Folk Concepts

Specific modules and algorithms were considered for a speculative realization of Folk Memory.


On this page I reflect how federated wiki borrows from and sometimes contradicts this original thinking. Compare this and the older page, side by side.

Handy symbols: ✔ borrows, ★ expands, ✘ contradicts.

Object: The unit of communication between servers. Objects may refer to other objects ...

I've made the page the unit of communication. The page wraps objects (json) that do not have systematic references of their own unless they delegate to the internal link handling used by the paragraph plugin.

Trail: Objects maintain a trail that records a sequence of servers through which the object has been copied.

I've preserved this and enlarged it by merging copies (fork action) with other edits in the journal.

Ellipsis: An ellipsis will spontaneously transform into a native reference should any vestige of the elided object ...

A remote page spontaneously forks upon editing. The fork in wiki can replace local content, a situation I did not consider fully before.

Promotion: An object may spontaneously raise its own authority, perhaps due to locally acquired new state that supersedes that of the source copy.

Twins are shown with the newest first in recent changes and with the newer twins labeled as such in the page header. The reader is left to judge authority.

Resolution: An object can be assembled from various sources of various and changing authority.

A wiki computation or visualization can be assembled from data and calculations on pages from various sources that can, optionally, interact over two-way, low-latency sockets.

Server: A server hosts objects of various authority and shares them through bi- directional connections with other peer servers.

Wiki's sharing is by uni-directional pull from a remote server, through the user's browser, then saves to the origin server (if logged in). This better traverses the hierarchy created by firewalls and network address translation (NAT).

Connection: A server simultaneously distributes outbound objects and collects inbound objects.

Not so with wiki. I had envisioned a network that would stabilize on its own. Wiki only stabilizes when authors drive it to consensus through their own hard work.

Extinction: An object that is no longer distributed with primary authority is in danger of extinction.

I had imagined servers housecleaning on their own. Since we do not yet delete pages it is hard to imagine content disappearing quickly. It hadn't yet occurred to me that users would have many sites and that disk storage would be so inexpensive.

Transmission: Class definitions (bytecodes) are transmitted with objects unless they are known to already exist on the receiving end.

Wiki lets data spread out in front of the code that interpret it. Since code is attached to paragraphs, not whole pages, some sense can be made of pages without the full complement of plugins. Also, wiki readers are free to consult the source using their plugins.