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Day: December 26, 2017

Criteria for a 21st Century Dynamic Knowledge Repository ‘DKR’ (sketch with first notes)

A 21st Century Dynamic Knowledge Repository ‘DKR’, will have some differences to Doug’s model, which was created in an era of mainframes with limited bandwidth, processing capacity and ecosystems. Note, the term ‘document’ as used here refers to any data set which can be stored or transported on its own but does not at all need to carry the baggage of the term and is expected to evolve substantially. 

 

A dynamic knowledge repository is a living, breathing, rapidly evolving repository of all the stuff accumulating moment to moment throughout the life of a project or pursuit.  

#http://www.dougengelbart.org/about/dkrs.html  

 

Criteria 

 

These are the criteria as we understand them at the end of 2017: 

 

Design Perspective 

 

• The system needs to have provisions to co-evolve with the end users 

• The system needs to be explicitly designed to bootstrap itself into ever more powerful versions 

• The design direction is to imagine and build powerful tools first, then on making them as useable as possible second 

• The design direction will furthermore focus on high performance users while always allowing novice users basic interactions 

 

Interactions 

 

• The DKR needs to support the CoDIAK process of concurrent development, integration, and application of knowledge 

• The focus needs to be on rich interactions, where the user should be able to achieve high performance through powerful tools, not on ease-of-use for the sake of it 

• Creating powerful views, or ViewSpecs, of the information space is a prime challenge 

• Representing, analysing, creating and modifying information connections through links, associations, bindings, dimensions, searches and more, will further be a prime interaction challenge  

 

Data Space 

 

The system will need to support multiple data spaces, including but not limited to: 

 

• Live Database Interaction of Knowledge Gardens 

• Collaboratively authored Documents 

• Individually authored Documents 

• A Journal for publishing Documents which are highly interrogable with a robust versioning system 

• All current and future media types and meta data 

 

Underpinning This 

 

• All material needs to be archived in a usable and accessible way for the distant future 

• The system needs to be able to interchange data with legacy systems   

• The system needs to be able to interchange data with different components among a heterogenous DKR 

• The DKR will be heterogenous, meaning that anyone can build components  

• Must be massively scalable and robust, in order to deal with ever growing profusion of data and links.  

 

Questions raised from Dialog 

 

Vint Cerf asks: “What kind of scaling problems might we encounter? will increasing numbers of documents produce increasing amounts of references that have to be repeatedly updated? the one-way links of the WWW escape this problem at the cost of broken links and lack of backward references.”. This was entered in the list as ‘Must be massively scalable and robust, in order to deal with ever growing profusion of data and links.’ In the Underpinning This section. 

 

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Criteria for a 21st Century Dynamic Knowledge Repository ‘DKR’ (sketch)

 

A 21st Century Dynamic Knowledge Repository ‘DKR’, will have some differences to Doug’s model, which was created in an era of mainframes with limited bandwidth, processing capacity and ecosystems. Note, the term ‘document’ as used here refers to any data set which can be stored or transported on its own but does not at all need to carry the baggage of the term and is expected to evolve substantially. 

 

A dynamic knowledge repository is a living, breathing, rapidly evolving repository of all the stuff accumulating moment to moment throughout the life of a project or pursuit.  http://www.dougengelbart.org/about/dkrs.html  

Criteria 

 

These are the criteria as we understand them at the end of 2017: 

 

Design Perspective 

 

• The system needs to have provisions to co-evolve with the end users 

• The system needs to be explicitly designed to bootstrap itself into ever more powerful versions 

• The design direction is to imagine and build powerful tools first, then on making them as useable as possible second 

• The design direction will furthermore focus on high performance users while always allowing novice users basic interactions 

 

Interactions 

 

• The DKR needs to support the CoDIAK process of concurrent development, integration, and application of knowledge 

• The focus needs to be on rich interactions, where the user should be able to achieve high performance through powerful tools, not on ease-of-use for the sake of it 

• Creating powerful views, or ViewSpecs, of the information space is a prime challenge 

• Representing, analysing, creating and modifying information connections through links, associations, bindings, dimensions, searches and more, will further be a prime interaction challenge  

 

Data Space 

 

The system will need to support multiple data spaces, including but not limited to: 

 

• Live Database Interaction of Knowledge Gardens 

• Collaboratively authored Documents 

• Individually authored Documents 

• A Journal for publishing Documents which are highly interrogable with a robust versioning system 

• All current and future media types and meta data 

 

Underpinning This 

 

• All material needs to be archived in a usable and accessible way for the distant future 

• The system needs to be able to interchange data with legacy systems   

• The system needs to be able to interchange data with different components among a heterogenous DKR 

• The DKR will be heterogenous, meaning that anyone can build components  

 

A further exposition on the aim of a DKR is here:

http://doug-50.info/2017/12/15/increasing-the-active-bandwidth-in-a-dkr-environment-through-powerful-ohs-tools/

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(Thoughts on) End of Year Status Update [Doug@50]

The status for the initiative to produce something to demo for the anniversary is nothing. Nothing has been achieved this year. Celebrations for the day is coming along apace, with SRI and CHM collaborating so that is all well and good so while I thought that I could inspire some collaboration to build something useful it turns our I have only been badgering a lot of you. I apologise for this. 

However… 

Deep Literacy 

Just as we needed to develop an environmental movement to help us deal with the environmental problems we are facing, there will at some point, a point I think we have long since passed, be a need to develop a deep literacy movement to help us deal with the sophisticated systems and tools we will need to develop in order to deal with increasingly urgent, complex problems.  

If we don’t do this, we will tip over to a point where we simply won’t have developed the expertise, experience, knowledge and know-how as well as culture and attitude (getting rid of the “I’m not a computer person” and “what I learnt to do in college is good enough 20 years later because I don’t have time to become more efficient” or even “tools don’t think, people do” on the theme of “guns don’t kill, people do”) to build ever more powerful knowledge systems. 

In order to do this we will need to coordinate designers, users, researchers, cognitive scientists and computer scientists on a useful scale.  

We will be stuck with the click-button over-simplicity which has dominated human-computer interaction since the popularisation of the GUI.  

Doug On Skiis 

In my mind Doug Engelbart is screaming down a hill with the finesse of a world-class skier, in consummate control of every muscle in his body to move him over and around the shape of the mountain, hitting exactly the right beats, going exactly where he wants to go, with the greatest efficiency.  

The Rest of Us On Skiis 

Behind him are the rest of us, walking down with skis in our luggage since it would take too much effort to learn how to ski properly. 

Athletes of The Mind 

I am not talking about how to move through snow of course, I am talking about how we move through and manipulate information. Where we plod, he flies through cyberspace. It makes me smile thinking of him like that, but when I see the rest of us bumbling down the mountain there is nothing but sadness and fear, fear that we may simply not be up to the task of building augmentation systems for athletes of the mind with anything like the zeal we employ to augment and cheer on athletes of the body.  

Do we as as species posses the ability to come together to do that? Does our current population of 7 billion or so contain enough people who are passionate about this and organisations who will support them? 

Urgency & Opportunity 

This is an existence level question since it is becoming increasingly clear, as Doug warned us and Donald demonstrates, that our problems are becoming ever more complex and time sensitive but our ability to deal with the problems is not nearly keeping pace. I pointed out to the group that we have a once in a lifetime opportunity with the anniversary next year and I asked what people wanted to contribute but the response was a heavy silence. To enter 2018 with no real direction, resources or plans will be terrible. Every day gone reduces our ability to produce something useful.  

• Can we build a DKR? Can we even define what a modern DKR would be?  

• Or will we simply continue to work on our isolated projects and chat over coffee, only improving as much as a single effort is capable off? 

I am not the boss of this nor do I have any special qualifications, credentials or even credibility and I would be very happy to hand this over to someone else to bind together, but frustrating as it is, I think this is vitally important.  

I have therefore decided to stop emailing you as a group, since this is just cluttering your mailbox. I WILL ONLY EMAIL THOSE WHO EXPLICITLY EMAIL ME ASKING TO STAY ON THE THREAD. If you are interested enough to have read to the end of this email and want to stay and active part, I’ll gladly add you.  

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