I’m here because Bill Seitz recommended that I check out this territory, since we’d been discussing a number of things related to wikis lately on the BlueOxen collaboratories.
My professional background is in SGML and XML markup, and spent a number of years involved in the original IETF HTML WG and the W3C HTML WG. I was the editor of the W3C’s modularized XHTML DTDs, and was also heavily involved in the XML Topic Maps work. In 2002 I moved from California to England and began taking some of these technologies and applying them in development of a software application called Ceryle, which began as the core project of a doctoral programme at the Knowledge Media Institute. That ended, no Ph.D. but wothehell as Mehitabel says.
One of the reasons I’m interested in wikis is that some years ago I developed a simple text markup system to author web pages. Sound familiar? Well, I called it Augmented Plain Text (APT), and it used codes like “#H2” at the beginnings of lines to auto-generate XHTML markup. About a year ago I moved APT more towards being a wiki-like markup, such as changing the hash to a percent sign and supporting wiki headings and inlines. I renamed the APT variant as Ceryle Wiki text, and began discussing with people on the BlueOxen yak and tools-yak list the idea of registering a MIME type for wiki text. That never got anywhere in the end. What I’ve ended up doing is dumping the whole APT approach (though Ceryle still contains the code) and simply installed a Jetty web server and wiki software (JSPWiki) right through Ceryle’s left nostril, a bit like one of those nose rings that kids working in coffee shops wear, except this one is functional. There’s now a CeryleWiki online too.
Hi, Murray ! I am seriously considering writing a series of pages about semantics in PlainTalk some of these days… It could be really useful and will serve all of our friends and readers. NicolasMontessuit
that’s great! gute idee . --sigi
If you write about it, please let us know about where you’re doing it; Or even do it here! If you like, that is. But I’d like to follow it’s progress. – LionKimbro
bonne idée --SylvieBourguet
Prêt à faire un effort s’il le faut pour traduire avec Sylvie – ChristopheDucamp
Nicolas, since the word semantics is itself not really PlainTalk (“meaning” would probably be what most people would use, or “what something means”), I’m curious as to how you would approach writing about semantics. Another big important word (that doesn’t have a simple PlainTalk equivalent) is epistemology — how we know what we know, and the nature of what we know — and I’ve been doing as much reading in epistemology recently as time has allowed. Any discussion on the nature of meaning quickly strays into epistemology. Most chatter about the “Semantic Web” (not to be confused with the chatter of terrorists) ignores the fact that semantics can’t exist on the web, that semantics (meaning) only comes about via the interpretation we each make of the information that we encounter. It’s like saying that knowledge exists in books. It sounds kinda correct, but books really only contain ink. We gain knowledge by reading them, in an act of communication. (Is this the kind of PlainTalk discussion you were thinking of, or of some other kind?) – MurrayAltheim
Hey Murray! It’s good to see you here again.
I always wondered what you would think of SemanticNetworksForSearch. The short version is that I played around with semantic networks and attaching ideas to segments of a SemanticNetwork, and I found a number of interesting dilemmas and ideas and stuff doing so. I think my explorations were guided by the ideas you have explained to me. – LionKimbro
Helmut, I’m a bit confused. I made no edits to that page (at least not recently) and I certainly didn’t eliminate any of its contents (including Lion’s comments), so there must be some misunderstanding. The only thing I can think of is that I perhaps accidentally rolled back the revision by clicking on the link, but I don’t remember doing that nor do I even remember being on the site on 2007-02-25. I certainly didn’t intend to remove Lion’s comments, as I would never do that. – MurrayAltheim
Murray, good to know, this doesn’t explain it technically but socially, thank you. – Helmut