« »
August 12, 2004 » 1:17 pm

TPVortex: Intro, Call For Help

In my manifesto for collaborative tools, I cited Backlinks as an example of a common, yet oft-overlooked conceptual construct in collaborative tools. Those who know me well know that my strategy for implementing some of Doug Engelbart‘s ideas (which I crafted over three years ago) has always been to create simple, concrete tools that could easily be shoehorned into existing applications. The plan was to start with Granular Addressability (Purple Numbers), then move on to Backlinks.    (247)

For a number of reasons, now seems to be the right time for me to start shifting my technical focus to Backlinks. The strategy for doing this is to implement a generic, Open Source, Backlink database (dubbed “TPVortex” and integrate it into several existing tools: PurpleWiki, blosxom, MovableType, MHonArc. I’m looking for folks who might be interested in participating in this project.    (248)

The motivation for such a tool is straightforward: Backlinks provide useful, contextual information. Most Wikis already implement Backlinks. Some of them display Backlinks on the main page, which is the correct behavior. Others (including PurpleWiki) do not. In order to implement this properly, you need a Backlink database.    (249)

Once you have a Backlink database, you might as well use it for other applications besides Wikis, such as blogs. We have this integration in PurpleWiki (see Wikis As Topic Maps for the resulting benefits), but again, it would be much nicer to display the Backlinks on the page itself rather than requiring a person to click on a link to see them. In order to implement this properly, the database has to store document metadata, such as title and author, not just the Backlink. For this reason, I think that TPVortex should use an RDF database on the backend.    (24A)

Other thoughts:    (24B)

I welcome help in all forms — comments, critiques, and especially coding. I’ve set up a Wiki page at the Collaboration CollaboratoryCollab:TpVortex — to serve as the center of design discussions. If you’re interested in contributing or commenting, please do it there. Feel free to drop me an email as well.    (24F)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

« »

Leave a Reply