I came across this blog while looking for combined use of Wiki and MindMaps. Kneaver combines naturally both as being alternative displays of the same body of Knowledge. Presentations is yet another.
Back to Eric Blue. Eric had a post about visual Wiki. This is the link: http://eric-blue.com/2009/05/12/the-visual-wiki-a-new-metaphor-for-knowledge-access-and-management/. It was conference from John Hosking (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~john) about Visual Wiki. IMO the video is a not very conclusive. May be the most interesting is the mention of thinkbase (see it directly at http://thinkbase.cs.auckland.ac.nz/)
Eric has a goal of building his own Personal Memex from open source components. I fully agree with him on the necessity of graphical capabilities. Alas Kneaver is not open source so I can’t help otherwise Eric would be able to continue his mindmap directly on Kneaver
Back on the question of open source and how much technology can be projected client side. This is a very complex issue since most path leads to dead ends.
- Anything based on Flash uses a proprietary software not uniformly supported (iPhone). Howver his mind map is running with Flash and freemind browser and it works.
- Anything on java is likely to causes issues as well. Either browser not running java or performance. Thinkbase on top of java is hard to start (even with Chrome). We experienced this also in another project. The graphic was neat, interactive and all but most visitors just didn’t see that an applet was present
- HTML5 canevas has also a caveat: Internet Explorer don’t support it and still it is 70% of the market.
- SVG had limited support via a plugins supported by Adobe. Adobe don’t support it anymore (normal in between they have flash and there are svg viewers based on Flash).
- No client technology. Just plain jpeg files.
Today we support SVG, jpeg (server side computed, will work everywhere including cell phones) and mm (can be visualized with Freemind viewer). Youcan swicth from one technology to another.
The truth is there are plenty of software for mind mapping (http://www.mind-mapping.org/full-list.php) but a lack of standardization. Most of them operates like powerpoint. You work on a single map at a time and end up wondering where is the best place to store your notes. This is one of the barriers we break. Maps are only a view among others of your thoughts.
Now what is the most exiting part of his blog is the Personal Memex. Taking the idea from Vannevar Bush and to start pick and add building blocks as they appear on the market. That’s very inspirational. http://eric-blue.com/my-projects/personal-memex/
It’s like a shopping list, we are waiting to see what the cook prepared with the ingredients.
- Core – Mediawiki (Content Management System, Wiki)
- Document Management
- Semantic capability
- webpage capture
- Timeline browsing, faceted browsing
- Multimedia integration
You can also see the requirements
- Capability to act as a “bit-bucket”. That’s really our KneaverTray and the Kneaver pipeline or Knowledge hose.
- Ability to store “Notes”. Ok again.
- Timeline access. goes back to facet browsing and mental frames.
- Navigation beyond traditional hierarchy. for me it is the same as above.
- Comprehensive search
- Ability to store meta-data. I would add meta-linking.
- Ability to import, export and share. I would share as much as possible or import and subscribe to stay current.
- Integration with mind maps. I would add Powerpoints, texts, databases.
What is missing IMO:
- Automated discovery system that will connect things together. My input is a text, a mindmap, a document but I want the system to automatically understand where it stands.
- Continuation prompts: inductors are a generalization of pending wikilinks. This is a cumulative knowledge database and I want to be able to continue from any pending links, find them and kneave them together.
- I need to be able to turn seamlessly some part of existing knowledge into meta data. For a recipe I need the ingredients, the time it takes for preparation and then a body of text or a video. Now go back to every recipe and check this is available.
Eric Blue’s blog is very active. Since 2004 several posts per month. Real good work and plenty of interesting contents. I wish I have the occasion to return to read it often.