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Ebook Graph Maker

Let's you connect the dots in your electronic literature into a visual graph, have many books in the same zoomable 2D window at the same time.
  [vote for,

Suppose you're taking a class, and your professor follows different textbooks, without mentioning, which textbook each theorem/definition/proof is from. You make your notes on paper, then scan them to PDF format. You have books as electronic files, too.

If your class was not perfect, and notes are incomplete, then what you would want to do, is to reference, where each theorem/definition is taken from, and be able to go read it in the corresponding book quickly anytime.

Imagine the following simple system: you load your pdf files into one environment, just like pictures in GIMP, but have them appear as full documents, which you can zoom into, and zoom out, as needed (but they are not in 3D). Having those files open in one plane, you would have ability to connect any two 2D points in any two documents in that collection. Doing that, a 2D line would be drawn, representing a connection.

It seems so simple that I believe this must have been done, and must be in use already somewhere, but I had not seen an app that lets you do that..

Inyuki, Sep 10 2012

Ted Nelson's Xanadu http://www.youtube....v=En_2T7KH6RA&t=195
Xanadu is based on citations, whereas this app is not. It just lets you connect arbitrary points interactively, while all the books open in one screen, in 2D space. [Inyuki, Sep 10 2012]


       You still don't get it do you? The whole purpose of being a teacher, is to utterly confuse the pupil to such an extent that they will be fully occupied trying to make sense of a lesson to allow the teacher to disappear to the staff room for a smoke until the end of the period.
Lesser Spotted Kiwi, Sep 11 2012

       I thought you'll say something along the lines: "You still don't get it do you? People don't use even the obvious solutions."
Inyuki, Sep 11 2012

       It's like a virtual messy desk. I can't remember the structure of .pdfs but I think there are some php libraries that can create them. Don't think this is too hard to do as a web app.
leinypoo13, Sep 12 2012

       [leinypoo13], I'd think it would be easy to do as a stand-alone app, too.
Inyuki, Sep 12 2012

       // Suppose you're taking a class, and your professor follows different textbooks, without mentioning, which textbook each theorem/definition/proof is from. //   

       Raise your hand and ask the professor which book he/she/it is working from. If that doesn't work, select the heaviest hardbound textbook required for the class and beat him/her/it over the head with it until their compliance rate improves.   

       You present a nifty digital solution to an age-old problem, but sometimes it's still easier to go analog.
Alterother, Sep 12 2012

       [Alterother], I appreciate your understanding... Still, consider other situations, where such tool would be useful: reading scientific literature, and researching. A historian may have to analyze a document that contains no references, and references have to be recovered by analyzing the literature of the time.   

       Usually, researchers do the job of "connecting the dots" in their minds, but engineers and designers do that with CAD packages, which allow them to do their jobs much more efficiently.   

       Most modern researchers, perhaps, do it the old way -- print out the papers, highlight the places of interest, make lists of references. The degree to which each can visualize the holistic picture depends on the long-term memories, which have limits,... so they become specialists, and don't get it visualized too much while researching.   

       It seems, in this respect, researchers live in a stone age, as comepared to where engineers do.
Inyuki, Sep 12 2012

       I like your expanded list of uses. Applying CAD concepts would help writers construct detailed and easily-altered outlines for large bodies of work. Sometimes outlining even a 4,000 word short story (when I bother to do an outline at all) takes longer than actually writing the first draft. So, despite my previous quasi-derision, have a bun.
Alterother, Sep 12 2012


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