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Mark Leighton Fisher (4252)

Mark Leighton Fisher
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I am a Systems Engineer at Regenstrief Institute []. I also own Fisher's Creek Consulting [].
Friday November 10, 2006
12:58 PM

Lore#4: What You Want to Do With Your Lore

[ #31567 ]
Once you discover a piece of lore, you will likely want to save it away so you do not have to discover it again.
Lore is most useful when you can re-read older lore, rather than rediscovering it (which implies that you first saved it away).
Once you have enough lore, it becomes inefficient at best to root through all your lore you will want to perform structured searches.
From time to time, you won't be sure of what particular lore you even want. Sometimes you need your memory jogged as how to even approach a particular problem, while other times you are just looking to add to your store of tips and tricks. Those are some of the times that browsing your collection of lore is most useful.

Browsing your lore collection is much easier when it is organized. A simple single-layer organization scheme (whether a formal taxonomy or a folksonomy) is suitable for small amounts of lore (<100 pieces?), but a multi-level hierarchy will pay off once your collection of lore grows sufficiently large.

If possible, you should use a design that supports a piece of lore living in multiple categories at once (a directed acyclic graph rather than a single tree). A simple example: a dog can be an animal, a pet, and a patient for a veterinarian but not all dogs are pets, vet patients, or even live animals (think CatDog or Huckleberry Hound). A directed acyclic graph structure better supports representing the complexity of the world. Software engineers have long experience with directed acyclic graph structures (a Unix filesystem without symbolic links is a DAG).

Previous installments: #1, #2, #3.

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