Tinderbox Forum

Roam Research - interesting approach to note taking

What would you recommend reading for the more recent work?

What would you recommend reading for the more recent work?

Whoo — big question!

On spatial hypertext, everything starts with Cathy Marshall. Tons of papers, all of them unique. Her book,

Marshall, C. C. 2009 Reading and Writing the Electronic Book (Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services) . Morgan and Claypool Publishers.

is indispensable.

Marshall, C. C. 1998. “Toward an ecology of hypertext annotation”. Proceedings of the ninth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, 40-49.

is outstanding. The early

Shipman, F. and Marshall, C. C. 1999. “Formality Considered Harmful: Experience, emerging themes, and directions on the use of formal representations in interactive systems”. CSCW . 333-352.

is an important corrective to one hazardous strand in our research area. The core papers on VIKI and VKB are really key. Marshall’s frequent collaborator Frank Shipman and his notable students including Francisco Revilla and Haowei Hsieh continue this line of work.

Another important area is computational representation of argumentation. This goes back to Toulmin, and see Conklin, J. and Begeman, M. L. 1988. “gIBIS: A Hypertext Tool for Exploratory Policy Discussion”. ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems . 6, 4, 303-331.

Though it is remembered as a research dead end, Aquanet had lots of influence on Tinderbox and much else: Marshall, C. C. and Rogers, R. A. 1992. “Two Years before the Mist: Experiences with Aquanet”. ECHT’92 . 53-62. Also the work of Streitz et al

Streitz, N., Geißler, J., Haake, J., and Hol, J. 1994. “DOLPHIN: Integrating meeting support across local and remote desktop environments and liveboards”. CSCW 94 . 345-359.

and the Nanards.

Nanard, J. and Nanard, M. 1991. “Using Structured Types to incorporate Knowledge in Hypertext”. Hypertext’91 . 329-343.

I think Heiko Haller’s work fits in this tradition, though he might not agree.

Haller, H. and Abecker, A. 2010. “iMapping: a zooming user interface approach for personal and semantic knowledge management”. Proceedings of the 21st ACM conference on Hypertext and hypermedia, HT ‘10 . 119-128.

So does Simon Buckingham-Shum

Kirschner, P. A. et al eds., 2003 Visualizing argumentation : software tools for collaborative and educational sense-making . Springer.

Okada, A., Buckingham Shum, S. J., and Sherborne, T. 2008 Knowledge cartography : software tools and mapping techniques . Springer.

On trails, visualization, and engagement, see Polle Zellweger. Andy van Dam at Brown has just started doing some terrific new stuff. Also:

Roundefinedner, Rossner, D., Atzenbeck, C., and Gross, T. 2019. “Visualization of the Relevance: Using Physics Simulations for Encoding Context Proceedings of the 30th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media”. HT 19 . pp 67-76.

David Kolb’s philosophical work is pertinent:

  • Kolb, D. 2012. “Story/Story”. Hypertext 2012 .
  • Kolb, D. 2009 Hypertext Structure Under Pressure . In Reading Hypertext, D. G. Mark Bernstein, ed. Eastgate Systems, Inc.,
  • Kolb, D. 1994. “Socrates in the Labyrinth: Hypertext, Argument, Philosophy”.

Possibly useful for Tinderbox and Storyspace are

Bernstein, M. 2003. “Collage, composites, construction”. Proceedings of the fourteenth ACM conference on Hypertext and hypermedia . 122-123.

Bernstein, M. 2002. “Storyspace 1”. Proceedings of the 13th ACM Hypertext Conference . 172-181.

Bernstein, M. 2011. “Can We Talk About Spatial Hypertext?”. Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia . 103-112.

There remains a ton of good work in the knowledge representation milieu before AI Winter: see for example Lenat, D. B., Borning, A., McDonald, D., Taylor, C., and Weyer, S. 1983. “Knoesphere: Building Expert Systems with Encyclopedic Knowledge Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence - Volume 1”. IJCAI’83 . 167-169.

The best and most thoughtful study of digital aesthetics — an area this line of work cannot ignore — is

Spuybroek, L. 2011 The Sympathy of things : Ruskin and the ecology of design

Never properly published, Ted Goranson wrote About This Particular Outliner, perhaps the most thorough study of any software genre to date


Dave Winer wrote extensively on outliners and on the borderland between writing and code in knowledge management tools. https://scripting.com.

I’ve got a huge volume of a History Of Information Graphics. (Rengen and Wiedmann) next to my desk and I have great hopes for it.

Stian Håklev has an interesting and pertinent thread this morning on Twitter: https://twitter.com/houshuang/status/1217367073157812224

I’m omitting tons of stuff here: the entire canon of the Southampton crew (Wendy Hall, Hugh Davis, Les Carr, David Millard, Dave DeRoure), the important work of Adaptive Hypertext (Peter Brusilovsky, Paul De Bra), Intermedia (Norm Meyrowitz, Andy van Dam, George P. Landow). But I’m out of time. Apologies to all I missed in this fast and slovenly pass.


It seems the ACM digital library’s citation info has a typo here as the lead author of the paper is Daniel Roßner. Clearly the OCR chocked on the ß, thus Ros+undefined+ner.

Thanks for such a comprehensive list. Lots to explore there!

Not comprehensive by any means!

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As someone immersed in this topic, are you disappointed about “where we are” when it comes to the way information is presented in the year 2020? Is there a “Jetsons effect”, as in – where are the jetpacks, flying taxis and so on? Or has the internet basically become the hypertext vision that people like yourself were envisaging back in the early days of the concept? I imagine it’s somewhere in between, but interested in your thoughts.

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I’m still missing my hover car…

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I tend to agree.

We aren’t where I’d like to be, that’s for sure. Intertwingled, is an angry book.

Then again, the Web as universal library has actually turned out to be far easier and cheaper to build than anyone anticipated.

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I think that’s due to the reverse of the tragedy of the commons. Without anyone steering it other than the zeitgeist, it became obvious that disseminating info and content for free (or something approaching it) made it actually more valuable as more of it accumulated. The network effect.

Of course there have been major downsides along the way – e.g. privacy and credibility issues, parasitical commercialisation and exploitation, and a magnification of very nasty tribalism and all that entails politically. But I think it’s very hard not to call it a net positive.