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Article:
  Working With Bitmap Images; Document-Based Application Redux
Subject:   emergent communities...
Date:   2002-05-03 13:01:29
From:   psheldon
I am extremely interested in emergent communities of users as I am eventually wanting to get a post doc with a good mentor relationship guaranteeing publication and ultimate tenure.


I have joined the Maya-PLE community, but so far am extremely shy about asking or answering questions. Every once in awhile I force myself to peek at what's going on and say something heartening.


Apple is developing knowledge navigation in their hyperlinked documents of Help Viewer, but I need a "baby problem book" to make me have any confidence in either Maya or Apple winging it on my own.


Monday night, I had teenagers challenge me on using Maya. My hands weren't being held by walking through the Lessons.pdf which tells you exactly what to do. I fixated on a wrong approach to the challenge and then broke free with an obvious, in hindsight, answer to the teenagers challenge. When next I got into a fixation and had to do operant behavior with a three button mouse, I lost their attention.


According to Deborah Tannen, a masculine conversation style is concern for looking good in performance, but I fear that what I must teach a teenager in the fourth Piaget stage is another concern, a concern for process. That might be distinct from Tannen's alleged feminine concern of bonding of the community. I think the teenagers lost their attention during my operant behavior with the 3 button mouse or maybe they were going to lose their attention span anyway because the information was rather dense.


Nonetheless, I had their attention for a bit and during that bit I may have shared a little process because I asceded to their challenge. Their challenge afforded me with that "baby book of problems" I sorely needed. When I started to respond, I had no idea that I could because I had never responded before. I was scared. I warned them that I might share process and, if they expected prepared performance, they would lose respect and attention for me. But I grinned to indicate that sharing process was a brave thing I had to try to do.


I am now going to try to respond to michele's question about "drag back". I don't know whether I can do it, but I shall be brave and put myself "out there" and risk "losing status", as Deborah Tannen would say. Risking beyond my comfort zone is essential to be a Jungian or Campbellian. Forgive me.


Dragging from a file to a window produces a single type, I suppose, image or bitmap that shows on the screen. Embedded in quickdraw of os 9.x are application specific comments which can be both active or inactive in other applications you paste to. I know this because I pasted equations from software called Weinberg into another software called Acta to use an outliner to organize and compose complex ideas in graduate level mathematics and physics. When an application doesn't understand another application's application-specific comments, it neither acts on them, nor throws them out. There are some sort of levels of interpretation in the clipboard, but the whole thing is there.


What michele did with titling by a pathname suggested that maybe the os x operating system might keep reference to the dragged from file no matter how it interprets in the reduced bitmap representation. So it hasn't actually lost information in the whole file. All I am saying is maybe systems designers of os x designed os x like this. As they are wiser than me, they might have reasons for not doing this, dare I say "pass by reference". If they were so motivated by their wiser design decisions, then a drag from a pict in a window might know the file refered to and make it like a drag from the file. Now, as a devil's advocate to such a motivation, wouldn't I want something distinct from a drag from a file or I'd do a drag from a file? Also, what would be the new meaning of a drag to the finder window, copying of the file? If gestures don't do something new, are they merely a cost rather than a prize?


So, michele's question becomes a question of meaning in the desktop interface, the foundations of design of os x. This is very interesting.


Tannen works in Washington D.C. at Georgetown University, where concern for protocol can have world shattering consequence. I became so embarrassed about protocol that I was afraid that some person might agree with me and say I should be embarrassed and then I'd never get to talk in colloquia dispite the fact that I was cited as inspirational in a paper on quantum gravity in the lab. It doesn't take much to inspire, unless people fear that you will get overbearning from pride. I didn't want the reward for my victory to be to have someone say shut up to me. So, after I was cited, I became extremely embarrassed abou protocol, lest I associate victory with pain and never be victorious again.


However, I took a break from worrying about protocol to read a follow up to Kurzweil's "Age of Spiritual Machines", the followup book recommended me by Amazon.com's robot, "Mind at Lightspeed". In it, I reminded myself of my extreme curiousity about language and interface itself as reflecting the peronsal power (as opposed to worry about interpersonal power etiquette) of Jean Louis Gassee in "The Third Apple". They are talking about the parallelism of a visual system and whole images as opposed to bits in sequence of conversation and the potentialities of a networked parallel community of nodes. I think one can obsess about protocols and miss the wonder of the subject that can transport you to a peaceful place away from such heat.


Sometimes I go on adventures with my old dog and visit universities and talk in professors offices, just shoing I'm interested and being relieved that they can no longer think of me as a graduate student who is after something or worse someone in their public relations staff. Still, such conversations have the anxiety of my performing well in them or at least the expectations of parties not present that I report performance to them. It is such a relief to go into the woods with my dog and take a vacation from interpersonal protocols and etiquette and just get into my perosnal power by reading a textbook and solving problems for the heck of it.


Santa Fe Institute, where scientists of different styles get together, has now taken to have people come by invitation only. This saddens me because I did so enjoy going to lunch with folks there and just talking science friendly and not in any way associated with "having" a position and doing work "for" somebody. It had been a place of personal power of Gassee.


talking here is < $5 < WWDC and a good place to wet my feet.


Its so good to see a live audience out there making programs in cocoa while I'm still afraid of knowledge navigation in Help Viewer to figure the constructs out for myself.


Well, enough poetry. Next time I'll do better.