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Category: HyperGlossary

Liquid Information Environment – Components

These are the software components we are starting with and the main and supporting components to build in order to enable the Liquid Information Environment interactions to support the goal of the project:

Main Components To Build (web)

These components are all to be built as free, open-source components:

The information environment we are building is what many would call ‘hypertextual’ so it is natural to use the world wide web as our framework. With this in mind we are developing initially on WordPress with a view to move to Solid when this becomes practical:

Liquid WordPress Plugin (Liquid Flow Web)

We feel that much of the sought after functionality we are looking for to support advanced controls over the threading of dialogue can be implemented and experienced in WordPress:

  • Allows the user to simply do a normal copy command which results in an augmented copy where all the citation information, including location and author name, is included
  • Provides implicit link support (in the continuity of our ‘Hyperwords’ plugin from long ago) and basic ViewSpec functionality
  • Connects to LiquidView for deep integration
  • Means through which the user can perform robust RSS integration with other domains

hyperGlossary

hyperGlossary is a system which uses WordPress for storage and allows the user to write in a more atomic manner and not have to constantly re-introduce terms, while also allowing a knowledgeable reader to read a shorter document than someone new to the subject or the author’s work. This is in the early phases of testing and will require very little technical work but quite a bit of testing in regular use.
hyperglossary.info

Liquid WordPress Theme

We feel the need to build a WordPress theme to reflect the look of Liquid | Author (though with the usual scope of end-user-customisation) to make documents more fluid to interact with, compared to the myriad of WordPress themes which are designed for pictures or other media, with a large amount of ‘clutter’ to make them more appealing as a sales site.

  • Basic reading view supporting the plugin
  • List view to support fast and easy re-configuration through users own work
  • List view to support fast and easy re-configuration through dialogue

Weblau

The weblau (‘web-tabluex’) is a web based visual organisation tool which looks like a concept map but the nodes can be active connections to external data, such as being the posts of a blog, wiki pages or knowledge graph nodes. Any layout in the weblau can be shared as a Quine, meaning the code and data can be downloaded and shared.
We have a version in early testing, built by Christopher Gutteridge: liquidview.info

 

Supporting Applications (macOS)

These components are commercially available and owned by the Liquid Information Company and all proceeds are put back into development:

The Liquid Information Project has seen investment over a period of time with useful results and is currently looking for investment to produce a truly powerful workflow in a rich ecosystem. So far we have developed two macOS applications which are mature but which will need updating to contribute to the workflow and we are developing a small ‘Reader’ to support the others:

Liquid | Author (available)

Liquid | Author, a word processor, will require some work to be able to deliver the the new capabilities, primarily LiquidView interaction and publishing modules, including saving as Rich PDF. Author provides many powerful commands, including: Find information in documents using a more powerful Find view where the document is instantly reformatted to hide all the sentences which do not feature the searched for text and a pinch to collapse the document into an outline option.
liquid.info/author.html

Liquid | Flow (available)

Liquid | Flow, a text interaction utility, will require very little additional work but it acts as a glue to connect many of the components, including Author and the hyperGlossary. Flow provides the capability to the user to select any text and perform a myriad of searches and references look-ups (implicit links) and translate.
liquid.info/liquid.html

Liquid | Reader (in development)

The Reader augments the users ability to search legacy PDF documents by allowing searches to be constrained to only highlighted text. Reader will further allow the user to quickly assign citation information to the PDF so that the user can then not only find exactly what they highlighted (something they can do in any application since Reader can open any PDF and extract highlights). This is a minor component but is being developed on the side of the project as an extension for Author.
liquid.info/reader.html

Liquid | View (concept)

The | View is a desktop thinking space which integrates with the weblau. It is based on an exploded view of the users Liquid | Author document.

 

2 Comments

Liquid Information Environment : Description & Goal

Description & Goal | Scenario | Components

A basic user interaction issue illustrates how the way documents connect into a conversation is a crucial link which can be improved: Someone writes a thoughtful post for a community of people who are working to do something together. First of all it is worthwhile looking into how we can make the post more findable, skimable and readable as part of making the document a more effective part of the conversation but the core issues for this research are:

  • Someone reads the post and agrees with the general gist but has a few issues with specific points which she would like to address. How can she best address these points in a manner which is not only useful for the author for immediate reading but also for the group over time?
  • How can we provide high-resolution addressing so that comments and what they comment on can be flexibly accessed and viewed?
  • How can such a response be threaded in the future for dynamic viewing by post, person, time or other context?
  • How can others ‘jump in’ to this conversation?
  • How can we build a system to support a new person being able to freely move around in this conversation space to get to grips with what was written and said before, without having to trawl through long posts and a morass of links?

This has been the meat of much hypertext work over the decades and has been solved to various extents in various ways but predominantly in single environments. How can we co-design a system where the author and reader have a choice of system and tools for authoring, reading and threading conversation?

The goal is not to help the author write more, but to help the author write less and to make it more readable and better substantiated since the measure of the success of the document is the quality of the resulting document and how it removes clutter and adds clarity and, crucially, how it can add to the conversation in a meaningful and accessible way. This is in support of the Doug Engelbart CODIAK model and aims to initially provide B feel support but will need to provide C level support as well, over time, primarily through the Future of Text initiative.

 

Web & WordPress

My initial perspective is that a web based environment is logical place to start, with WordPress providing open and free initial user-spaced and Solid as a candidate for next stage storage. If every comment is an html document/blog post, then, as long as access is granted, the user can choose to view as a dialogue, separate but linked documents, in linear fashion and in a non-linear, more dynamic view. I believe there is tremendous opportunity here.

We aim to build a system of interconnecting components to deliver on this goal, providing an immediate payoff and scope for further work over time, with an initial focus on wordpress to use the web as the substrate for the work. Yes, we can do this. Since this is a proposal for a richly interactive text system, it makes sense to present the proposal itself as a web document using hypertext methods. Please feel free to ask me any questions of course, at frode@liquid.info

Goals will include making documents as findable, viewable, readable and citable as possible in order to provide a rich a view of the thread of the thread of dialogue which they embody.

Towards Answers

This is a research project, not a commercial project, which means that

 

User Community

With this project we are looking to augment serious people who are interested in working together to solve problems. We are not addressing political or social issues of widely divergent groups who are not principally interested in growing together. In other words, the initial user community is the community building the system.

We aim to build a system of interconnecting components to deliver on this goal, providing an immediate payoff and scope for further work over time. Yes, we can do this.

Our approach is to contribute to a more liquid information environment by using established protocols to tie together a wider ecosystem of applications and processes to enable a richer workflow and more competition among software developers. This is why the approach is not to build one monolithic application, but a series of interconnected applications, plugins and other tech as necessary, to deliver on the workflow.

The system will interoperate with external products including our partners KnowFlow, Exaptive, TrailMarks and HyperKnowledge.

Since this is a proposal for a richly interactive text system, it makes sense to present the proposal itself as a web document using hypertext methods. Please feel free to ask me any questions of course, at frode@liquid.info

Frode Hegland
London 2019

 

Description & Goal | Scenario | Components

Leave a Comment

WordPress -> Graph

I think there is a powerful opportunity for augmenting WordPress to publish more connected posts which can be more usefully viewed in a graph space, such as Liquid View.

To this end I think it could be very useful to be able to tag your post’s relationship with your other posts, or others in your community or beyond.

We have built this functionality into Liquid | Flow (Share/Glossary) to relate your post to your other glossary entries but we should make it trivially easy to do this for any other post, whether your own or just a URL.

What I am talking about is typed links.

Typed links are boring if they remain abstract but I think they can be powerfully engaging when they can be visualised and computed upon. What do you think?

1 Comment