Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: An RSS categorization proposal

Author:Samuel Reynolds
Posted:9/10/1999; 11:48:33 AM
Topic:rss channels via email
Msg #:10896 (In response to 10830)
Prev/Next:10895 / 10897

Perhaps, but Dave suggests that (unlike Yahoo or DMOZ) the nodes of this network will go away if not reinforced.

Example: I propose Databases/OODB. You notice that the category exists, and request to add your item to it. The node is reinforced, and stays in the directory.

Example: I propose Databases/OODB. Nobody else cares about that category, however I continue to publish items into, so it is reinforced, and stays in the directory.

Example: I propose Databases/OODB. Nobody else cares. Even I lose interest after a while. When I cease publishing items into the category, it goes away.

I'm thinking of this like a nervous system. Signals need to be reinforced in order to propagate, else they die out. The dying-out is a natural process, them absence of which seems to plague many Web-based information systems.

This is very much like the system I'm adopting in the soon-to-be-alpha Software Directory web app. Each submitted XML file contains a element that lists the categories under which the package should be indexed. This element is a comma-separated list of strings of the form "keyword" or "a:b:c". The Directory can be set up to index a "nested" keyword of the latter form in just the specified nested location, or to "flatten" it so that "a:b:c" becomes "a:b:d,a,b,c", or to permute the nesting to get a number of nested keywords, such as "a:b:c,a:c:b,b:a:c,b:c:a,c:a:b,c:b:a".

Each time the XML file is reloaded (will be automatic or manual), it is de-indexed and re-indexed; any empty keyword/category tables in the index as a result of de-indexing are pruned out.

This all uses the Indexer Suite, All the above except the permutation is already in it, and I plan to add that in the next release.

What about namespace conflicts?

Suppose I propose XML/Syndication, and you propose Syndication/XML. How will this be handled? Our idea is that there is no central authority, which means that these two nodes could coexist. Various possibilities ensue:

Permuting the nested keywords/categories as described above would eliminate the XML/Syndication vs Syndication/XML issue. Use either one and it automatically appears in both. And if you also flatten the keywords, it will also appear in the more general Syndication and XML categories.

- Sam

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