Re: PiggyBank Usability Feedback

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 09:46:09 -0500

Apologies for cross-posting, but since a lot more people are subscribed
on general_at_ than dev@ and since dev@ is pretty much reserved for nitty
gritty details and lost of automatic generated email that might be
considered noise by some, I suggest we move the discussion over there.
Sorry for the inconvenience if you have to subscribe to "yet another
mail list", but it's in everybody's interest if more people participate
in the discussion, don't you think?

Daniel O'Connor wrote:
> Hi guys,
> Some very nice work with Piggy-bank, I love having *something*
> tangible to play with after authoring so much RDF :)

People, thanks for the kind words. I have to agree with all of you that
PB is simply a great idea. Kudos to David for such an exciting software!
(and for having the great idea of using java *directly* in the browser
and not just as a little applet, who would have thought :-)

> Things I'd like to see:
> (1) Blank nodes appearing lower down in the sidebar. Reasoning:
> Piggybank is aimed at end users, and a blank node is meaningless to
> them. Something they can recognise, like a name ("Daniel O'Connor"),
> helps them understand what piggy bank is actually doing - collecting
> information.

Yes, this was the first thing I told David myself. My suggestion was a
little different, though. bNodes are, in fact, nodes that are not
identified explicitly by a URI, therefore they are *part* of the
explicitly identified node that they are connected to.

Personally and practically, I don't see much difference between a bNode
and a parsed literal, so I suggested David to treat any bNode as a
parsed literal (in short, a literal that is an XML fragment instead of
just a string). This would allow us not only to remove the bNodes
entirely, but to be able to save them once saving the identified node
that includes them.

> (2) A loading bar / status bar. Not having visual feedback on how far
> the snippet loading had gone I tend to forget to save it.

Yep, I had the same exact suggestion... a little light at the bottom
that turns on/off depending on the fact that the page has semantic
tidbits or not and, if you go over it with your mouse, it shows a
summary of the tidbits 'items' that it found... and if you click on it,
the sidebar shows up.

> (3) An easy to see 'auto save' and 'auto scutter' checkbox in the sidebar pane.
> It's bothersome to save everything and I would love to be able to
> search *everything* I've browsed, no matter what it is.
> Secondly, an auto scuttering option that chased down links in the
> background would be handy. Not sure how possible however :)

eheh, Ryan already integrated scutter in longwell, not sure if David
picked that up but it's sure possible.

The problem (as usual) is where to stop cuttering. The problem with
automatic harvesting is that it might generate a ton of RDF that you
might not really be interested in.... but it's true that we could follow
and try to extract everything that looks like an ontology that might
help the system describe what you are looking at... that shouldn't be
too bad.

What do you people think?

Any other suggestions?

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Mon Jan 31 2005 - 14:45:52 EST

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