F. Future Work
This appendix is included for a number of reasons:
to better allow you to assess whether to work with Hyperbole by
providing sketches of possible additions:
to direct further development effort towards known needs;
and to acknowledge known weaknesses in the current system.
Note that due to a lack of volunteers to further develop Hyperbole, much
of this work may not be done. So if you want to see these features,
encourage qualified people to volunteer.
- Button Copying, Killing, and Yanking
- There is as yet no means of transferring explicit buttons among buffers.
We realize this is a critical need. Users should be able to manipulate
text with embedded buttons in ordinary ways. This will probably be
implemented only for versions of Emacs 19 and higher. It will store the
button attributes as text attributes within the buffers so that if a
button is copied, its attributes follow. When a buffer is saved, the
attributes also will be saved.
- Trails are an extension to the basic history mechanism presently offered
by Hyperbole. Trails will allow a user to capture, edit and store a
specific sequence and set of views of information for later replay by
other users. Conditional branching may also be supported.
- Outliner View Mode
- This will complement the outliner editing mode by using simple one
character keys that normally insert characters to instead modify the
view of an outline and to move around in it, for ease of study.
Switching between view and edit modes will also be simple.
- Storage of button data within button source files
- The current design choice of storing buttons external to the source file
was made under the assumption that people should be able to look at
files that contain Hyperbole buttons with any standard editor or tool
and not be bothered by the ugly button data (since they won't be able to
utilize the buttons anyway, they don't need to see or have access to
In many contexts, embedding the button data within the source files may
be a better choice, so a provision which would allow selection of either
configuration may be added. Here are some of the PROs and CONs of both
Button data in source file
Documents can stand alone. All edit operators have
Normal file operations apply. to account for file
structure and hide
Simplifies creation and internal components.
facility expansion for
structured and multi-media
Button data external to source file
Files can be displayed and Currently, bdata for
printed exactly as they look. whole directory is
No special display formatting locked when any bdata
is necessary. entry is locked.
Button-based searches and
database-type lookup operations
need only search one file
- Forms-based Interfaces
This will allow one to create buttons more flexibly. For example, button
attributes could be given in any order. Entry of long code sequences,
quick note taking and cross-referencing would also be made easier.
- Collaboration Support
From the early stages of Hyperbole design, collaborative work
environments have been considered. A simple facility has demonstrated
broadcast of button activations to a number of workstations on a local
area network, so that one user can lead others around an information
space, as during an online design review. (This facility was never
adapted to the current Hyperbole release, however.) We shall do some
work in specific collaborative mechanisms, but we also expect that
others who concentrate in collaborative work will provide more extensive
This document was generated
by XEmacs Webmaster on October, 2 2007