17.805 what's needed: management tools

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 16:55:42 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 805.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 07:20:38 +0100
             From: Maurizio Lana <m.lana@lett.unipmn.it>
             Subject: Re: 17.802 what's needed?: email management; multiple
    format infos management

    At 10.11 18/04/2004, you wrote:
    >What would make a finding and arranging aid semantically welcome to me...

    here are my first thoughts.

    1) email management
    some facts: i keep my email. i keep any piece of mail received (except for
    spam ...). from my point of view email is an archive in the old sense of
    the term. the live email i have goes back to the years 1997, 1996; in the
    archival CDs the frozen email goes back even more.

    but: we haven't an efficient way to manage the messages. the filters with
    their static connection to folders in order to sorting the mail aren't the
    best way to accomplish the task.

    we would need, i think, tools allowing to have contemporary, multiple,
    dynamic views of the mail archive (what one now obtains with the folders).
    these contemporary multiple dynamic views should defined on the basis of
    date, sender, subject, content, without being constrained to pre-define the
    specific words triggering the filter/view. this could be accomplished
    through the bayesian filters doing so well (in my experience) with the
    spam. the bayesian filter could function the usual way, ordering the
    messages: not in order to trash them but in order to sort them according
    the content.

    2) management of multiple infos in multiple formats
    usually about a given subject of interest (say: digital preservation) one
    would like to keep together doc and pdf document, email messages, images,
    URL as bookmarks, web pages, and some of these materials could also be
    part of other collections/subjects. we now have only two very poor tools:
    folders and "Windows shortcuts".
    two main problems: as we know it's very difficult to keep together - say -
    an internet bookmark and a file; and - as always - we could like to have
    the same file in many collections, but we don't like to have as many copies
    of the file as the collections: because of the space wasted, and because if
    the file is something we are working on, at every stage of its
    evolution/redaction we'd re-copy it into every collection...
    i know of a very interesting feature of NTFS file systems, called "hard
    link" (if you have the file A in the folder F1, you can create for A an
    hard link B in the folder F2; if you back up the folder F2, the file A,
    through the hard link B is backed up!! the same thing doesn't happen if you
    back up a folder containing shortcuts; "furthermore, hard links, as
    system-level shortcuts, always point to the right target file-no matter if
    you rename or move it [http://www.hlm.inc.ru/]) which could be interesting
    but I wasn't able to find for it any decent suggestion of use, and some
    security warnings exist about a vulnerability created by hard links.


    Maurizio Lana - ricercatore
    Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici - UniversitÓ del Piemonte Orientale a Vercelli
    via Manzoni 8, I-13100 Vercelli
    +39 347 7370925

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