Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:17 pm

Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea
If you implement node cloning how will you avoid self-reference? Node 1 is parent of Node 2, which is parent of Node 3, which is parent of Node 1... In a drawing program, closed topologies are not a problem because they don't have structure. But Freeplane, like all XML, is radically structured for a very good reason. The cloning thing does nothing different than the connector tool already does in Freeplane. It would only make presentation slightly more pleasant for the user, but there is no way to really solve the problem. If you don't enforce radically the tree structure, then sooner or latter you end up with a lame drawing tool. Freeplane amazing wonders come almost completely, besides candy like features, from the structure, the unparalleled easy navigation with the keyboard, the fact that you can think about structure with no restrictions of depth whatsoever, and the very easy way to implement scripts with groovy. And also, probably, because of the many and easy formatting options for the text.
Please don't try to blur the structure. It is a mistake, long term. If you want to reorder structure to present things sorted by project versus things sorted by week, like other users suggest in this thread, you need a script to configure a new map, either using descendants or maybe attributes. But I bet there is no rational way to keep structure and meaning and to dissolve it at the same time with clones. At the end of the day, the clones thing is only about duplicating whole branches. That is not efficient in terms of information management. It is like changing the view of the information with the very inefficient structure of duplicating that information. The whole idea of node cloning is loosing focus on the nature and the wonderful strengths of Freeplane. Just because people draw circular diagrams with pen and paper that doesn't mean those diagrams make sense from a logical point of view. And even if they don't, they can still be useful to some people, but that is precisely the reason why you have drawing and flowcharting programs. But Freeplane is not one of those tools. It is a classification program, not a flowcharting one. In real life you have different ways to classify a set of items, but you can't use those different ways at the same time. At the end of the day, the users that want to have this cloning thing should instead devise a script to change from one classification to the other. But as far as introducing new information in the tree goes, there should always be a privileged classification. Meaning: an original tree. If you start adding items from different “views” things will get inconsistent. No escape from this fact. So please, before starting to develop serious code, like this bad idea about cloning would require, think about the logic of it. It may be that users are being contradictory, and their requests may be absurd. They probably should understand the program and the problem of information classification better.
At some fundamental level, information springs from the conscious decision to impose certain structure on reality. It is the commitment to that arbitrary structure that makes things interesting and the whole process useful. If you change your mind and start a different structure, information evaporates. If you need different structures for the info you are dealing with, there is no escape from the need to copy the node and paste it in different trees. The key is that this pasting has to be rationally decided and executed. You can't derive sense in one classification system from sense in a different one. The goal that other users are pursuing is, thus, impossible. Sorry about that.
And sorry about the length.
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby dpolivaev » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:47 pm

For sake of clarity: clones do not assume any data duplication in the map, they assume just that single data element can appear at different places.
User avatar
dpolivaev
Site Admin
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:21 pm

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:13 pm

That is even worse Dimitry. Now, if you clearly see that feature not interfering with the old traditional and strongly meaningful structure, the rest of us can keep working as usual. At least that is what I hope. I only beg for you not to force on us, people that don't want several parents for a node, a change in the interface, the keyboard, or the navigation. I am truthfully afraid this issue could ruin the program. And sincerely, this program is too important for me for that to happen. But you are the amazing expert. If you tell me that nothing relevant will change for the people that will never implement those cloned nodes, then I will rest assured. I would only ask you to think about it clearly: Do we have a flowcharting program, or is Freeplane a content classification program? At the end of the day, of course I trust you. Your work is just amazing! I am just rising concerns and warnings to make sure you realize how this whole thing has the potential to spoil happiness for other people. If I am wrong, there is nobody better than you to judge it. I trust you very much. It is just that I need this project to survive. My work as a writer depends largely on it. I don't think the best use of Freeplane should be for project management. I think it is more of a futuristic word processor. Actually, idea processor. This program is much more important and revolutionary for creative work than ir is for management. I know other people use it in a different way, but I don't think this program makes such a big difference for them as it makes for us, content creators.
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:17 pm

Some context to explain what I'm saying: At the beginning of the XXth century, the great linguistic Ferdinand de Saussure claimed that words got meaning from mutual opposition. Thus, language was structural. There is no source of meaning beyond mutual opposition. In the case of Freeplane, you have a node. What determines the meaning of that node is the structure of oppositions that lies bellow it. Children define the parent. The problem with the idea of different parents is that a single structure of oppositions is intended to define different parent nodes. But that is logically impossible, because different things can not be defined by the same set of oppositions, meaning, ultimately, by the same thing. If the children define the parent, how come the same children define two different parents? In truth, that never happens. It may be something similar, but it is NEVER the same. In reality, we reduce complexity and make as if two different sets of defining oppositions are the same, probably because they are similar. But rigorously speaking that is nonsense. Two things are either the same or not the same.
That is why the example about the computer security is not detailed enough. It is way too vague to be considered an usage case of Freeplane. If it was explained in much more detailed one could see that the problem is flawed and defined wrongly. Philosophy has known this for a century, now. I has something to do with the nature of meaning for us, the human species. Ultimately with the non contradiction principle.
Another example. A family has five members. That is how it is divided in nodes. Each of those members can be divided in two hands, two legs, one head. Now, are those limbs the same for different persons of the family? Does it make sense to have the limbs display several parents. Not quite. In truth, the limbs are different for each person. They should not have different parent nodes. :-) It seems all very abstract and theoretical, but it can complicate things in practice.
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:45 pm

More specifically: If a node can have several different parents, how would you resolve the “node numbering” option that you can nowadays select as part of the definition of a style? Each node would have many different legal numberings. Even worse: What would be the depth of a node? If it has different parents, then it can have different depths. I have a script that restores the structure of the tree once it has been flattened through pasting in a word processor. It uses legal numbering to do it. But it needs to know that every parent of a node is bellow any grandparent of it. With the new topology, parents and grandparents wouldn't necessarily be related.
Think about it. In a normal tree, complexity always expands. With the new model, it could start to reduce and finally converge into a single node. But then, how would you know what is the origin and what the destiny? Left and right don't work either, because in Freeplane trees can expand into either direction. This would be like a universe with no arrow of time. In our universe entropy defines a direction for time. But in the new 'clone node model', complexity can be reduced into both directions, and that means there is no past and future. The fundamental distinction between parent and child disappears because in both directions you have one to many relationships. In practice, this means there remains no structure whatsoever. Anything can be a child and at the same time a parent of itself. That is no way to organize information. There is no structure. There is no arrow of time. Past and future get blurred. Scary. That is why physicists think time travel is impossible, at least without a multiverse: So that you can't kill your own grand parent. I don't want that to happen with my belowed freeplanes!
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:55 pm

Sorry I am insisting so much. Believe me, it is just out of concern. I don't want this project to lose it's vision. I very much apologize if I got this fearful. Also, this danger is not that easy to explain. Sorry for the inconveniences!
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby boercher » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:17 pm

Hi pilominco,

as you might have read I'm also very sceptic about deviations from the concepts of mindmaps in Freeplane. I share your worries when you say
pilominco wrote:In a normal tree, complexity always expands. With the new model, it could start to reduce and finally converge into a single node.


But, as I have understood now, Dimitry doesn't plan to convert Freeplane into a general graph visualization tool - no concept maps! Freeplane will still be a pure mindmap editor. The only thing that would change with node clones is the internal implementation. There will be objects then that will have multiple parents to handle the clones - but you won't have to deal with them - most probably not even if you are a script programmer. Programmers will have to pay some price to learn the changed concepts but that will be fairly small. What we get with clones is less data duplication and more opportunities for the user.

Volker
boercher
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:13 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:12 am

It's just that I don't see it. I am glad your are watching this. On the one hand, I totally trust you guys. But on the other one, I don't get how it could work at all. I ask my most specific question again: When you activate the “node numbering” check-box, what will happen to a node with several parents? What will happen to self reference? Won't we have nodes that are their own descendants? Grandparents that are their own grandsons? The advantages don't seem worth the potential loss in coherence. I know Dimitry is a bloody genius, like you are too. But still... I can't afford this program to become something very different. Why you guys want to reach everywhere and solve every situation? Won't that end up in a catastrophic loss of quality for the product? Painters say the most difficult thing is to stop adding paint into the canvas and declare the thing finished. In any case, Dimitry seems determined to do it and unstoppable. Let's pray someone we won't loose much in the process. But I am not optimistic. SIC!
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby boercher » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:33 am

Believe me, the code behind Freeplane's scenes is pretty complex but the changes necessary for cloning are not big enough to get worried.

Volker
boercher
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:13 am

Re: Why node cloning is a bad and dangerous idea

Postby pilominco » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:45 am

ok, then. that is why reputation counts. For trust. :)
pilominco
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am

Next

Return to Open Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest