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Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 06:45:30 -0000

From:   Yee Su Ling"


Subject:   OHS 6/8/2000 minutes

(Drafted by Su-Ling, and once again Eugene makes me look good with his additions and editing :))

OHS Meeting 6/8/2000, SRI Engineering Bldg, EK255, 4-6 PM


Doug Engelbart, Marcelo Hoffman, Pat Lincoln, Eugene Kim, John Deneen, Joe Williams, Tom Hill, Mary Coppernoll, Lee Iverson, Keith Laderoute, Howard Liu, Jim Hurd, Su-Ling C. Yee.

  1. News:

    • We had two new guests this week: Tom Hill, who attended last week's meeting via teleconference, and Keith Laderaut, who is at SRI's biology lab, and who'd be interested in using the "10th generation" of the Open Hyperdocument System.

    • Doug relayed that Washington is starting to happen. DARPA and their information systems people want ideas about how to redo/reuse the Net. DARPA contracted SPC to run workshops on this topic. Next week, Doug and Pat will present at this workshop in D.C. (see last week's minutes).

      Also, Doug received email from the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense who is interested in scaling up the Department of Defense's improvement infrastructure.

    • Doug contacted Jeff Conklin, an old friend and colleague, who recently came up with a way to do backlink management. He formed a startup, but it was not successful. Doug will meet with Conklin while in D.C.

    • Doug and Pat went to Sun today at Andy Poggio's invitation to discuss how OHS can help solve his division's problem of hardware design software. One of Andy's biggest short-term needs is better interaction between his tools. In the long term, Andy could use the OHS.

    • Joe has put together an intitial glossary at...

      Email him terms, corrections, suggestions, at

    • Eugene asked the group about the possibility of video conferencing or audio broadcasting our meetings so others who cannot attend can participate. Pat said that the room we use is wired, and so we can potentially set that up. Eugene suggested tabling the issue until it became higher priority.

    • Eugene suggested starting a separate mailing list focused solely on the development of OHS. All in agreement. The list will either be on (some lists are already there and are not being used) or on SourceForge. Doug is high on using SourceForge as a development platform. Eugene will set up a project page there.

    • Doug is out of town the next two weeks. On the Thursday he comes back, he'll be giving his Cadence talk on the OHS. We agreed to reschedule that week's meeting when the time comes so that Doug can attend.

    • Eugene proposed we commit to a license by July 6. All in agreement. Eugene promised to have a summary of the licensing issues before the next meeting.

    • John mentions the VCs he met at a VC conference, particularly Russell Hall of Legacy. Wants to invite him to one of our meetings. It is agreed that when we get to the point when we are ready to do a pitch, this is a good idea.

  2. Discussion about drafting the proposal for government funding:

    Pat says pieces from all contributions thus far on the list can be used to craft this.

    Eugene especially liked the first few sentences of Warren's proposal, because it set the context of the project. Pat agreed, and made the following points:

    • Paragraph should set the proper context, as Warren's did.

    • It should focus on the U.S.

    • It shouldn't mention things like bioweapons or nanoweapons, as DARPA is currently funding these types of projects.

    • The final sentence should suggest what DARPA should do.

    Doug added that we should mention in our pitch that we are seeking industry funds in parallel. Pat agreed, noting that DARPA expects technology transition strategies to be mentioned in proposals.

    Pat said that in the "first steps" paragraph, we should say what we expect to accomplish over the next three years. We need to include the advantages of solving a serious problem. The OHS and DKR should be mentioned in this paragraph, along with parallel projects that we see growing out of these.

    Pat and Lee explain that we are pitching a DARPA program, not a proposal. Programs provide funding for a multitude of projects. Proposals are pitched under the auspice of a program. Once a program is created, DARPA creates a BAA (Broad Agency Announcement) soliciting proposals. In essence, we are helping DARPA create a BAA with our proposal.

    Marcello noted that the process of creating a program is a long one, typically around 18 months. Pat added that there are ways to shortcircuit the process.

    Other notes on the "first steps" paragraph: We should include the maximum amount of interesting, useful info that will fit in the paragraph. Referencing standards (eg. XML, etc.) that we can build on top of is important. Also important to include scheduled breakthroughs.

    Pat said that he has enough from the suggested summary paragraphs to piece together a paragraph of his own, and said that he will send it out to the mailing list for comments.

  3. W3C has talked about getting Doug more involved, possibly as a fellow. Doug thinks if we move into the right place in W3C, it would be a terrific community. He knows Tim Berners-Lee well enough that when we are ready he will approach him.

  4. Discussion of software development views in OHS.

    Storyboard it out. For example, it depends on the style people do their programming. Doug says it's important to have different options for views.

    Brainstorming follows on what would be useful views to have:

    • Comments-only.

      Lee asked what this means.

      Doug noted that this is useful depending on a programmer's style of commenting.

      Eugene agreed, stating that this view might be good for languages that embed documentation in comments within source code, such as Java.

    • Code-only (no comments).

    • Functions only.

    • Call trees.

    • Object hierarchies.

    • Collapsible blocks.

    • Context highlighting.

      Eugene noted that while this is almost a universal feature, there are still some creative things we can do. For example, he suggested bolding or graying out code based on profiling information -- the more often code is called, the bolder it looks.

      Lee suggested using context highlighting with change log information to do blame attribution.

      Pat suggested highlighting code that had been proven correct.

      He also suggested combining context highlighting with unit testing information: highlighting code that had a unit test, code that had been covered, etc.

    • Change logs.

      John proposes building IP protection into the architecture and discusses 3rd party escrow. Lee says verifiable journaling meets this need.

    Doug wonders how long it will take us to make a little prototype.

    A very important thing to start with is email. Hypermail, adding linkability and citability.

    It is agreed that next week we will go through use cases so we can come up with targets for prototyping.

    John talks about WebMinds as a use case.

  5. Demo of Augment.

    Doug brought in his personal computer so that he could demonstrate Augment. He showed its command set, context-completion, help, linking, multiple views, journal, editing capabilities, extensibility, etc.

    It was very cool.


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Yee Su Ling