Diary Post, 09 Jan, 23:28

Today I worked further on the http://wordpress.liquid.info/category/text-space-diagram/ and met Gavin Peacock for the first time, at the Royal Academy.

The day started a bit late, with the gym with Tim and Beth, doing the shoulders part of the Wolverine series. I argued with Emily about driving her to work since there was a tube strike and finally won. The drive in was not too bad. Returned, worked, had Emily’s wonderful smoothie and Emily’s famous porridge. Two expresso adffogato’s with Emily’s amazing hazelnut ice cream. 

It was really wonderful to meet Gavin at the RA, where I have not been for quite a while. It was dark and rainy outside and very pleasant inside. I enjoyed a tonic and Angoustoura and we talked about how to enhance systemic democratic change and the discussion went in many directions. 

Dinner at Quo Vadis, where I am a temporary member during the Groucho’s refurbishment. Wonderful, wonderful food, though it was annoying that they let us order the duck when it turns out they knew it would take quite a while and we only had an hour, since we were going to Ronnie Scott’s. By ‘we’ I mean Emily, Thomas (we have officially given him his middle name! He is 22 and a half weeks now, which is to say five and a half months), my parents, Rodney and Henning & Jose. The concert was Manu Katché, whom I have been a fan of for a very long time. I was excited to see if Dad would like it and he very much did. Success. 

And returning to the flat (which we are trying to sell), I got a new version of Author, which (supposedly, let’s see… so far so good…) no longer has the horrible auto-reopen when working bug and now works in full screen without the spacing issues (fixed). We have polished the flat over the weekend, getting the strip lights fixed, painted walls and so on: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c3l3hkg7d5d5fua/10-Elm-Lodge-Living-Room-%28new-lights%29.png?dl=0

& So. To Bed.

Liquid | Reader for Literature Review

The Problem & Solution

The main issue Liquid | Reader addresses is a researcher cannot annotated (through highlighting or writing) a PDF document and then easily access the annotations later, when they are needed for the document/thesis writing. Liquid | Reader solves this in two ways:

•  Allows the user to pinch to see only the annotated text in the document.
•  Opens up all highlight-annotated text to the macOS Spotlight search.

Minimal Viable Version 1.0 Product

Annotating Text

•  Select text to highlight and unless there is an action performed on it within 1 second (such as copy, de-select or Liquid | Flow), the selection turns into an annotation automatically, going yellow. (This duration can be changed in Preferences). (Selecting text should work the same logic as Liquid | Author: double click for single word, triple click for sentence etc.)
•  To Undo the annotation simply select the text again and the reverse happens.

Finding Annotated Text In-Document

•  Pinch in and out to zoom the document, same as in the Apple Preview application, but if you pinch beyond the size of the document fitting the screen: you pinch to collapse the document to only see annotated text. It is similar to the result of pinch in Author (including visual style), except here there are no Headings, only annotations. (In Author, when we implement annotations, the pinch command will show Headings as well as the users annotations). (If there is no annotation, nothing happens on pinch)
•  Pinch back to return to normal view or
•  Click on text to jump to that section
•  Cmd-F to search the document. All keywords found in annotations is shown above a line, all non-annotated text shown below a line. All results shown as sentences, as in Liquid | Author (I need to know if this is do-able or very hard)

Searching for Annotated Text In Finder

On MacOS the annotated text (only) will be made available for Spotlight searching. Not the text of the document in general.

The documents need to support macOS tags, applied in Finder.

Visual Style of Collapsed/Annotation View

Use code and visual design from Author for this project for the annotation view (show PDF as-is, but use #fdde7e as the yellow for highlighting). The visual style of the text should be the same as default Author style (Read mode) and should have the same option in Preferences to change. The display of the collapsed view showing only annotated text should have “quotes” around it and if the user added text it should be after the selected text, after – such as this. As you can see above, there is an empty line between each entry, just as we have in Author when showing results of keyword search. :

____________________________________

“This is selected text in the document”

“This is selected text in the document. This quote is quite a bit longer though with more words so we can see what that looks like. Another sentence is here”

“This is also a bit of selected text but is has no writing from the user after it”
____________________________________
iCloud

We need to have a Liquid | Reader iCloud directory in order to synch with the future iOS version and between different macOS devices. Considering our problems with iCloud for Author, will this be a big issue?

Other Interactions

•  ESC to go in and out of full screen
•  Pinch and two fingers to resize the document, same as in the Preview application, until the document fits the screen, then a further pinch shows the Annotations, as described above
Future Versions (must be architecturally possible)

 

Please give me costing estimates for each feature:

Opening Document

•  Ask user to select the name of the document (which will be in the document) on Saving, in order to have the the right reference to the document for citations for later. On doing this, show a list of hits on academic searches for the heading and when the user clicks then flip to the reverse of the document, as in Author, where all the citation information information is filled in, for them to verify and maybe add a Comment.

Annotating Text

•  To add notes to the annotation, the user should simply start typing after selecting the text and a dialog appears, centre of screen, with your typed text, as fast as the system can produce it. Whatever character was typed first will be copied in to the dialog as well, so the experience is seamless. Same visual design box as the Notes dialog in Author.

Visual Style of Text Annotations, Non-Collapsed View

Text annotations can only be applied to highlighted text so it will only show in relation to highlights. We will need an icon a text box to display the text annotation in the normal view, most likely. Most likely we will add a symbol, such as ª^ after the selection.

Visual Style of Collapsed/Annotation View with Text Annotations

Use code and visual design from Author for this project for the annotation view (show PDF as-is, but use #fdde7e as the yellow for highlighting). The visual style of the text should be the same as default Author style (Read mode) and should have the same option in Preferences to change. The display of the collapsed view showing only annotated text should have “quotes” around it and if the user added text it should be after the selected text, after – such as:
____________________________________

“This is selected text in the document” – And this is the comment the user wrote.

“This is selected text in the document. This quote is quite a bit longer though with more words so we can see what that looks like. Another sentence is here” – And this is the comment the user wrote.

“This is also a bit of selected text but is has no writing from the user after it”
____________________________________

As you can see above, there is an empty line between each entry, just as we have in Author when showing results of keyword search.

Finding Annotated Text

• Cmd-f in Annotation view searches the annotations only. Cmd-f in regular view searches document and shows results in the same was as Author

Copying Text

Copying text and going into another application will include all the date for Citation, as done for Author from Liquid | Flow now. This means that the document must know what it is, so on opening the user might have to be asked to: “Select the title of this document” so that the system can look up the citation information from Mendely or other service.

Liquid | Flow Integration

•  Select text and use Liquid | Flow must work. Other PDF readers do not support Services so other applications cannot support Liquid | Flow.

•  Spacebar on selected text for text to speech.
Notes

Use Liquid | Author code and style as the basis for the project, copying as much basic functionality along as is feasible, at your discretion, you need to decide what makes most sense.
Questions

Do we need to have a new document format for this? If so, call it .lireader though I would greatly prefer to keep it as .pdf for compatibility with other apps.

If we keep it as PDF where do we save our extra data, the annotations?

How do you plan to expose the annotated text to Spotlight, but not the main body text?

Today, History and Internet (Thursday, not weekly post)

Today I went to History and the Internet at King’s College London. It was a small event with not many people but with a very high level of people there, it was quite wonderful. From the blurb:

“The internet is a phenomenon studied from a wide variety of academic disciplinary perspectives – sociology, political science, psychology and philosophy as well as information science. But there is scope for a more thorough application of historical knowledge in this area. This event will seek to provide an historical perspective; subjects discussed will include technological revolutions, communications networks, the printing press, Hansard, Big Data now and in the past and the challenges and opportunities of the internet for the historian and the archivist. ”

Professor Jason Peacey, Head of History Department, UCL, talked about ‘The media and Parliament: seventeenth-century parallels’ One of the really striking takeaways I got from his talk was how he presented democracy’s edge on one side with the unengaged and at the other side with the extremists and it strikes me as as a wonderfully clear picture of the ‘shape’ of public life and also furnishes us with a shape of how to deal with the work of keeping democracy alive since if either outlier group becomes too large or powerful then the democratic process will suffer. I am not saying that the world doesn’t need resolutions, I am simply saying this is a model for how democracy can see itself in context and should act to persevere its form.

I discussed the importance of citations and the ability of having real-world time references inside audio and video media files with Edward Wood, Director of Research, House of Commons Library and Anthea Seles of the The National Archives to what seemed like great enthusiasm. We agreed to continue this dialog.

Furthermore, Dr Nishanth Sastry, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Telecommunications Research, Department of Informatics, King’s College London, talked about the importance of interaction, though he called it ‘processing: “Unlocking processing capabilities is crucial to realising value from data”. Yay!

At the Groucho now, enjoying a very dry mocha, something I started with this week on campus. Very happy making.