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Design Notes

Outgrowth of a conversation between @sebpaquet and @ffunch

Design principles

  • Flexibility
  • The fields that are set in stone must be really robust
  • Any built-in categorization scheme will fall apart

  • Portability
  • across people / entities
  • Maybe avoid being in 1st person - it's not about you. it's about something you want to happen in the world - this makes it portable from person to person and groups can affiliate

  • Like-ability (a means to show membership/stickiness)
  • There must be several levels of commitment
  • I Like (show demand for existence)
  • I can help, point to some pieces
  • I commit to doing XYZ

  • Can be attached to an identity
  • OpenID?
  • Widget creates an implicit link to identity

  • Carefully named (sub)-structures

Launch requirements

  • Basic structure
  • Something produces it
  • Something consumes it

Browsing the intentmap
  • Show me the popular intents
  • Show me the intents of my friends (and their friends)

Structure of entries

"Canonical URL" for that intent (unique identifier)
  • similar to OpenID?
  • How does FOAF give canonical URLs

"Title" = name of the thing that should exist / Problem / Solution / Imaginatum

"Description" = What is the thing that should exist
  • Consideration: Evolvability / forkability (seems tricky)
  • Is it revisable?
  • Who owns it? Does anybody own it?
  • How does it get edited? (need a simple solution to this issue)
  • Consideration: Mergeability
  • Consideration: representation - we want to allow free text but also more structured content (e.g. XML/RDF "Intent Code") to open the way to sophisticated uses

"Links to other intents"
  • Superordinate/subordinate intents (subclass/superclass)
  • Similar intents

It's a minefield that has to be carefully navigated.


(Release early, release often, have something to look at and criticize)
1. Try to create an intent file for IntentMap
2. Do under-the-radar trials
3. When the structure makes sense, dress it up
4. Build a prototype (pingable?) harvester
5. Let the widgets out