440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

January 31, 2000

04 00067 61 01013102

Mr. Morris E. Jones
Business Unit Manager
Cable Network Operation
Intel Corporation
350 East Plumeria; Mail Stop CHP3-105
San Jose, CA 95124

Subject:   File Format for SDS and KM

Dear Morris,

On January 26, 2001 Cliff Joslyn with LANL submitted a paper on KM requesting comments. The paper was rendered in PDF format; I sent a copy to you for comments on the math. Teri says you are in Atlanta this week, so maybe there will be time to review following issue....

The initial response to Cliff was that PDF is not an efficient medium for using SDS to convert information in his paper into useful "knowledge" that shows alignment with relevant history, and sources, and which, in turn, supports analysis, organization and summary. To get a text file, I suggested Cliff send his original file, and assumed he used MS Word, because you have indicated that Word is a common program engineers use for technical papers. I figured the Word file could be converted into text. It would not have pictures, graphs or equations, but these can be explained in SDS for commenting on Cliff's ideas to support KM.

Cliff objected.

Yesterday he correctly pointed out that wordprocessing and PDF are used by a lot of people. He said that HTML is not useful for long documents or technical papers, and he does not like to use MS Word. He uses a wordprocessing program called LaTeX. These methods are good for talking about KM.

Today, however, Cliff agreed that PDF and wordprocessing do not support doing KM. He asked for a file format that works better for doing KM. This is a constructive step, because it demonstrates awareness that doing KM entails changing conduct that relies on conventional IT methods. Recall that Andy Grove points out in his book, Only the Paranoid Survive, that getting a successful executive to change conduct in order to improve earnings is like "walking through the valley of death."

I responded, with a copy to you, that the record so far indicates text is the best medium for KM, based on analysis of work by the team at SRI this past year, that shows efforts to develop other methods have failed.

Based on this record, please comment on....

  1. Can LaTeX files be converted into text, similar to MS Word files?

  2. Can MS Word read LaTex files, and then convert to text?

  3. Any reason HTML files cannot be long, and in what respect do they not support technical papers, as Cliff notes?

  4. Do you see any solution to Cliff's question about what file format to use for KM, other than text?




Rod Welch