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Hypermedium/data structure by Ted Nelson

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for those who know more about this stuff than i, i have two questions:

Q: so gzz just wants to implement information addressing as a graph, right? like, there are "cells" and connections between them?

A: yes and no. there are cells, and bidirectional links forward and backward along a dimension. So, considering a single dimension, it is less than a complete graph, more a double-linked list. But a cell can be a member of multiple dimensions, so there are multiple of these.

Q: i have heard that the GNU HURD allows any program to create a virtual filestructure. Would it make sense to output a gzigzag type structure as such a "filesystem", such that changing directories would act like following a link?

A: I don't think that would make sense. A zigzag is a more powerful structure than a directory tree.

-- BayleShanks, answers of ThomasWaldmann

Would it make sense? Can anyone besides Ted Nelson make any sense out of what a ZigZag structure is and what good it is? I doubt it! If you want to get lost in a maze where everything is "deeply intertwingled"...

After having a look at some of this ZigZag stuff I would say a Wiki is similar. The basics for a ZigZag data structure is to have BidirectionalLinks and, unlike a 'normal' spreadsheet, if you move in one direction, say 'up' you will come back to where you started rather than just reaching the 'end', a bit like a three-dimensional globe. The concept behind ZigZag is the interconnectedness of all things. Everything is related. For example a structure which holds information on the names of all your family members could be connected to an address book structure, a family tree structure and a photo album structure. It also works in a smilar way to XML/XSLT - the 'data' is seperate to the 'data visualisation'.

-- PaulMillar

I don't think the problem is understanding "what a zigzag IS", but how to make best use of that and how to implement that best. But these zigzags are the better documented and quite concrete part, while the Xanadu project itself rather looks like very vague stuff. I am also still thinking what to get out of that stuff, also regarding Wiki. -- ThomasWaldmann

MedusWiki seems to have somewhat similar/overlapping objectives, in terms of being able to easily define connections between things (although the basic element in MedusWiki, like in most wikis, is the page, rather than the cell). I'm just beginning to try it out, but it looks promising so far. -- MarcusMacauley


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