[Design] Re: New Linux desktop features: implications for Chandler?

David.Harvey at bristol.ac.uk David.Harvey at bristol.ac.uk
Mon Dec 1 20:36:26 PST 2003

Quoting David Neeley <dbneeley at oddpost.com>:

> For example: Assume you are working in the system I am envisioning.
> You are writing a memorandum or a report of some sort. As you begin
> to enter the verbiage, a small window elsewhere on your screen may
> indicate the presence of terms already in the infobase's index. Thus,
> you could doublecheck any existing references as you go...and direct
> the index engine to do additional link retrieval from either the
> Internet or another resource regarding any of the terms. That would
> potentially dramatically speed up the creation of information
> documents as well as integrate them into the readily accessible
> knowledgebase within the organization. 

There is considerable interesting discussion here, but I'm away from home at 
the moment. While I'm thinking about it, though, and before this email 
disappears off the main page of my in box, have you come across dashboard? 
Still early days, and I haven't put in the effort to get it running, but the idea is a 
good one, and seems somewhat related to the discussion.


Essentially what you describe is one aspect of what I want to support my 
information management and recall needs when doing research. 


A lot of interesting stuff can be harvested as rich metadata as we go, rather than 
recovered from the mush afterwards (there's a lot of useful info in the mush too, 
to be sure). When I cut and paste a quote, why do I need to make any effort to 
establish the link between quote and quoted? Etc.

> Extending the idea, both such a memo or report and its antecedent
> information (that upon which the material is based) could be easily
> tracked and retrieved. This would allow readers to get the more
> detailed source documents for those cases where they desired more
> information--on *any* document within the organization. 

This sounds very much like the sort of support I want to have in developing and 
using environmental models (

> As for filesystems, there seems increasingly to be an understanding
> that a completely new metaphor is necessary. To me, the underlying

Good. I sincerely hope you're right. The "pah. what drivel" response I've seen to 
the basic idea of WinFS suggests that it isn't increasing as fast as I'd like :)

> storage methodology is less important than the accessibility of
> reliable information. Unlike you, however, I have much less
> confidence that we can rely upon humans to do the job adequately and
> to continue to evaluate existing information resources and keep them
> up to date. 

Ah, now I think we have been talking at cross purposes. I was thinking not much 
more broadly than present PIM-scope, where the links are quite clear. I have 
information about a person, I follow to information related to them (emails 
received or sent, yada yada). 

There is space for both explicit linking and knowledge-discovery based "found" 
links, I'd say.

> Of course, in a larger organization, I would propose that there be
> specialists in information technology to direct much of this activity
> to be sure that the collective knowledgebase can be most effectively
> used. Such is beginning to happen, but I believe it is an opportunity
> to create strong competitive advantages for any organization that
> does the job right. 

Traditionally called Librarians, and in our oh-so-advanced state, we need to 
rediscover what they are for :) (and yes, they need to be tech-savvy librarians, 
but that really goes without saying).


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