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Snippet Manager

2003-07-09 01:43:37.953911+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Within the past few days, John Robb posted a few snippets of interesting things that he thought weblogs could become, then resigned as CEO(?) of Userland, the company widely known because of Dave Winer's affiliation with it, and his weblog, hosted on company servers, disappeared.

But he had some good ideas and it seems like he went off to commercialize it. With that in mind, I've had a large information management system banging around in my head for a long time, and I want to get the ideas down on electrons first, so that we have "prior art" out there, and so that if anyone wanted to pay me to develop these ideas maybe they'd step forward.

So, some notes on a snippet manager.

[ related topics: Weblogs Dave Winer Software Engineering ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-07-09 04:15:46.742912+00 by: Shawn

I love your ideas, although at first blush it seems an overwhelming project (but then you didn't offer any idea on what kind of schedule you're thinking about). If you're testing the waters for some possible help, I'd love to be part of the project but I'm a touch hesitant of my ability to significantly contribute without a clearer map of the plan. I've finally started getting things organized and configured here to put in some real work on some of my own projects. (One of which is a generic, uber to-do list - which I'm now thinking could pretty easily be restructured to interface with your snippit manager.) And I've also been poking around for a project or two to contribute to.

#Comment made: 2003-07-09 14:31:45.389478+00 by: ebradway

Sounds like you want something like Google but have it index when the data is created, instead of ad hoc searching. Hmmm... Compile those rate tables and set all kinds of flags based on what they contain and don't contain to speed up searching... Sounds familiar...

#Comment made: 2003-07-10 07:28:37.171181+00 by: Shawn

I'm confused. How is this like Google? It seems to me more like Super-PIM with http access/gateways.

#Comment made: 2003-07-10 19:13:47.827632+00 by: Dan Lyke

The searching component is a part of it, and I want the tool that gives me better semantic markup, but a correspondent (who wishes to remain anonymous because of some of the security issues the (very good good) examples raised) really got it, and tied a bunch of the concepts together for me by pointing out that this needs to be a part of the home entertainment center:

Which takes us back to the "invisible interfaces" thing.

Which leads back into the security problems.

#Comment Re: Snippet Manager made: 2003-08-28 00:57:26.474363+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Reproduced from a comment I made on John Robb asking "What if there was a weblog publishing system and web server on a chip?". Yes, I know, I still haven't published any of my code for these ideas, I've been distracted for a bit. Hoping to get back to them soon. Anyway, my note was:

The solution to user interface issues: Don't have them. Or at least don't change the user interface from what we're already used to. Oft attributed to Bruce Ediger is the observation that "the only intuitive interface is the nipple, after that it's all learned". Any nursing mother will happily inform you that even that's not true. So we've already used huge numbers of neurons learning how to use door handles, snooze buttons and microwave keypads, let's not change that. We already spew tons of unused information into the ether, from when we set our alarm clocks to the odometers in our cars, and devices or protocols which let us build systems to start to correlate all that information will be built by hobbiests first, because there's no immediate economic justification for "you want to network my car with my hot water heater?"

And it's not that "got up at 5:45, took a shower, ran the toaster but not the coffee-maker" is compelling weblog content, it's that the systems which monitor those events can then tell your weblogging software to prompt you about the anomalies, tie that with the fact that you uploaded a bunch of digital camera pictures, make assumptions about what content those pictures contain and who those images should and shouldn't be distributed to, things like that.

I'd love my weblogging software to tell me "You got in at 1:30, were noisy enough that perhaps there was someone else with you, used the digital camera to take 5 pictures, got up at your usual time but made extra coffee. You might want to wait until after work to upload those images, lest you have second thoughts."

Or, "you were gone for two days, had no appointments in your PDA, used the washing machine a lot, why don't we provisionally classify your photos as digital pictures and the emails you sent the next morning as trip reports, and classify them so that later when you're looking for cool landscapes they show up."

None of this is about "server on a chip", or not in the way I take your entry to mean. It's about talking to some semi-centralized system which then decides what to publish to web servers (or email or whatever). Dan Lyke * 8/27/03; 5:44:33 PM

#Comment Re: Snippet Manager made: 2003-08-28 03:41:26.354587+00 by: Pete

Gah. Don't equate instinctive and intuitive. Bad bad bad.

#Comment Re: Snippet Manager made: 2003-08-28 14:04:01.048683+00 by: Dan Lyke

Don't mean to. That's why I didn't use instinctive. Especially not with the nipple reference.