Sunday, November 28, 2021

Structure and GB

TL;DR -- The internet/web has become increasingly fluid over the years as choices push in that direction. Part of this was the large set of potential representation devices grew in size and complexity. Adapting to that situation motivated several choices which might need reconsideration. As, information has structure as does the language used to express information. For our purposes, we see the PDF as a framework for providing temporal views of our information. However, given an early choice, we provided a print flavor. In retrospect, the PDF ought to point to information in its contemporary form. We will do that, albeit the task will become harder going back in time. So, right now, we have two volumes to show as an example. 


We recently released the issue of  Gardner's Beacon, Vol. XI, No. 1 in which we included links in the PDF file so as to have a more full presentation of information. After than, we re-issued the PDFs for Volume X which was 2020 and Volumes IX and VIII. These are the PDFs done so far. 
  • Table move to our tech blog. Added in a format for more general reading. 
Try them and let us know. Why do this? It's a starting point. 

As we have mentioned, we are now designing changes to incorporate the mobile devices of small footprint. Over the past few years, site have been adjusting to make the interchange the same no matter the level of device. As in, we have the small (smartphone and other), tablet (varying sizes) and the more normal (where, again, we have a size range). Our portal ( is where we have worked on the issues of mobility. 

From time to time, we have checked pages on the portal. However, the older (traditional) site has had minimal upgrade, though it works. 

In regard to the flexible approach that has been adopted, it has been a mixed blessing. One type of interface cannot handle all requirements. On the one hand, there has been lots of energy and money put into better interfaces for handling photos or games or steaming video. Other requirements might be for text with graphics such as we find with a scholarly paper. There are many more. 

An approach to allowing flexibility has been to remove structural constraints, almost entirely. Hence, the objects being displayed adapt. One scrolls to look for what one is seeking. A metaphor would be trying to find a bottle cap on a football field using only a small window of view (pan mostly, perhaps with some zoom). Using a browser on a larger screen can allow some search using text if the images have these identified.  
small example of the
array of modern devices 

This is a brief overview which was discussed in the 'Favorite site' post. An important concept is structure which can be several things, even some implicit order for scrolling. At the portal, we have offered a sliding icon array which maps to post by time. The PDF is another approach where text will have links to additional information. One can offer popup information and similar. 

So, with these PDFs, there is, at least, one link per paragraph to a post that relates to the theme. Then, each of these posts links to related material. Now, links? They can go bad for several reasons. Part of the maintenance would be link management which would identify those that are stale. Or, perhaps, where a server disappeared and might return at any moment. 

Now, this might seem to be out of scope with regard to our content. In an ideal world, that would be true. But, the internet has been undergoing tremendous change. We have looked to use the none extreme, in the sense of KISS. Too, we think of our material as being an in-progress outline with some fleshing available that is like a summary or overview. Besides, the balance of content and configuration is a never-ending affair where the line of demarcation moves by context. 

We will be putting out a temporary page to handle these PDFs as they get updated. Too, there will be ongoing reconfiguration seen through the next few (no end seen, yet) months.  

Remarks: Modified: 10/03/2022

12/20-21/2021 -- Added GB Vol. IX, No. 1,2, 3 and GB Vol. VIII, 1, 2 to see what's involved with the editing in of links. And, how many years back we might like to go. 

12/29/2021 -- Working GB Vol. XII, No. 2. Also, added GB Vol. IV, No. 2 which included information about the incorporation. 
02/22/2022 -- Added GB Vol. I, No. 1 and GB Vol. II, No. 1, ..., essentially, starting over. 

03/30/2022 -- Added GB Vol. XII, No. 1 
10/03/2022 -- Moved the status table over to our mobile-friendly site. 

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