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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] What's a HyperScope?

(I make this "homework post" in honor of something I read from
Nicholas Carroll.)    (01)

On Tue, 28 May 2002, Eric Armstrong wrote:    (02)

> I don't really understand it, so I'm hoping someone
> will explain it to me. Gently. Slowly.    (03)

Is it that you don't understand the document(s) describing it, or
that you don't understand why it is a worthwhile starting point?
Or are you making another point in the conversation by
demonstration?    (04)

This    (05)

  Draft OHS-Project Plan    (06)

seems fairly straightforward at describing the functional
aspects. My interpretation is that it's a tool for getting at
stuff and then making reference to it. _That's it_.    (07)

The complicated part is what is stuff and how do we make
reference to it. The "lightly modified" web browser gets access
to stuff by translating it to an intermediate format. It makes
reference to it with something like purple numbers.    (08)

Why do you want to do that? My own version of why is based on
Eric Drexler's discussion at the Foresight Institute. Some of
that here:    (09)

  Enhancing Knowledge Creation    (010)

especially this part    (011)

  A Knowledge Enhancement System    (012)

I compiled that information long before I got on this list...    (013)

> In the meantime, all you hackers out there should
> know: That's the specification.    (014)

Given that I see two primary (accessible) tasks:    (015)

- a format translation engine
  - * -> (generic XML format)
  - suitable for translation to XHTML for display
- a purple number registry
  - display any document with purple references
  - use a database of URLs and last modified time to invalidate
    generated purple numbers, as necessary    (016)

Semi-functional prototypes of these things could be done in CGIs
and be valuable tools in that form.    (017)

> It's the only one we've got, so go forth and multiply.
> Meanwhile, will the powers that be please resolve
> the licensing issues so the hacker guys can start
> contributing code.    (018)

I take it to be resolved:    (019)

  Bootstrap and Licensing (from Doug)    (020)

but perhaps that is because I prefer the GPL?    (021)

> Maybe when I use it I'll understand it, and then
> I'll change my mind and like it.    (022)

Something that may be missing is that we frequently approach
tools hoping that it will allow us to continue our existing
habits and have some gain as a result. I think in this case we
need to change our habits at least as much as the tools.    (023)

For example, when I find the energy to do it, making reference by
purple number helps to put me in context and I think, but have no
confirmation (anyone?), that it helps the reader.    (024)

> In the meantime, *anything* is a step forward.
> It's like we're in a circle with our backs to one
> another. Any direction we choose becomes "forward",
> so let's go with the HyperScope.    (025)

I agree.    (026)

> What is it, anyway??    (027)

Did this do any of what you wanted, whatever that may have been?    (028)

Chris Dent  <cdent@burningchrome.com>  http://www.burningchrome.com/~cdent/
"Mediocrities everywhere--now and to come--I absolve you all! Amen!"
 -Salieri, in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus    (029)