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Ideas / MatrixWiki

Matrix Wiki

Simple rules, emergent complexity?

Wikis nowadays are too complicated. Instead, we need simple wikis. I propose this alternative:

  • Unlimited dimensional character grid wiki

The wiki is an unlimited grid of characters, with an unlimited number of dimensions. You can type into the grid wherever there's unprotected space, and you can protect whatever is available for you to protect. Territory isn't an issue because it's unlimited, and there's always the ubiquitous history function. We can get around the unlimited dimension problem by assuming that if you don't specify your location in a dimension, then you are at that dimension's origin.

A simple test implementation could just have two dimensions: it would just be a massive spreadsheet of cells capable of holding just one character each.

There would be functions for seeing which bits of the wiki were active, birds eye views, etc.

It would be interesting to see how communities organised information in such a space.

Especially if there was a bundled programming system for allowing custom specification of how to drop characters/strings into the matrix (lots of opportunity for obfuscation and art here...), and having arbitrary views onto the matrix.

This is a wiki, with a difference:

  • There are no pages, just character coordinates, in an unlimited dimensional space.
  • Each character can have as many coordinates as it wants: unspecified coordinates are assumed to be zero.
  • A programming system whereby you can drop strings into the wiki according to set rules, and view the wiki arbitrarily.
  • Certain default views.
  • Methods for seeing what's been recently added etc.
  • Total history.
  • Extensible character set.
  • Protectable cells.

As a first effort, a simpler version:

  • Two dimensions
  • Very limited character set (alphanumerica + punctuation say)
  • A bit like google spreadsheet, but limited to a single character per cell, and with unlimited cells.

This whole idea was a development of the idea of an online fridge door for playing fridge poetry on.

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Page last modified on June 01, 2007, at 11:07 PM