Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Made the mistake of finally settling down with Harry Potter last night at around 11. Finally got in bed around 4am. And finished the book around 2pm. Very good; it isn’t just the characters that are getting more mature- Rowling is shifting her style as well, with less fluff (as much fun as it was) and more attention to nuance and character. She is no Shakespeare but she is clearly having a blast.

Got approval from my prof to write on my intended topic for my paper for the class I’m taking now. Working title is ‘Trademark in Commons-Based Peer Production: Why Trademark Fails Where Copyright Suceeds’. Obviously the foundation’s ongoing struggles with trademark (compared to our general success with the GPL) are part of my motivation for reading and writing on this one. Hopefully I’ll get the first section of it written tomorrow, since getting onto paper some of my thoughts on GPL-as-social-contract-and-economic-relationship will hopefully inform and focus the research on trademark law.

I really want a ‘ProfessorTom’- tomboy-ish instant-apply personal wiki, but with separate fields for:

  • book ISBN- autograb all other book data from there, and should be have a dropdown showing books which were recently cited
  • page #
  • quote
  • discussion of the quote or ideas raised by the quote. This field would be wiki-ish, like the main tomboy page, so autolinking to other notes would be possible.
  • Not sure if it needs tags or not- I think yes, but am open to discussion on that.
  • note title would be autogenerated from the book name and page #, but could be edited to refer to the idea if so desired for easier linking.
  • Of course search on any/all of the fields, with search for an author’s name automatically going to the right notes (even though I’d only entered an ISBN.)

This notion is based on my high-school history prof’s index card-based note taking system, which was sort of bunk without search, but with search would have been a great way of easily building a list of references and searching them once you needed them. As a bonus, making it easy to link from an outlining tool to each of these individual notes would be mad cool. Obviously I could fake most of this in current tomboy, but I’d like to have the structured data in case I want to do something else with it later, and more importantly, I want some things autocompleted so that the whole process is less time consuming- since the goal, after all, would be to make notetaking suck less :) Anyway, that’s my software wishlist/dream for the night. I think maybe I’ll go to sleep.