Let’s Play: Piggydb Knowledge Creation #1 – “On Writing” by Stephen King

I’ve launched yet another demo for Piggydb.

Piggydb Knowledge Example – http://piggydb.jp/example/

I’m going to show you an actual example of Knowledge Creation, which is introduced in “The Piggydb Way“, by combining with this series of articles “Let’s Play: Piggydb Knowledge Creation”.

To be honest, I have no idea of what it will turn into or what kind of knowledge will be created. So I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.

You should note that this is just one of countless ways of using Piggydb and I don’t intend to declare that this is the proper way while it would be a certainly interesting and creative way that I think is worth to try out.

So, let’s get started.

The basic process is quite simple. You read randomly selected books and record passages that interest you as knowledge fragments in your Piggydb.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” is the book I selected for the first installment of this series. I randomly picked this book up from my unread books shelf.

First of all, I created a fragment that represents the book and tagged it #book so that I can list all the books I’ve input later on.

Then, I added sub-fragments of the book fragment for the passages that interest me.

It is a little bit tiresome to manually type all the passages into Piggydb …

After that, I looked through the fragments and found the concepts that interest me. I created tags for these concepts: “fear”, “spontaneity”, “like fossils in the ground”.

At first, these concepts don’t necessarily need to be a word or noun. “like fossils in the ground” is a phrase in this case. And even a sentence could be a tag. As your database grows, you will probably find (or even invent) suitable words for the concepts.

Ok, that’s it for this time. I hope I can find unexpected correlations and concepts as I input more books.

If you have any recommendations for books (essay or fiction would be better) or find interesting things in the demo database, please drop me a line.

So, thank you for reading this far and please look forward to the next installment 😉

Piggydb 6.2 Supporters Edition Released!

I’ve just released Piggydb 6.2 Supporters Edition with two bonuses.

1) Predefined inline style CSS (a kind of wiki extension) that you can easily import by @import rule.

Just put the following line in your CSS:

 @import "http://piggydb.sourceforge.net/theme/inline.css";

Then, you can use the following predefined styles:

Font Size:

- {{[xx-small] xx-small font size}}
- {{[x-small] x-small font size}}
- {{[small] small font size}}
- default font size
- {{ medium font size}}
- {{[large] large font size}}
- {{[x-large] x-large font size}}
- {{[xx-large] xx-large font size}}

----
Font Family:

- serif: {{[serif] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog}}
- sans-serif: {{[sans-serif] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog}}
- cursive: {{[cursive] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog}}
- fantasy: {{[fantasy] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog}}
- monospace: {{[monospace] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog}}

----
Font Color:

- {{[gray] gray}}
- {{[silver] silver}}
- {{[white] white}} (''white'')
- {{[red] red}}
- {{[yellow] yellow}}
- {{[lime] lime}}
- {{[aqua] aqua}}
- {{[blue] blue}}
- {{[fuchsia] fuchsia}}
- {{[maroon] maroon}}
- {{[olive] olive}}
- {{[green] green}}
- {{[teal] teal}}
- {{[navy] navy}}
- {{[purple] purple}}

----
Vertical Align:

- {{[x-large] Vertical Align}}{{[v-super] super}}
- {{[x-large] Vertical Align}}{{[v-sub] sub}}
- {{[x-large] Vertical Align}}{{[v-baseline] baseline}}
- {{[x-large] Vertical Align}}{{[v-middle] middle}}

----
Combination:

{{[x-large cursive teal] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog}}

2) The source code for the additional features.

From this version, the Supporters Edition contains the source code for the additional features. Since the source code for the standard features is available on GitHub, it’s become a full open source software.

Piggydb V6.2 – Home Fragments as Expandable Trees

This release updated the home fragments in the home page to be displayed as expandable trees.

This change makes the home page (or home fragments) more useful so that you can navigate through the fragment trees smoothly without moving to a fragment page.

Interesting Discussion about Piggydb at outlinersoftware.com

An interesting discussion about Piggydb has been going on at outlinersoftware.com, which was mentioned in a blog comment (thanks, Alexander!).

Piggydb is a kind of software that is difficult to explain, so I have been struggling to find good words to describe this software to people who are not familiar with this organizing tool sphere (whereas I think the difficulty of explaining is important to invent a new paradigm).

Piggydb is certainly similar to an outliner.

By the way, in Japan, outliners are often called ‘Idea Processors’. I don’t know why, but I guess they focus on the MindMap-like functionality of a tree structure.

I think that an outliner is a basically one-theme-session-oriented organizing tool (like a MindMap), while Piggydb is for a longer span of idea exploration involving multiple themes. And also, there is the difference of the organizing processes: top-down (outliner) and bottom-up (Piggydb).

Then, most importantly, Piggydb has been striving to extend organizing or structuring functionality to promote concept discovery (structuring ‘information’ into ‘knowledge’ and more, ‘wisdom’ maybe).  I’m going to write about it in detail in the series of articles ‘The Piggydb Way’.

Anyway, it is very inspiring to see discussions on a site like outlinersoftware.com. If you are interested in outliner software, definitely check it out 😉