Thoughts on Structured/Unstructured and Shared Information Management using Wiki and other emerging technologies
Friday, July 23, 2004
Providing (multi-dimensional) Tab-based views on wiki topics

Wiki systems allow you to store a lot of information in single editable topic (page). Sometimes this information can be mapped to headings and subheadings (like in article), and some other times we can use large tables. The model doesn't disconnect the store from data views. We can, in theory, use CSS and Javascript to effectively create views on selected information. But the idea is to also create some kind of standardized models so all wiki's can implement them.

Tabs provide one such paradigm. (For example, see article Classic System Solutions | Articles. Each block (i.e. a section) can be put in a DIV tab, and its visibility property can be mapped to the tab. (i.e. make it visible only when tab is clicked). )

If there are more than one dimensions, then usually tabs are not good. (See the above article for more information). You would use tabs for first dimension, and then some other scheme - say a series of links - for second dimension. I still like tabs for multiple dimensions (at least two dimensions!) - no one seems to have created a scheme I have in mind: Create the set of tabs arranged as series of rows; one behind the other. Let first column select the row first (i.e. it will change the row color). And then select column. Don't bring the selected tab (row/column) to the front line; it is highly unuseable. The mental models typically want information to be attached to spacial positions, and would want it to be as static as possible.

Whether we use tabs or whatever, I hope to see some designs based on the main theme: Allow multiple views on the same topic information, using standardized mechanisms that can be used by any wiki system.

About this blog
All realms of collaboration:
  • Wiki. Weblogs
  • New Integration Platforms for combined structured and unstructured information: Wiki, Portals, Email Clients,
  • Collaborative Document editing, Collaborative knowledge building
  • Email Interfaces to collaborative shares
  • Information organization, management, Publishing: In context of organizations, individuals, Opensource projects etc.
About me:
Name:Vinod Kulkarni

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