2015-03-11

... something borrowed, something blue

I already mentioned +Teodora Petkova in a recent post. Reading her blog, you'll maybe have as I had several times this "exactly ... that!" feeling you get when stumbling on words looking like they have been stolen from the tip of your tongue or pen. In particular don't miss this piece, with its lovely bride's rhyme metaphor, to be applied to every text we write in order to weave it with the web of all texts.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
Something old ... how can one write without using something old, since what is older than the very words and language we use to write? And one should use them with due respect and full knowledge of their long history. Let's look at some of those venerable words. Children of the Northern European languages, web and weaving seem to come from the same ancient root, hence Weaving the Web is a kind of pleonasm. And text comes from the Latin texo, texere, textus meaning also to weave, and cognate to the ancient Greek τέχνη, the ancestor of all our technics, technologies and architectures. In the Web technologies the northern germanic warp of words have been interwoven with the southern latin woof, and each new text on the Web is a knot in this amazing tapestry. Our Web of texts is not as bad as I wrote a few years ago, and with its patchy, fuzzy, furry and never-finished look, we love it and want to keep it that way.

Something new ... Text seems to be old out-fashioned stuff those days, it's data and multimedia and applications all over the place. Even the Semantic Web has been redubbed Web of Data by the W3C. And what if after Linked Open Data (2007) and Linked Open Vocabularies (2011), we were opening in 2015 the year of Linked Open Text?

Something borrowed ... Teodora encapsulates all the above with the concept of intertextuality. And that one I definitely borrow and adopt (just added it to the left menu), as well as the following from another great piece.
As every text starts and ends in and with another text and we are never-ending stories reaching out to find possible continuations…
Something blue ... The blue of links indeed, but to make the Linked Open Text happen and deliver its potential, we need certainly more than a shade of blue. As Jean-Michel Maulpoix writes in his Histoire du bleu ... All this blue is not of the same ink.
Tout ce bleu n’est pas de même encre.
On y discerne vaguement des étages et des sortes d’appartements, avec leurs numéros, leurs familles de conditions diverses, leurs papiers peints, leurs photographies, leurs vacances dans les Alpes et leurs terrasses sur l’Atlantique, les satisfactions ordinaires et les complications de leurs vies. La condition du bleu n’est pas la même selon la place qu’il occupe dans l’échelle des êtres, des teintes et des croyances. Les plus humbles se contentent des étages inférieurs avec leurs papiers gras et leurs graffitis : ils ne grimpent guère plus haut que les toits hérissés d’antennes. Les plus heureux volent parfois dans un impeccable azur et jettent sur les cités humaines ce beau regard panoramique qui distrayait autrefois les dieux.
To fly that high, we need indeed to invent and use new shades of blue to paint the links between our texts, and the words where those links are anchored.