Authoring,  Meetings,  Perspective,  ViewSpecs

fast dynamic views & dynamic displays

Based on our previous meeting, thinking and talking with Chris, I have noted down an issue of what we are referring to as a rich, dynamic view of blog articles:

I am convinced that in order for the symbol manipulation Doug Engelbart spoke so highly off to be realised, we will have to developed much richer visual authoring and reading environments, both in terms of the visual presentation and the speed and smoothness of interaction. For the jrnl project we have our priorities and here are some further thoughts based on our last group chat:

Visually Rich

I feel that it will be important to use a visually bigger, wider and deeper view than simple blocks of text. The reason for this has been explained many times but boils down to applying our occipital lobe to support our prefrontal cortex.

Instant Interaction

What is also crucial is the speed of the interaction. In the same way Doug used the illustration of a skiing downhill to show how important speed of interaction is, I feel that the difference between waiting any amount of time for a visualisation to settle/build will make it a category less useful than something simpler but ‘instant’.

Least Effort

It should possible to draw forth what is required in the least energy using way for a trained/experienced user. The mental load of authoring and studying is already substantial and the tool cannot add to the load.  There is of course a balance here; the user should invest in learning their tools but this investment should have a clear payoff once basic use of the tool has become become second nature, once exikiosis has been achieved.


For example, as I wrote “symbol manipulation Doug Engelbart” above, I should very easily be able to see what I have written on that topic and have a very quick and easy way to link to my previous article/definition/notes.

The way I do this now is to write my text in Liquid | Author, select that text and use Liquid | Flow to search my own blog. This works ok but the search result on my blog are few and the refining of the search result is not very useful. I believe this could be a great case study for jrnl and visualisation improvement and it maps onto Chris’ ideas of refining queries and Doug’s ViewSpec modifications.

What is necessary is for many more articles to be shown (in my current theme it’s just 3) and for me to be able to switch on and off Categories and Tags to refine what I am looking for, then to click to open and copy the URL or to quickly copy the URL from the search results.

In other words, my research focus at the moment is on finding my own articles when authoring, not as much on trying to understand someone else work. Doug wrote somewhere that it’s hard to orient yourself in someone else information and at least as hard to orient yourself in your own information and I cannot find this quote at the moment, which highlight how right he is, since I consider his work part of my core research and therefore should be able to find it in my own ‘information space’.

Maybe the start should be a theme experiment?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *