[tomboy-list] future ideas
Eric S. Johansson
esj at harvee.org
Sun Dec 6 15:21:06 PST 2009
I've been thinking about how to change the way we view communications and
written content. It came out of an experience with a friend in Finland. We would
have instant message conversations that lasted for days. sometimes, if we were
awake at the same hour, chatter back and forth but more likely than not, we
would send a message and then noticed sometime later that the message had
arrived and it was our turn to the next go around. this worked because the
message was on the same page. I also got to thinking about would've made this
experience better would have been the ability to send and retrieve files just as
asynchronously. Instant Messenger file transport rarely works well across priv
boundaries and it also doesn't work well for one to many transfer requests.
From this experience came the idea of "rathole". I decide to use this name
because inevitably, when you start a conversation with people on the net, it
goes down a rat hole. Maybe it's because I talk with people that have long soft
whiskers, silky fur and naked tail. Maybe it's for some of the reason I haven't
quite figured out. But in any case the idea of rathole is to make it simple to
interact with someone at a distance. In geek speak, it's a pass by reference
communications channel. In other words you do not tell the far side "here's the
data" you tell the far side "here's how to get the data"
You might ask what does this have to do with tomboy? The more I use tomboy, the
more it feels like smart paper that has been given a lobotomy. I think I figured
out how (in a speech recognition friendly way) to make tomboy become a framework
for smart paper. If you don't want to go there, that's okay just say so and I'll
The way I see it, you use smart paper as a connection to any number of people on
the end of your communications network. You write text in and a reference to
your text is copied to the far side. In order to view it, they will need to pull
the image over. You can also tell your paper to keep his mouth shut until you're
done and right all bunch of text and then send it. Ask me later about looking at
the temporal and revision models for document presentation.
You could create attachment to a text file which is visible to everyone you can
see your piece of paper. You can go back and make corrections and that
correction is reflected to everyone. This last one is very important to me
because I make lots of mistakes with speech recognition and it's sometimes a
pain to catch them all at once.
Type a piece of paper, others can see what you type and what you attach to that
paper. The paper can also be converted to a webpage and all URLs including to
what you attach should be rendered correctly. The thinking behind this user case
is that I might write a bunch of documentation, Some patches and I really don't
care about the style or format. It's just text put into a framework. But once I
"push" the text to a webpage/CMS environment, the URL for any attached documents
get converted appropriately. Maybe also it's pushing the attachment as well to
the publication site. That needs a bit more thought obviously.
So what do you think?
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