[FoRK] ProjectFork

Lion Kimbro <lionkimbro at gmail.com> on Thu Dec 27 01:33:47 PST 2007

  I'm working on a lot of projects right now, but my attitude has
  always been "the more the merrier."


  Here are some of the things on the horizon, that I invite anyone
  and everyone here to work on (and let me know about it!), that I
  think can result in some pretty major changes.


  * History Visualization

  We need something like SIMILE, but that's more wiki-like, with more
  expressive power, and so on.

  We also need enormous data-sets of history, and we also need ways
  to connect depicted history with points of evidence.


  * "Seeing Wholes"

  History is one sort of "whole;"  This is a generalization of the
  idea.

  The Internet has hoards of databases.  For example, FreshMeat is
  basically a database.

  What we'd like to be able to do, is see the entirety of web
  presence on some specific subject, all at once.

  I want to see all that data in the semantic web.  If I type "Free
  Games" into a system, I want it to show me, in a messy 3-D display,
  every single last Free Software game being worked on, from the
  tiniest bit projects, to the greats.

  Organize it to whatever particular organization or metaphysics of
  games you happen to hold in mind.  There are millions of
  visualizations to choose from and flip through.  But show that
  data, and make it much more meaningful than just looking through
  database tables.

  This is all about data collection, communication, and
  visualization.


  * Mailing Lists Replacement

  But, then again, Brian Rice and I are already working on this one.


  * Non-Boxy User Interface Library

  I think there's a lot of room for reinventing the conventional
  user-interface library.

  Why not identify patterns of user interface, and make a user
  interface for making user interfaces?

  Or how about constructing easily browsable collections of user
  interfaces, that people can just tweak slightly, for whatever
  purpose they want?

  And how about non-box-based (combo box, text box, ...) user
  interfaces;  User interfaces where we drag components from a
  palette and into an active playing field, and connect them with
  lines, ..?


  * Political Software

  The blogosphere is alive with Social Software, which is basically
  good at coordinating small teams.  But what about WHOLE SOCIETIES?

  Wikipedia and Slashdot and Kuro5hin are "proto-" what I'm looking
  for;  "Proto- Political Software."

  You need not only technology, but a people, as well.

  You have to be able to attract (or find) not just a community, but
  a society: A community of communities, a virtual Polis.  In the
  society, people have a common bond, but they don't know each other
  -- we're way past Dunbar here.

  The KDE & GNOME communities seem to me societies more proper;
  Community always strikes me as a smaller thing.

  Political software should have provisions for collections of people
  who discover that they are interacting regularly to formalize as a
  group, to be able to issue collective speech, to trade, to mark
  strangers, to self-identify, to set policy, to propose, to vote, to
  see themselves and their efforts within the larger context of the
  society.

  Political software should be able to help large numbers of people
  to meaningfully connect in useful ways with small numbers of people
  (celebrity, and/or authority.)


  Honestly, this is just off the top of my head.  There is *so much*
  software to write.  (Which is why I remain perpetually busy.)

  Tonight, I'm working on a "paper annotator."  I have a scanner at
  work that can bulk scan documents into PDF.  I use Ghostscript's
  gswin32c to render out PNG's from the PDF.  My program then
  presents the PNGs as pages (side by side,) and I'm now working in
  the code so that you can select regions, and write the ASCII text
  about what the region says, or redirect the user to another page
  (or a remote website) in response to a click.  "Making the paper
  interactive," so to speak.

  This is part of a broader effort to introduce more visual language
  into documentation, which is mainly text driven.


  Take care,
    Lion =^_^=


On Dec 22, 2007 10:11 AM, Tom Higgins <tomhiggins at gmail.com> wrote:
> Good, 5 msgs in and no talk of good/evil and its place in liturgical lore:)
>
> If your not already changing the wordl there is no time like the now
> to try it out and see if you like it, and even if you are, changing it
> some more cant be all that bad.
>
> And ys for the naysayers lets get it all out .. Its all been done
> before...Bigger and better are doing X so why even try...What and give
> it away????? .... This is stupid and what you need to do is sit around
> and add to the bemoaning choir.....
>
> To wit...Ok sure you are 100% right...so getting back to the task at
> hand............
>
> Now as to what now....If you look around in this wide world there are
> people who have found the holes in the mesh of doing..Jimmy Carter
> comes to mind but for a moment I would not say a first Project Fork
> could hit on something like clean water..too big for a first group
> uplift.
>
> I harken back to Do What You Know(now) and seem to think we have many
> neurons firing on things like microformats, interface ideology, code
> bumming as defence against the dark arts, group building and
> utilization of information flows to create utility to mr and mrs
> online and all the ships at sea.
>
>  But with a twist. Think of dimensional twists, bringing the cspace to
> meatspace, showing folks how to see their daemons.
>
> Just a thought, half formed on a Saturday where in I got the chance to
> sleep in late...such a rarity that those without kiddlings may not
> realize is a truly precious act.
>
>
> -tomhiggins
>
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