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From Brian McCallister <>
Subject Re: What can I do?
Date Mon, 29 Mar 2004 14:32:20 GMT
On Mar 25, 2004, at 8:57 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:

> I don't know what kind of energy and time you have, but If you feel 
> like creating a better infrastructure for our docs it'd sure be 
> welcome. Many great ideas have been floating around but it's still 
> stuck at the ideas stage at the moment.

Well... the docs have good content, and good formatting, and these are 
well seperated, but navigating and finding things is tough. Probably 
the hierarchy and flow of the documentation needs to be abstracted from 
the content and look-and-feel. Looking through documentation can be 
modeled as navigating a graph of tangentially related elements, and, as 
Stefano recently pointed out, RDF models graphs.

Maybe we need a system for handling arbitrary RDF based element graphs 
and building navigational constructs based on the mappings. The 
constructs could be output to XML and formatted somehow into a 
navigable structure (maybe transformed into Perl and presented as a 
windows-help style app). Doing this in a performant manner may require 
static compilation, but I suspect an optimized system allowing dynamic 
compilation of the data can be done -- possibly using a Flower Pot 
metaphor for the design.

If only there were a good tool around designed to abstract the content, 
look and feel, and user interface elements of documentation.

-Brian (with tongue firmly in cheek)


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