[vagueware] is less really more?

  • From: verbose@xxxxxxxxxx <verbose@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <vagueware@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 02:14:33 -0700 (PDT)

"It's not a job. Nobody is demanding anything of you. This is supposed to be 
fun, remember?"

of course somebody is demanding something of me: myself. also, i would rather 
like to have the illusion that i'm useful, or that my ideas have been helpful. 
so in that regard i need to feel that this mailinglist in general and you, 
paul, in particular, are "dependent" my input to some degree.

otherwise there is no motivation.

i just don't want you to think that i slacked off, or that i'm a flake.

"Hell, it's my site and I haven't touched it hardly in months."

i find it wierd that you keep saying how its "my site" this and "my project" 
that. even though you are the main guy in this and we all credit, like and 
respect you, the moment you started taking sugestions and accepting 
collaboration, the project grew its "ownership base".

to sum all this up again: 1.-i feel this is my project too and 2.-since i feel 
that this is my project, too.. then i hate myself for not giving more time to 

"Funny you should mention locking. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it to 
be honest. I'm thinking I might need to sit all the articles on top of a 
version control system and stuff. Messy. Needs thought before I start to code 

word.. locking rocks.

"As for the mind/concept-map stuff, well, I'm currently thinking of playing 
with this guy's code:


and building on it. It's multi-browser, doesn't need any plugins and everybody 
who sees it goes "cooooool....". :-)"

i dunno. it looks pretty primitive. i'm looking at something more like 
mindmanager. it can be done. at first i thought "flash", but no.. i'd rather go 
with xml, 'cause even if its not widely adopted yet, it IS an open standard.. so

anyway, they way the concepts would link would sort of work like this: 

"but what do I want people to think about when they go to vagueware.com?"

i guess that's just for the people to define. i mean, it would be cool to have 
some "sticky" content there, but.. i'm not to worried abuot the site. for now i 
believe in infrastructure more. there are a lot of ideas i could do in 
vagueware the way it currently is, but i know that if i work to improve the 
system, the rewards will be worth the wait.

"OK, again, we're falling into the traps of specifics. The point is, multiple 
abstractions should be possible."

"But yes, many abstractions, lots of metadata, we want it all!"

well, since i work with graphics, interfaces and design. i want to work on the 
spec and code for the "graphical" part of vagueware.

i think multiple abstractions are fine, but.. i think we should only focus on 
like.. 4 main abstractions. and what i mean by abstractions is like.. four 
basic ways of showing the wiki, each one succesively stronger in terms of 
graphics, editing, interactivity, etc.

one thing that i think we should keep in mind when we say "multiple 
abstractions" is that some abstractions work better than others at certain 

the wikipedia article on "collaborative software" points this out; there are:

a)*communication tools* (fax, email, voicemail) which are more like one-to-one 
and pretty much are connection-dependent in the sense that you have to log on, 
its not instantaneous, etc

b)*conferencing tools* (mailinglists, irc, netmeeting type "whiteboards", im)

c)*collaborative management tools* (electronic calendars, project management, 
workflow, knowledge management)

so in other words.. its no use trying to have irc function like a mindmap or 
checking your email through your workflow profiler. if you want to try out 
funky pipes and crossformat exportations like that, then that should be done 
through plugins and extentions.

and so if these abstractions are going to be sort of numbered, then i propose 
that the flowchart should be a part of that. since some articles (say, about 
the best way to make a sandwich) *will* need flowcharts, and not so much 

"What I don't want to do is analyse existing groupware solutions too much, 
because they all, quite frankly, suck."

that's right, they all suck.. but ouf of each, at least one good idea must 
stick out, and it'd be cool if vagueware had all of the cool functions without 
any of the sucky ones. but then you say "they're too many"... well probably 
some of the functions are actually put toghether by other functions, like 
legos. so you build a "groupware primitive library" so that if someone wants 
their project to have a specific groupware function that doesn't yet exists, 
they can use the parts to piece it toghether.

alright, i gotta go to sleep


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