The Arrow System Paper

David Hilvert
Sun, 2 May 1999 01:11:06 -0700

Hi, all.  I thought I would comment a bit on the Arrow Paper, in part
because I found it interesting, and in part because of the ensuing
discussion about "where tunes is going".  I've been following tunes for a
while, about a year, and in general, I think it's going in a pretty good
direction.  I hope no one minds if I add some thoughts to the mix.

The paper took me longer to read than I had expected.  There were terms
that were unclear to me, probably due to some combination of ignorance and
laziness on my part, but all in all, I enjoyed the paper, and I think I
gained something from it.

I think that the simplicity of the arrow system as presented in the paper
is the kind of thing that I would look for in a proposed computing system,
from the standpoints of implementation and usability.  I think that the
overview of existing systems given in the paper makes a strong argument
for a simpler system (as well as being interesting in itself).

One question that I am inclined to ask is to what degree the arrow system
can be integrated with external systems.  I have a few ideas about this,
but maybe not very good.  Or, to look at it another way, if the arrow
system has the potential to store and manipulate information in a way that
would make more efficient human-computer interaction possible, what steps
can be taken to accomplish more efficient human-computer interaction
given the tools of (a) our current computing systems and (b) a program
constructed to manage structures of arrows.  In other words, what first
steps can we look for (or make) in this area?

I was a bit lost on a few of the definitions, but again, I think this is
mainly due to my own ignorance.  Just to list a couple, e.g. why is an
ontological frame required?  Are the terms context, ontology, and
ontological frame a necessary part of the arrow system, or are they only
introduced for the purposes of constructing an argument within the paper?  
I lost the distinction between these terms, but I'm not sure to what
degree this affected my understanding of the paper.

Anyway, that's all for now.