following some discussions
>with Eliot Kimber and others, ideas from Hytime, thoughts about
>Cortazar's "Hopscotch", Durrell's "The Alexandria Quartet", the
>movie "Magnolia", etc. and some gin-soaked arguments with a close
>friend over hypertext and non-linear fiction. Something is gelling.
>But I don't think characterizing that second view as "hierarchical"
>is quite right. One of the things quite obvious to us in "everyday"
>reality is that there's a *lot* of things going on simultaneously.
>I think a truly representational hypertext system (and the systems
>that store such content) should be able to represent the richness
>of that everyday reality. Like Hytime, it should be able to contain
>more than one dimension, and register events along any of those
>dimensions. Events should be able to overlap in any dimension, say,
>time and space, just like everyday reality. If one were designing
>an outliner (or an outlining representation language), this level
>of potential overlap would be necessary, or the system fails as you
>say to be sufficiently expressive.
>I don't know if I will be successful, but the idea with XSQM was to
>couple the topic (ie., subject) based view of content with an event
>based view. There would even be some interesting inferenced links
>between those two views. If one thinks of each node as an event
>(which I admit is a bit of a distortion) this even gets more
>interesting.    (01)

I am watching this and it occurs to me that this discussion is roaming 
awfully close to describing Ted Nelson's ZigZag http://xanadu.com/zigzag/
  and also at http://www.freesoftware.fsf.org/gzz/, an open source Java 
program based on the zigzag structure.    (02)

 From the gzz page:
"Zzstructure is a way of representing the structure of information. 
Compared with the previous ways, Zzstructure is very different, for example 
the concepts of 'file', 'folder' and 'application' are abandoned. Because 
of this a bit of fantasy, creativity and an ability to forget previous 
knowledge is needed in order to understand Zzstructure.
A Zzstructure structure consists of cells and dimensions. A cell is the 
basic unit of information of a Zzstructure structure. Cells containing 
related information can be connected with each other along dimensions, the 
number of which is unlimited. A Zzstructure structure is separate from its 
visualisation (= the way the data is presented on the screen), which means 
that a Zzstructure structure can have many visualisations designed for 
different purposes.
Even though a Zzstructure structure is separate from its visualisation, a 
Zzstructure structure is not separate from other Zzstructure structures. 
Every piece of information stored in a digital device using based on 
Zzstructure is in the same space: the same cells can be connected on 
several dimensions created for different structures. For example, the cells 
containing the names of one's relatives can be connected on dimensions 
created for a family tree structure, an address book structure and a photo 
album structure"    (03)

http://xanadu.com/zigzag/tutorial/ZZwelcome.html is a tutorial: "A half an 
hour that might change your life!"    (04)

You simply must read the tutorial and play with gzz; there is no way I can 
explain it other than with this visualization: imagine tiny cells of 
addressable information existing in a large container.  Then, imagine 
taking needle and thread and stitching together into a string (a 
dimension!) whatever cells you like.  Then imagine another dimension 
stitching together more cells (and some of those already captured in 
another dimension).  Do this for a while and you have a massive, 
multidimensional representation of whatever those cells are about.  Now, 
you need to pull views out of that space.  That's what the gzz interface 
does.  With visual tricks, it gives you an approximation of any 3 
dimensions you want to see at the same time.    (05)

Jack    (06)