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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] New backlink metadata; mhpurple v0.2 released

Eugene Eric Kim wrote:    (01)

> On Mon, 25 Feb 2002, Eric Armstrong wrote:
> > Actually, I kind of have to disagree here. I think that real collaboration would
> > have involved either working on the same piece of software, or fully focusing
> > on the standards and techniques necessary to permit interoperability.
> We're not disagreeing.  I'm saying that the focus of the OHS has to be on
> the latter, not the former.  With that in mind, building real software is
> a crucial prerequisite to standards development.  But it is to our benefit
> to have multiple experiments in parallel.  That's what evolution is all
> about.    (02)

Hmm. Talk about wicked problems. Makes me want to leap out to a
definition of "evolution". When I use your results to improve what I'm
doing, and vice versa, then we're mutually evolving. If we're both making
revisions to the same project, then that project is evolving. Maybe more
sharing and mutual evolving is going on than I've seen, but I'd have to
become aware of it before I could characterize those projects as
cooperatively evolving, in any meaningful sense.    (03)

> ...
> The underlying question is, what progress has been made on the OHS?
> ....I'd be curious to hear what people think about this.  I believe that
> we all have the same fuzzy picture, but that there is not something
> concrete that everyone can grasp yet.  I think that we're nearing this
> point, though, and I think that a subset of this group has already reached
> it.  The onus is on this subset to clarify this picture for others.    (04)

That's interesting. I look forward to some sense of what that agreement
is. My own take on the matter is that if we actually sat down to describe
what we think an OHS is, we'd have as many different pictures as
people in the room. That's the scenario I recall from the meetings, at
any rate, when we actually tried to get some commonality of opinion.    (05)

> Second, once we understand what an OHS is, we have to work towards
> building one.  The problem with this group is twofold: There are more
> commentators than there are builders, and we have not built a compelling
> case for the builders to build anything.  This latter situation can only
> be resolved if the picture becomes clear.    (06)

Yes. The fact of the matter is that I am no longer available for any serious
building. I just haven't got any better clue than a rock what the result is
supposed to be.    (07)

> On the other hand, the picture won't become clear until we start building
> things.  (A classic "wicked problem.")  This is the purpose of things like
> purple numbers, and in this sense, purple numbers have been successful
> beyond my wildest dreams.  I find it amazing that they have generated the
> discussion that they have, as well as at least two independent
> implementations.  Most importantly, the purpose was to clarify the need
> for granular addressability as well as provide an intermediate solution.    (08)

Yeah. That is a really great contribution. Wonderful proof of principle.
But I totally agree with the enlightened soul who said that they are most
properly added at authoring-time. Even then, we are building a nice little
archive of purple-numbered messages. Now if I could only transclude them,
instead of having to link to them. That would be cool.    (09)

(When I get Rod's messages, I invariably read the text to get the gist of what
he's saying, and take it for granted that the references say the same thing.
Not enough time in my life to follow all those links...)    (010)

> > The problem, of the course, is the chicken and egg dilemma that has beset
> > us since day one. We did the best we could in the couple of hours a week
> > we were able to meet together, and in the little spare time we had to devote.
> > But, given the lack of any serious tool for remote collaboration and discussion,
> > we were unable to make much progress in designing such a tool remotely!
> I don't agree with this at all.  There are plenty of serious tools for
> remote collaboration and discussion.  We just have been particularly poor
> at using them, and we have been poor at collectively improving our use of
> them.    (011)

All of the ones I looked at left a lot to be desired. But I may not have been
diligent enough. Or maybe I'm too stubborn about using my email. On the
other hand, I know that Wiki and some other systems were set up. I sort
of expected to hear how great they were, and see all of the discussion move
over to them. Not only didn't I hear that, but I heard from one set of
honest authors that the kept using email to carrying on discusssions, and
every other one kept saying, "we really ought to use our collab tool" for
this discussion.    (012)

> If people in this group are serious about collaborating to actually build
> something, then let's start taking some action.  Small steps first.  Are
> there ways that we can improve the use of these mailing lists?    (013)

Sorry, but time is limited. I figure I invested between $30,000 and
$50,000 of my time in an attempt to make something work. There are
just so many hours, assuming you *want* a life. After college, I had
no use for one. But these days, I find I like it. :_)    (014)

> We can start with Chris Dent's request: make sure your e-mails wrap at
> about 70ish characters.  Then my followup: don't use HTML e-mail.  Then
> there's Doug's constant request: don't attach an entire e-mail to a
> two-line reply.  The list goes on and on.  If you have other suggestions,
> please chime in.    (015)

Personally, I hit the NL button when the line gets close to 60
characters, to allow for several indents as things get passed
around. Sometimes I feel like I'm typing directly into a
newspaper column, but I'm used to it.    (016)

Not using HTML email is a real bummer. Those purple numbers could
be links. But those damn spammers are killing us. Not only do they
send me HTML mail with images that take forever to download, now
their popping up extra windows and downloading more crap into
*them*. There is no solution, either, as long as one some set of
individuals can profit at the expense of others. At least I clearly
understand that much, now.    (017)

As a result, the only good tool we have for making usable messages
is relegated to the archives. I never go there, so for all intents and
purposes, they don't exist in my world. C'est domage.    (018)

I have to agree with Gary's comment:    (019)

On Sat, 2 Mar 2002, Garold (Gary) L. Johnson wrote:    (020)

> I donít see a way to make real progress at collaboration until we
> can manage some sort of addressable content in email, which is
> our primary means of transferring collaborative materials.    (021)

That puts the hammer squarely on the head of the nail, imho.    (022)

We have the addressability. It's got to get into the messages.    (023)