Skip to content

Category: Deep Literacy

Some of the issues

Some of the issues with the Liquid View come up when I use Scapple to simulate some of the aspects, for the work on my PhD.

Here I have created a column for the lifecycle or process to augment, which is linked vertically top down with arrows to indicate the general flow. To the right of this is a brief description of the point/goal of each process and there is then a divider/quit a bit of space before I get onto the invention/innovation/idea/development columns, the first one which is a list of specifically desired functionality which should be useful in make one or more processes reach the potential of the goal. This is followed by a column of what needs to be implemented for such functionality to be realised:

Issues which arise from this is that it’s clear that it would be useful for the nodes to be interactable to jump to specific sections of the main document, or external documents, but this is clearly not all the headings of a document, this is a subset of a document which means that it can be thought of as an inserted graph.

How this could be handled is if it is its own document and then embedded into the main document but this could become confusing, especially when the author want to link to a section in the main document from this view, which is not in this view…

This leads me to think the we should be stricture with hierarchy, not simply allowing the user to do everything arbitrarily. Maybe we make level 1 headings a special thing, which can only be viewed in a specific way? My friend Tom is an author and he showed me how he writes a chapter per word processing document and then collates them all at the end. This is a perspective to consider.

Having a look at this specific example above, let’s say that the four bold headings are level 1 headings and that what is shown below them are then level two and that’s all we have in this view, where the level 2 headings are ‘stuck’ under the level 1 headings in columns and the user connects any headings arbitrarily and can move them around. How would the user designate only these four level 1 headings for a Liquid View?

I must think of some way to allow the author to create multiple Liquid Views with different sets of headings – maybe there is a default one for the whole document and then a ‘process’ for creating a sub-set like this, with maybe a slightly different background colour and appearance in the main document?

A Solution?

A solution to this could be to have two completely different kinds of Liquid Views, maybe with two completely different designs and names:

  • Document Liquid View
  • Embedded Liquid View

The document Liquid View would work as previously discussed but the embedded Liquid View would be embedded in the same way as you might add a picture but the Liquid View created through embedding will only exist inside the host document, so it’s not so much embedded as created, but the term seems right.

Embedded / Liquid Diagram

There will be no headings in this Embedded Liquid View on creation but the user can ctrl-click on the screen to choose ‘Insert’ and a hierarchy of all the headings in the host document will appear, allowing the user to insert one heading as a node or a series, if there are any below the level chosen. This lets the headings be linked from the Liquid View into the main document. The user can also create headings from scratch and ctrl-click on them to link them to headings in the document.

The embedded Liquid View is not a Liquid ‘View’ then, it becomes a Liquid Diagram, since the user can click on a heading/node to jump to it in the document if it’s connected, but cannot ‘expand’ the view back into a word processing view since there is no such underlying structure. I will change the name of this in the future but for now I’ll leave it as it is here since this was the flow of thought as I went through it, writing this text.

This means that we can design different types of Embedded diagrams and visualisations.

Note also that the embedded is live, not an image.

Note to Jacob: We should probably develop a plugin architecture for the Embeds so that they can be developed and tested while integrated into he main document through links but built by different people for time saving.

Other documents can also be called into a link from an embedded diagram through relative or name addressing.

Leave a Comment

A more Liquid, Post GUI-UI.

How can a more Liquid, Post GUI-UI for authoring and reading textual knowledge contribute to deeper literacy?
• Definition of Liquid UI: A Low Friction, High-Flexibility Interaction ‘UI’ (‘User Interface’) providing High-Speed interaction.

• Definition of Post GUI-UI: GUI’ stands for ‘Graphical User Interface’ which is a paradigm for user interfaces which allows users to interact through graphical icons and visual metaphors primarily through pointing and clicking, while de-prioritising controls which need to be learnt and cannot be seen on the screen. This was a development of XEROX PARC after SRI’s command line interfaces, where the explicit target user was the knowledge worker’s secretary.

I therefore define a ‘Post-GUI UI’ as a User Interface which recapitulates the prominence of textual information on the screen (with an absolute minimum of controls being visible unless summoned for specific, mostly immediate use) and employ modern technologies to provide richer ways to display the text (such as high-resolution screens with high-refresh rates) and interact with the text (such as though commonly used and new keyboard shortcuts, trackpad gestures and methods for bringing up visible controls when needed, including a contextual ctrl-clicking and click-and-hold etc.).

• Definition of Deeper Literacy: Deeply Literate users are those who, to use an analogy, would prefer to learn to drive a car in order to have control over exactly where they go and what they see on the way, rather then just take a bus and end up on predefined stops. The goal is that for such users who put more effort in to learn how best to use powerful tools is that their knowledge becomes a different thing to them, not a superficial substrate for reading across but a deep and immersive space of opportunity to always learn more, question more and develop ever deeper understanding.

(definition of deep literacy added Monday 17th of July 2017)

Leave a Comment

Deeply Literate Academic Discourse (first version)

It is clear to me that if I want to research and design interactive text systems for deeply literate academic discourse I should define what I mean by that. This is my first version, posted at http://www.deep-literacy.com/academic.html which I will share with friends for comments.

It is not enough to focus on carrying a facsimile of the analogue into the digital, as is done with PDFs. For academic discourse to progress it becomes vital to look at what purpose the discourse should serve, and from that design techniques and technology to support it.

To do this means taking into account the most basic aspect of our minds which is that the human brain works through links in a space of possible connections – to extend our intellect therefore means extending our capacity to deal with connections.

• Document Findability. Finding what is worthwhile reading, both supportive and contradictory to their main thesis, though seeing what is linked and by which criteria.
• Deep Reading. Helping the academic read deeply, meaning to understand the author’s intention and support their ability to question the author’s reasoning and supportive material.
• Deep Citations. Supporting them in integrating previous work into their own, in a manner which allows them flexibility and does not take much time and effort.
• Deeply Connected. It further means supporting the act of seeing and thinking about their researched material and their own ideas, editing their writing and doing further research.
• Which comes together to produce a Rich, Clear & Transparently Cited Presentation. Presenting their work in a format which preserves the richness of their research, thinking and conclusions and insights, while transparently citing sources and allowing the reader rich options for viewing the material.
• Furthermore, the main documents are supported by powerful implementationsof data storage, glossaries, specialised dictionaries, dialogue records and more.

The clear goal then becomes an effort of supporting the production of high-quality academic documents which have been thoroughly thought through and cited, and then supporting the next academic in dealing with the material.

Leave a Comment