Building pleasant and stable islands in a storm-tossed sea

May 16, 2007 · · Posted by Greg Lloyd

Traction Roots: A Whirlwind Tour (.ppt 6.2MB) tells the Traction story in pictures: 1) Tim Berners-Lee's web trades stable links for utmost simplicity and bottom-up scalability without central control; 2) Traction creates spaces which are pleasant and stable islands with a rich hypertext model internally: bi-direction links; comments based on ternary relations rather than hacking the representation of the referent object; faceted permission models uniformly enforced for search results, cross-references, as well as content browsing; fully journaled actions, etc. 3) Traction generates HTTP addressable views of its content to enable any item in the Traction corpus to be read and linked like the rest of the web (optionally restricted by access controls). This creates a pleasant and stable island that's easily connected to other islands of stability on the Web - as well as anything in the storm tossed sea - not a stovepiped box.

We set out to build a hypertext system that could natively link to anything and interoperate with anything on the Web, rather than limiting the domain of discourse to whatever people chose to store within a proprietary hypertext box (be it NLS, Intermedia, or Lotus Notes).

Although Traction's logical schema is a rich hypertext model internally, it uses pluggable skins to render the content as permission filtered HTML or XML views on the fly when communicating with Web browsers, RSS readers, search engines, or other agents. That's where a lot of experience and IP resides as well.

You'll be able to get an editing/viewing interface that's as rich as you want, combined with HTML / XML views of the same corpus to make it linkable at a fine grain using standard W3C protocols. Because we mediate the edits, the rich hypertext model retains its internal integrity and presents a stable view to any agent: rich client, Web browser, syndication reader, Web search engine, etc.

An early version of this story is in Use of Weblogs for Competitive Intelligence | First International Business, Technology CI Conference, Tokyo Oct 2005


Reinventing the Web (2009) Ted Nelson, Tim Berners-Lee and the evolution of the Web. Ted Nelson wants two-way links, stable transclusion, micropayments. Tim Berners-Lee wants a new Web with open, linked data. I believe that most of what they want can be delivered using the current flakey, decentralized and wildly successful Web as the delivery medium for richer, more stable, more permanent internal models, as stable federations of islands in a storm-tossed sea.

Intertwingled Work (2010) No one Web service or collection of Web servers contain everything people need, but we all get along using search and creative services that link content across wildly different sources. The same principal applies when you want to link and work across wildly different siloed systems of record and transactional databases.

20 June 2005 | Supernova | Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web? If a person can find what they need on the public Web, why can't they work the same way when they're at work? Identity and permission over simple HTTP / HTML are the foundation.

The Evolution of Personal Knowledge Management - Snapshots

Page Top