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Category: DougDemo@50

Publish from Author to WordPress : High Resolution Addressing

Publishing to WordPress from Author should work like this. This is VERY important.


In the Publish dialogue, designed to allow the user to add category and tags, as illustrated on Trello, there will be a small ‘Advanced’ link where the user can choose to add and remove wordpress accounts and also to click to view the source code for the paragraph addressability, as outlined below.

In WordPress

On the line before any paragraph (or heading) there should be an anchor tag inserted, based on a hierarchical number or the first characters of text (I don’t mind).

At the end of all paragraphs should be inserted (probably through JavaScript) a few lines of invisible link, which when mouse-over produce the paragraph icon §. Click on this to see an option ‘Copy for Citation’

Copy As Citation

If user clicks, then on the users clipboard will now be the that paragraph text, the URL to the anchor at its start, date and time as well as the name of the Author of the post. Determining the name of the author will be a challenge but when articles are posted via Author the author name will be clearly inserted into the HTML for this function to find it.

If a user pastes this in Author, Author will recognise the format and produce a Citation dialog box already filled in.

If a user pastes in another word processor the format will be nicely presented with the text in quotes and all the meta-information.


An end of summer update

I have now settled into my new home with my beautiful wife and wondrous baby boy, who is now in nursery 3 days a week and the shock of loosing my father has turned into a deep sorrow I understand from friends who have been through it I will simply have to learn to live with, and I accept that to a degree. This all means that I have 3 days a week of relative calm to work, in my new home office without domestic or other obligations pulling at me.

Liquid | Author

I am continuing to develop my Mac word processor Liquid | Author but now with a more commercial angle since I can no longer expect the odd, random investment from my father, now that his estate is being broken up and starting to come out of probate I feel more like the money he left for me, and thus my family, is like holding a bag of sugar; I am very concern that it should run out, little by little, and my focus in life now is of course to provide for Edgar. Author is receiving some work to make sure that citations are handled as cleanly and clearly as possible and then work on Author will pause so that I can market it and make it at least some kind of level of sales success. The only other thing we are adding to Author is the ability to post to WordPress and this is because of the jrnl project:


I am co-hosting the 50th Anniversary of Doug Engelbart’s demo with ‘The Engelbart Symposium’ on the 9th of December in Silicon Valley (Wendy, I think we’ll be asking you to be on a panel, it’s almost all panels, no real presentations, but we have not finalised the program yet). The other hosts are The Engelbart Institute under Christina Engelbart, Vint Cerf of course and The Computer History Museum who are also our hosts. I will be hosting a panel discussion that day and we will have an area set up for demos, of which my work will be one station. We will also produce a book of the day, which will contain all the contributor’s transcribed presentations/panel discussions and a short pre-or-post written statement by them, along with monochromatic pictures. It’ll be nice. We will also be posting this contents online in a way which honours and demonstrates some of Doug’s ideas, primarily high resolution addressing and viewspecs:

For this I the started the jrnl project (pronounced Journal, I just could not get a good domain name with all the letters showing up for duty) which recalls Doug’s Journal and is based on WordPress for rapid opportunities for actually making something useful. There was an earlier project started when I hosted which I hoped could produce something wonderful from a diverse group of people but it became a 100% knowledge graph effort due to the passion of the strongest contributors so whereas I am still involved in some of their dialog and they will exhibit on the 9th, this is not something I feel strongly connected with or able to understand. There is one important overlap between their work and the jrnl project and that is hyperGlossaries

I am working with Chris Gutteridge of Southampton on the jrnl project and Gyuri Layos who is also actively involved with the knowledge graph work, on the hyperGlossaries and Chris is also working with me on the jrnl project along my coders in the Ukraine who built the current version of Liquid | Flow, my Mac text-interaction application. I am also hiring external wordpress expertise to make sure we are going about the plugin system in the best way.

I further had a meeting with professional, full-time wordpress developer Shane Gibson who is considering donating some time to the project since I told him I have no money for this but he is excited to be working on a project with Vint’s name attached, which shows commitment to the ideals here I think.

The interaction method is a blue dot which appears when user selects text. Point to it to get a menu of options. This is what used to be called the Hyperwords Project and was developed for Mozilla and Chrome as well as for wordpress which is the code we will be using now:

What I feel would be the minimum features inspired by Doug to demonstrate (as in show fully working and let people download and install as robust plugins for their own wordpress setup) are high resolution addressability (in the form of the ability to Copy As Citation which provides at least a paragraph level address in the form of an anchor so that anyone can use the link in any context and it will work) and some ViewSpecs, likely an Author style Find In Page (which re-draws the page to show only sentences with the selected text) and/or Flow (which redraws the text with line breaks after , and double line breaks after . as discussed in:


In an advisor meeting with Les when I was still fully active we agreed that my interest in what Doug Engelbart called ViewSpecs should be the focus of my research but with a focus on the act of changing views, not just on the views themselves.

The act of changing a view should certainly not be a removed act like clicking a button but rather an action where the user is manipulating the shape of the information. I came up with the notion of Compressed Scrolling this week. The idea is that when the user starts to scroll past a certain speed (going from positional scrolling to navigational scrolling in Chris Gutterdidge’s words) then currently all the user sees is a grey block of illegible text. What I propose is that on this threshold the view changes to hide generic text and highlight useful text since the user is now in seeking mode. The user does not start to scroll because they want to move the document up and down, they start to scroll to see another part of the document.

So what could happen is that:

  • All the body text becomes greyed out and reduced in size making headings more prominent
  • All names in the document stay black and the rest of the text greys out
  • All the names in the document become icons if they are for companies and pictures if for people
  • Doug Engelbart suggested colour coding text based on the category words. For example we did a fun test together where all the words about tech were coloured yellow, companies blue, people green and so on. It really did give an insight as to what sections discussed what since it didn’t really take that long to learn the colours but it was ugly and not so readable when you stopped to read. In this scenario however, the colours would only be applied when scrolling, not when reading

We are further working on realising a powerful hyperGlossary in this environment:

These are potentially powerful views to help the user move around their own or other’s documents. I have been in touch with Howard Oakley who blogged about macOS Mojave’s text analysis APIs and we’ll try to look at some of this for Author, while Shane might look into the for jrnl wordpress and Chris is interested in both. I met Howard through Twitter, having Mark Anderson as a mutual friend. This is the post I read which opened my eyes and got in touch with him:

I think this line of enquiry could be useful and a good PhD, but it would real user testing so I will need to get some research funding, which I am working on.


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Liquid // Graph Scenario 18 June

In the near future, Joe is sitting down in a comfortable chair with fresh iced coffee, lights down low and comfortable, quiet music playing. It’s raining outside, but not too much. He feels good and is happy to have some time to focus on his work. He looks at his beautiful 27” screen starts tabbing through his favourite news websites to engage his brain this early morning. He then looks at his To Do list and remembers he is due to submit a research paper. 

Since Joe is a professor at a prestigious university, at the forefront of his mind is the need for the research paper to be a good model for his students. He therefore aims to write as clearly and well thought-through as possible and showing his evidence clearly and with citations to source in ways a reader can instantly check.  

This scenario covers basic concept mapping in a dynamic view mode, what Marc Antoine refers to as normal research, instant searches and then enters graph space to follow an argument and returns to the document with the results and adds an element through the hyperGlossary.  

Covered Applications include Liquid | Author a word processor, Liquid | Flow, a text utility for instant searches and more and Liquid | View, a concept map application with the ability to serve nodes and to use nodes from other applications through an open API (related to the graph API I would expect). 

Dynamic View#

Joe doesn’t know everything about the subject but he knows a few things so he opens a new workspace in his Liquid | View application and lays out what he knows as short sentences as Post its called ‘nodes’ (same root as knot, so a very apt term for something which is designed to link) quite randomly. Once he has finished typing what he can think of, he starts to group the nodes and then he gives the groups headings (in View the default node is level 2 and headings level 1). This way of brain storming and seeing structure emerge is very much like the KJ-Ho method from Japan. 

Column View#

His screen now has some structure so he opens his Liquid | Author word processor and chooses to  Live Import from Liquid | View. Here he has a single column word processor view where the nodes now are headings, and he starts writing prose under each heading, some for himself to remind him why the heading is there, some for the final paper.  

He expands and collapses the text to aid his reading of it (to see only sentences with certain keywords, to see headings and names instead of body text or pictures instead of people’s names or company names etc.), looking up terms instantly when he is not sure of their correct use using Liquid | Flow.  

He moves around his text document with extreme ease, giving him the conceptual map of his work as it developed to allow him to really focus on following the nub of the issue he is trying to understand and present.  

Citation Space#

Joe pulls his document to one side and looks at his citation space (no app or name assigned as of yet). Here he searches for articles he has read, by keyword, author, title and so on and stretches the citations out in space across the screen, from old on the left to newer on the right, with less cited on the bottom of the screen and more cited towards the top. He finds a few relevant articles and puts them aside as he follows his intuition to better understand what traditional documents have to offer on the issue. 

He cites books, academic articles, web sites, videos and audio with ease, allowing a reader to follow the citation not just to the cited document, but right inside the document to the exact location, to determine it’s relevance, accuracy and importance.  

Graph Space#

After completing this basic research he delves into the connection space of knowledge graphs to see how others have approached the issue. 

  • Here he follows interactions as primarily specified by Marc Anthony (my assumption is this would entail large scale interactions).
  • He then transfers references across from the connection space into his document as Gyuri scenario (my assumption here is that this would be more detailed or personal interaction.

HyperGlossary Entries#

As he puts the finishing touches on his document, he realises that a few words are used differently by him than would be by a potential reader, so he adds glossary entries for them. As he does so, the graph spaces he has been connected to appears with any relevant other entries, which he can, through simple drag and drop, choose to include or dispute.  

Once done, any glossary term will show up in his document for the reader in the way the reader prefers, with the default being as hard brackets after the keywords [] which can be clicked on to expand and show the short definition right in the text.  

Since he added the glossary entries carefully, including adding explicit relationships to other terms, the reader can choose to see the terms in context in a graph space.  


When he is done, Joe Publishes his document by going through a few Publish modules. His main authoring system, Liquid | Author, first does a spell check, grammar check, reading level and plagiarism check to save him any potential embarrassment. He then gets a summary/abstract automatically generated where he can see if he really did communicate what he thought he communicated. If he finds that the abstract was not what he intended, he can click on any sentence to see what parts of the document contributed to that summary segment and edit it. He can also add text to the summary but then he will need to tag the sections in the document which explicitly expand on those points. The end result will be that the summary will be sufficient for most readers, only the very interested will need to delve deep to understand the full document. 

He then emails a rich PDF exported document to the review body, of whom some only have the ability to read the surface PDF render, others use their own advanced graph-aware systems and a few have the same main authoring package Joe used, Liquid | Author, and thus have access to the original format .liquid document Joe worked on (minus whatever meta he chose to scrub).  

Those reading his document, apart from the PDF only readers, will be able to get a lot of meaning out of the core document and the document will be fully connected to cited sources and graph spaces for full, rich interaction. They will be able to explode the document in a myriad of ways and see relationships with citations and graphs in any granularity they choose–reading the document has become as interactive and almost as fun as playing a video game.  

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