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Category: Interactive Text Space Diagram

Watching Our Language

We discussed naming and terminology on the Doug@50 call yesterday, or rather, I moaned about our lack of language for the work, and here are two pertinent realisations:

The Thing It Is

In Author, when we switched into the dynamic view, which is essentially a graph or a map where the headings become nodes which can be flexibly re-ordered and connected, I initially called the headings ‘nodes’ when in this view since they are indeed nodes when viewed this way. However, for the user, this turned out to make no sense, since they still ‘are the same thing’, it’s just the interaction which has changed. This is important because we need to use current language as a start for where we are going and we need to see this from a new-world perspective, not try hard to shoe-horn old concepts into a new conceptual space. ‘The thing is the thing’, no matter where it is or how it’s viewed.


The other issue is one of scale. In a conversation today the obvious issue of how some of us are dealing with and are interested in large scale knowledge graphs and some of us, myself included, are interested in extremely small graphs, such as the dynamic view scale where items on the screen can usefully be represented by text and not a cloud or other shape. I’m sure this has been obvious to many for a while, but it just became clear. The large scale knowledge graph work (LSKG?) is more concerned with AI analysis while the small scale work is more concerned with human-visual analysis.


To keep these two quite different projects connected it would be great to find a way to make them interoperable in an active way if possible, or passive if that is all that’s useful and this is where the notion of a hyperGlossary comes in. The idea is to have a way for a user to manually add or define ‘nodes’ to a system which can be used to serve the nodes to other systems (Chris’s notion of a node server). A primary way to do this could be via a hyperGlossary where an author can define the personal meaning of a word or a term for the sake of elucidating the reader (as glosses originally were used) with a short definition, a long definition and then with specific connections to other terms. These connections would then build a basic graph which can be interactively viewed visually or even connected to large scale graphs.

This could be a very useful way of scaling the scale issue.

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Lines Designs

A few line designs. First up, a layout in Scapple:

And full black lines with all lines showing, but the lines are aligned to horizontal edges:

And there is a mouse over design for mouse over the top right node showing ONLY the actively linked lines:

And finally, showing the other lines lightly in the background, as an alternative (I prefer the previous though):

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