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JerryMuelver Archive B

Eureka 2002.02.10 11:14 GMT -

Progress of sorts on rewriting hytext.com continues. It is becoming a dual-mode NakedWiki self-demo, with a branch to a "Try it yourself" technique exercise wiki.


I seem to have a reason for TransClusion -- the assembly of disparate multicomponent documents from a common base of information chunks in a workgroup setting. For instance:

Attaching files

It occurred to me that I could hook a file upload script into wiki.pl so that uploads would be restricted to Editors and Administrators -- a cheap and easy soft security measure.

Instant wiki -- just add water

Remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon with the Martian invaders? The little bad guy had a bottle of pills. When he put a drop of water on a pill, it instantly expanded into a large, awk-like Martian warrior.

I wrote a Perl script to collect a list of HTML files into a single large file so it could be formatted and printed from Word, or handed over to translators. A companion script took such a compiled and translated file and broke it back down into its constituent pages, all markup and translations in place and ready to go to work as on online help function (electronic performance support system). The whole system cut about half the cost out of the required six-language translation process.

It should be possible to patch wiki.pl to read such a compiled file (or accept it through a textarea box paste operation) and break it up into wiki pages, provided that the file was wiki-syntax compatible. I'll poke around in Cliff's superb Perl and see what I can break!

Eureka 2002.01.08 08:53 GMT - First glimmerings of Wiki in the Workplace

Everything suddenly jelled. The early thirst for organizing thought and expression, a fascination with languages and a 40-year flirtation with Esperanto, learning programmed instruction design in the 60's from Thiagi (Sivasailam Thiagarajan at http://thiagi.com, with whom I've had no contact for 34 years -- see http:www.squarewheels.com/Articles2/thiagi.html for a brief on experiential learning), developing Pattern Resonance Theory as an internal compass through life's absurdities, consuming Apple II and filecabinet, struggling with Word and Interleaf and Framemaker and Wordperfect for decades to produce rational tech docs, vaingloriously battling to stem the cash hemorrhages in multinational companies who steadfastly refuse to use intelligent methods to produce performance support materials, plumbing Information Mapping in the 70's, the oddball excursion into awk in the 80's to develop requirements and programming doc processing tools ad hoc because no one put it all together before, the advent of the Web, writing a book about Perl just to justify learning the language, the development of XML, the rise of Information Architecture (rediscovering Information Mapping now manifesting as Topic Mapping), and falling headfirst into wikis....

I get into a manic funk after major projects -- the longer the project ran, the deeper and more manic the funk. I get off into intellectual or artistic rampages to cope with the release of focus. Since I am neither intellectual nor artistic, these rampages serve only to postpone re-engagement with the serious business of earning a living. However, they have led me through romances with motorcycling, karate, logging (as one-man terraforming efforts), ski-skating, snowmobiling, off-road ATV excursioning, jazz vibraphone studies, and most recently -- blues harp. My wife is less than wholly supportive of my current ambition to play harmonica in a blues band in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

I woke up at 2:00am this morning, with harmonica blues riffs running through my head. I began to restructure the riffs I had studied earlier in the day, playing them out mentally in different keys, working out the chord structures for playing in various keys -- blues harp is played on single-key diatonic harmonicas, and it takes some juggling to squeeze the missing notes and chords you need out of an instrument with a rigidly over-siplified design. Mississippi delta blues harp players go by ear and instinct. Since I am hearing- and instinct-challenged, I intellectualize the learning process, and chart everything out in order to get control of the knowledge base. The hope is that the intellectual effort will evolve into a passable substitute for talent.

My mental blues riffs dissolved into thoughts of refining my written notes and charts on blues harp structures, perhaps in a more wikiway than I had done so far. That led me into thoughts about how to rebuild my business web site (currently moving to new ISP) to show off NakedWiki as a courseware tool. From there, I went into listing the specific enhancements required to make a wiki more useful for development and presentation, entertaining atavars of dot-coded documentation systems from my awk-ish past. After developing such a system, I would of course have to use the system to bootstrap an explanation of itself and... and... wham!

The whole thing flashed into being, a polished, glittering gem floating out of chaos like the Enterprise sailing out of clouds of lightning-matrixed antimatter. I know how to do it. I can put together a system for extracting information from experts and sources, destructuring and labeling it into chunks, and reassembling it into instructional and reference materials, with procedures and tools simple enough to master in a three-day course. The system will be rigorous, robust, scalable, easily deployed, and demonstrably effective.

Best of all, I got a call yesterday from a kid who plays blues guitar and is looking for a harp player to work out some kit and push for some small local gigs with a good representtation of adoring relatives in the audience. Things just don't get any better than this.

Wiki as Web Editor

New wiki site -- http://hytext.com/ -- is coming along. The idea is to present the wiki way as a site and doc development tool by developing the site as a wiki. It's a NakedWiki, with the authoring wiki locked up with a password. There's a branch out to a regular wiki, so prospects can mess around with the Real Thing. There is still a lot of work left to do -- more examples, some WBT stuff, a file uploading function, etc. But the basic idea is taking root quite nicely.

Hey, Sunir!

That's one helluva logo you finally came up with. It's simply captivating, mantra-ish even. I really love it!



Hi Jerry, when I improvised my first steps into MathSongs?, I based it on the country blues idiom, because I think, you might like it. Beware, it is only a rough sketch. In my dreams I see/hear it "full blown" in greater perfection. I love the blues, sophisticated boogies, gospel, funk, jazz and experimental music. Feb 17, 2002. 16:13 PST Fridemar

Kinda feels like I-V-IV-I in C, blues scale with flat 3rd, maybe sharp 4 too. Is that it? What are the changes? -- JerryMuelver

I really don't know the scheme I used, when playing it out of a mood. I'll have to relisten. Clearly, for jamming together, we must negotiate some chord progression. Feel free to suggest one. At moment I can't access SeedWiki. I earlier put the lyrics on a seperate page, with wide spaces between lines, in which we could collaboratively change the chord progressions as needed for jamming. I think, I have to put in some OpenMusicLicence?, to encourage and protect all involved contributors. Feb 17, 2002. 08:17 PST FridemarPache

Wiki collaboration on musical composition seems to be a new area. Putting up http://harplog.com/ gave me some thoughts about that. I use PRE on the charts and chord pages to maintain formatting control but haven't gotten into doing tabulature yet. I think ScottMoonen's macro concept in WikkiTikkiTavi might hold promise. You could enter a scripted version of notes and durations, get harmonica or guitar tabs out, maybe even a piano-friendly fake sheet. -- JerryMuelver

As a shortcut for integrating music composition into (html-enabled) wikis, I consider the plugins http://www.myriad-online.com/enindex.htm. The shareware is low-priced and has attracted a great community round about it. Feb 17, 2002. 14:44 PST FridemarPache



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