Starting at http://www.memes.net (my morning fix!)
I arrived at http://www.memes.net/index.php3?request=displaypage&NodeID=726
from which I navigated to http://interconnected.org/notes/hypertext.shtml
It turns out that interconnected.org appears to be run by a program called
DIRK, which, it appears, was created by Matt Webb. I am copying a fragment
of the last page here:
"1. No text is complete ^
There is no text that can be read without reference to other texts. A piece
of text is a foam of metaphors and implications. Reading is filling this in.
In difficult to understand texts, the references must be more explicit
(footnotes), but if these are not enough the reader will look for context.
In the situation of a page, references may be made by physical proximity.
A very incomplete text is one replete with references.
2. There is a whole graduation of links ^
Links between texts run along a scale of implicit to explicit. Normal texts
contain implicit links (or references, or metaphors); the register of the
voice of the writing is an implicit link. Www links are the crudest form of
explicit link. Other links made be made to paragraphs, entire documents, or
as citations. The placing of a text (in physical/www space, or in time as a
presentation) is an implicit link, or context.
It could be argued that a single tract of text is a mush of ideas,
implicitly linked by proximity.
Social conventions are massively important in referencing.
3. The node/arc model is insufficient ^
The node/arc model says that a piece of text is a node, and a reference is
a link. Links have no further attributes other than connecting two pieces
of text. (The node/arc model also has a place in UI, or in people
interactions, or in any kind of network -- it's a very powerful metaphor).
The node/arc model says that a node is given extra definition by the nodes
connected to it.
This model only works for links that are forks or branches -- abrupt and
explicit links. A text which builds a complex idea and implicitly
references another text with this idea is more a slow forking of the flow.
Texts can be closely links, or juxtaposed. Links are given context by the
text they're in and have meaning.
A different model could follow the reader who would explore textual links,
following idea branches, as if flowing down a river.
The www is the strongest adherent to the node/arc model, but the appearance
of the web to work like this is reinforced by the people building it using
this model internally. Really a single page could be seen as many many
nodes and arcs, tightly bound, with links to other pages being very long
arcs. That there aren't medium length arcs is an accident of www link design.
The node/arc model also does not account for connections of more than one
nodes; paths through the hypertext hopping from node to node. There are no
supernode structures in this model. "
Following all that, you will find out about "trails."
Then, you go back to http://interconnected.org and begin following
trails. Each page appears to represent a concept, but, there is nothing
there except for a bunch of links with comments. Thus, a concept is
described by its links. Each page also has some tools to add more links.
While "playing" with DIRK, I was somewhat reminded of ScholOnto
http://kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/scholonto/ which allows you to declare typed
links between concepts.
What's not clear is whether DIRK is an open source project.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Nov 07 2001 - 08:32:30 PST