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Category: HyperGlossary

Flow & Storage

The basic flow is that the user imports concepts directly into the Liquid View or by using the Liquid | Flow application and imports documents, books, blogs or web pages via the Liquid | Browser Plugin (which also downloads creates and downloads a linked Rich PDF document).

The user then interacts with this information in Liquid View, where the user can also add annotations and add saves keyword searches.



The result can be exported into Liquid | Author as a live view and then onto other formats, including PDF, JATS, Word and Rich PDF where the interactions of the Liquid View will be preserved.


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Liquid Browser Plugin

I think the data for the Liquid Space should be stored on WordPress.

I can currently add to WordPress using Liquid Flow’s hyperGlossary’ command. This includes adding connections to previous entries and I can manually create more links later, to fit connections to new entries. This is useful for wikipedia entries and entries for people:

What I need is a way to quickly add academic documents as glossary terms as well. Therefore, being able to go to a download site and both download a PDF with correct meta-automatically attached, such as name, authors, date and so forth and at the same time also have this added to the glossary as a blog entry could be very useful. The two should be linked: The downloaded Rich PDF and the blog post glossary so that when viewed as nodes in the liquid view they can be clicked on to open the Rich PDF.

The issue can be seen here: At the bottom I have a link to the thesis document Ivan Sutherland wrote for this project but it should of course be a link to another blog post glossary elements where all the parts of the documents are surfaced, such as author, title and so on, so that the Liquid View can import it and show it, all the while retaining a link to the actual document on the users computer.

Perhaps a single plugin can do both? This would provide fodder for any visualisation application and make the local documents quick to cite from.


Safari, Chrome and/or Firefox, starting with whichever is easier to build in.


It should look exactly the same as the add to glossary window in Flow (as shown above).

User invokes it through keyboard shortcut or by selecting text and mouse over the Liquid icon: 

If the plugin finds bibliographic material on the page and a PDF download option, a button appears at the top of this dialog:

The Ideal interaction is that one command should both populate this glossary entry and download the PDF with the author, title etc. attached, if this is possible.

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A Clear & Present Opportunity

Time for Better Literature Research

Universities and reading glasses were invented roughly simultaneously (coincidence?), during the 13th century. There were counties for students to have books copied for studying of which I won’t waste our time going through the details of how it wasted their time. It seems however, that not much has changed. Today’s academic is more likely to print out the sources for their literature review than to read it in digital form (Walsh, 2016), even though there are many different types of digital devices to read them on, from reflective to transmissive tablets and from laptops to desktops.

I am not writing about the pros and cons of paper versus digital for general reading but I do mean to highlight that there is a real opportunity to build an ecosystem where digital reading of professional material (someone one reads to learn, not for enjoyment primarily) can benefit from the potentially connected nature of digital text environments.

We will necessarily have to start with PDFs since they are the dominant form of academic knowledge transmission units, though of course support ePubs and other formats as well.


The suggested flow is simply this:


A user reads a document for their research and highlights interesting sections, writes notes in the margin and also generally about the document. The user also also jots down ideas as the reading and research process progresses. Furthermore, the reading applications gives the user a rich set of facilities to view the document as she sees fit, including flexible ways to access keywords, summaries, abstracts, links, references and connections and so on, some of which we have implemented in Liquid Author and Flow.


All the literature review the user has read is accessible through keyword search, including specifying whether to only search highlighted text, annotations, notes or full text. When the user copies text from a document and pastes it into the document their are authoring, all the salient citation information is included and is copied across (since this is not possible by default, they system will need a fast and elegant way for the user to help add this to the document on opening/at leisure and in future automatically use what authoring systems will append as meta-information).

All the literature review the user has yet to read is also accessible through searches and can be bunched based on keywords, citations and other criteria.

All the literature the user has yet to access, which is connected to the users work by being cited in current work is also accessible.

The visual space of connecting literature can be developed by anyone since the connectors will be made clearly available. The weblau is one direction which can be powerfully useful in this regard.

A more Liquid Reader

This could make the literature review process a truly liquid, smooth and rich affair. This is not rocket science or heading far out into the unknown, this can provide clear and immediate benefits.

We have started experimental work around this workflow, with the Liquid | Reader but this will require more investment to continue til completion, particularly since the standards of searching for academic document is so incoherent and therefore many searches engines will need to be strung together.

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