[deepamehta-users] I annotate ...

Jörg Richter jri at deepamehta.de
Sun Jul 10 03:40:51 CEST 2016

Hi DeepaMehta aficionados,

thank you very much, Juergen, for pointing us to the I Annotate conference and to Gerben's work!
Through Gerben's work I discovered IPFS, which gave me a real good kick :-)
And I see strong connections between DM and the tool Gerben proposes.

IPFS is the InterPlanetary File System. The idea is to logically connect all computing devices to one global distributed file system. The distribution aspect works like BitTorrent. The versioning and addressing (content-addressing SHA-1 checksums) aspects works like Git. IPFS can be seen as one global BitTorrent swarm which moves objects within one global Git repository. For establishing both, global name spaces, and chains of trust IPFS utilizes Self-Certified Filesystems (SFS). IPFS is a synthesis of proven peer-to-peer techniques and is backed by in-depth research.

Regarding DM, IPFS possibly might be the long-seeked for infrastructure component for what DM wants finally to be: a decentralized peer-to-peer system where local user groups could align their data and ontologies when they want to. Another aspect would be working offline and syncing with the peer group once online. In terms of IPFS this would introduce a commit semantic to DM. A commit could be e.g. on a per-workspace basis. On commit DM would produce a file representation of the workspace state and store it in the IPFS.

Set IPFS aside, I see a strong connection between DM and the tool Gerben proposes in his presentation. His tool, vaguely coined "WebMemex", would be both at the same time, a browser, and an information management tool. WebMemex would remember the pages you're visiting while being situated in a certain context (e.g. while attending a multi-day conference), allowing you to annotate them, and displaying this all together in a mind map-like fashion. At the moment WebMemex exists in a very early state.

WebMemex is indeed very close to what DM realizes already. In DM the web browsing part comes in form of the dm4-webbrowser module (part of the DM Standard Distribution). In that module there is an experimental feature called "Trailblazer" which reveals the connections of the web pages you're visiting as a topicmap. By web pages being topics in DM they are ready for being associated with each kind of other topic, which provides the basis for annotation. DM's generic access control system allows for personal/workgroup/public annotations. And context-sensetivity is implicit though DM's omnipresent workspace setting (there could be a workspace "I Annotate 2016"). Furthermore topicmaps displayed in DM are stable, that is spatial topic neighborhoods are preserved (instead of re-layouted each time the focus changes). This way both is supported, the human's sense of orientation, and the human's visual memory.

At the time DM's "Trailblazer" feature was developed it was a proof of concept. It does not work anymore with current DM versions. That's why it is switched off by default. I would appreciate very much if Gerben or some other developer would take care of DM's "Trailblazer" feature.


> On 23 Jun 2016, at 19:37, Juergen Neumann <j.neumann at junes.eu> wrote:
> Dear all,
> earlier this week I met with Gerben who was presenting at
> http://iannotate.org . He is working on a browser based tool https://re
> ad-write-web.org/ . You can wath his presentation here:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKzYmDUydTw .
> We have exchanged some ideas, e.g. about graphical designed queries and
> I told him about LATCH: https://parsonsdesign4.wordpress.com/resources/
> latch-methods-of-organization/
> It would be cool to join forces, but for the moment he wants to focus
> on his own work. But I think it is worthwhile to have a look at his
> work, as I think we can get some inspiration for future clients to
> DeepaMehta.
> Cheers,
> Juergen

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