I’ve been trying to get the Bizar implementation of Ka-Ping Yee’s Roundup: an Issue-Tracking System for Knowledge Workers to work (with some success) which got me rereading his excellent paper.
Two things caught my eye this time: the hyperdatabase and nosy lists. A hyperdatabase seems just like the RDF databases I’m building, except with some more structure. It’s great that Ka-Ping came to the same requirement as I did, perhaps he got it from hanging out with the Xanadu folks, who did things the same way as RDF.
Nosy lists, on the other hand, are an interesting model for email lists I hadn’t thought of. Every time you start a new thread/issue, it gets emailed to the whole list. But from then on a new “nosy list” is created. You’re subscribed to the nosy list by replying, making a comment on the web page for the thread, adding yourself to the list through the web page, or being cced to the list by someone else. From then on only people on the nosy list get messages in the thread. Ka-Ping writes “Nosy lists have actually been tried in practice, and their emergent properties have turned out to be very effective.” I certainly believe it! It’d be much easier to only have to listen to the threads I’m interested in, rather than having to delete all messages in the ones I’m not.
Perhaps one day I’ll get nosy lists, zest and an RDF/hyperdatabase working and I’ll get to use all this cool stuff.