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

Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Document for Review

Eric and Henry,

Eric you wrote in response to Henry's comments on your document for review:
Granularity is in there. But I *really* liked your comment about
advertisers' possible objections!
I would also like to reinforce the concluding comment of Henry's, pointing exactly to what
I would like to comment on  after I  return to NYC on Monday. Henry wrote:
But, then again, your immediate concern is not with web-wide level of
co-operative work. However, it might be well, to keep such a future
extension in mind.
These kinds of co-operative/collaborative concerns are what Aldo de Moor and I have maintained
distinguish a Pragmatic Web from a (mere?) Semantic Web. He and I discussed this informally at ICCS
2001 in Palo Alto and, with Mary Keeler, wrote a paper, "Towards a Pragmatice Web," for ICCS 2002..


For a brief treatment of the theme of a Pragmatic Web, see this article (to which Aldo recently directed
me) by Munidar P. Singh,  Editor in Chief of IEEE Internet Computing.
More when I return.


PS Eric, thank you for your kind words regarding my loss. Tomorrow begins a long, sad car trip
to Greenville, SC.


Glad you took it well. I was a bit in a blue mood when I wrote my
response. So much to be done, so little time left for doing it.

At any rate, a major item in your original post (and in your posts way
back during the days of the colloquium) is granularity. Granularity in
all web pages extant is very much desired. I believe that
paragraph-level granularity is a good, practical goal. I am also
inclined to believe that commercial interests are (will be) against such
granularity in pages carrying advertising.

But, then again, your immediate concern is not with web-wide level of
co-operative work. However, it might be well, to keep such a future
extension in mind.


On Wed, 2003-01-08 at 16:19, Eric Armstrong wrote:
Hey, Henry.

Thanks for the post. I'm trying to get at basic infrastructure questions,
though, rather than large design concerns. I got caught up in the vision
myself, and list moved towards big-picture things.

But mostly I'm trying to enumerate the low-level infrastructure issues
that emerge when the rubber hits the road, and someone tries to code

Actually, one of the things I should have put on that list is time
synchronization. When updates are happening simultaneously at remote
locations, and the results are shared, "which happened first" becomes important.

(Note to Self: Examine the bread crumbs in the design document for other
low level issues.)

Henry K van Eyken wrote:


You are talking here about stuff dear to my heart, but it is so complex
I cannot just immediately respond in a satisfactory way - especially
because I am overloaded and my mind is getting slower while my body is
screaming to get me away from my desk.

I would want to tick off the points you raise in a media/educational
setting, which is something I would want Fleabyte to evolve into, but
which I am not likely to ever see.

Media, typically are close to one-way instruments, from emitter to
receiver. Oh yes, readers may write letters to editors, but it is the
editors who select what and how much of each letter received is printed.
In other words, the readers are under editorial control.

Schools to a little better. Students may ask questions, but even those
questions may be ignored or rephrased.

Eventually I shall have to produce an article outlining how Fleabyte
might move from being a webzine toward a collaborative tool. One
question is: who are doing the collaborating? Another: what is the depth
of that collaboration, the commitment involved. These questions ought be
posed in a well-defined context of which I perceive various stages.

Stage one is getting, evaluating, pruning information. We now have
search engines; we lack evaluation engines. And we haven't got
well-defined means of making individuals with their limited mental
capacity feel comfortable with an extensive body of machine-held
information. To make matters more complex, that body is dynamic with
information continually added, removed, altered in a way that any person
who exhibits this kind of a continually changing mind is considered
fickle, unreliable, undependable, and, hence, even unemployable!

Stage one would involve a moving feast of involved expertise, knowledge
workers with a sense of the future and a sense of how directions in
their field are potentially being deflected by projected developments
elsewhere. (Think of Doug's "frontier outpost" people as discussed
during the colloquium!)

A next stage would involve "spreading the word" to a critical mass of
decision-makers, which "at bottom" is the electorate, but which need
depend on either experts trusted by their elected representatives or
depend on digitally held expertise - a benign auto pilot.

Following that comes planning for action, the problem of alternatives,
levels of certainty, etc., all of which would lead into appropriate

I guess I have gone a little beyond the kind of cooperation people
normally think of when contemplating tools for collaboration. Really, we
are here in the domain of dynamic, coevolutionary collaboration. The
kind of stuff Doug is talking about.

Too bad he has not been getting the needed support.

Too bad, Fleabyte is likely to whither on the vine.

But, by all means, let's keep on dreaming and scheming.


The production of the

On Mon, 2003-01-06 at 18:10, Eric Armstrong wrote:
I've just published a document at my web site, entitled
Technical Impediments to Persistent Collaboration Tools.

I would appreciate feedback from you guys.

The document is an attempt to identify the set of necessary
infrastructure features that, by their absence, make it
difficult or impossible to develop usable collaboration tools.

Essentially, it's an "infrastructure wish list", and you folks are
admirably positioned to tell me what's missing from the list.