TipTop Summary

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At the moment this TipTop discussion is unadvertised. The intention is to play with some ideas, testing to see if they can be used to make the process of developing Textop more fluid and dynamic. This is a first draft summary.


The outline at the front of a book is a linear map to its contents; the index at the back is a nonlinear assortment of topics covered. Indexes provide indented levels to detail aspects of the topics addressed and open the book to new audiences and new uses. In addition, indexes can be merged easily across books written for different audiences in different contexts.

In an analogy to water, text is water vapor. Textop, the unified outline, is rigid, substantial ice. We propose here Textip, a unified index, that is meant to act as liquid water. Liquid water is a universal solvent. We propose using Textip to pull things apart into components before letting them anneal in a "natural" way into the solid Textop structure. Just as liquid water has been shown to be semi-structured with lots of ice-like ministructures, Textip will be an index with lots of local structure.

Library catalogs provide a linear sort at the granularity of the book. Textop expands this sort to finer granularity. TipTop proposes to provide a union list of elements to be sorted into Textop.

HowardBurrows 08:24, 3 August 2006 (PDT)

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