exciting new interface possibilities

We innovators here in Libraryland 2.0 are always seeking better ways to optimize user experience, within a Googlization paradigm. I thought it might be helpful for us to have a briefing on the cutting edge in discovery layers, via my husband the software engineer. Obvious (yet thrilling!) implications for the semiotic web are left as an exercise for the reader.

Epic: Semiotic Layer

Users can navigate by analogy or metaphor


The goal of this story is to allow users to experience the denotive meaning of their data independent of (but, of necessity, embedded within) a particular linguistic praxis.

  • Texts (records) retain a fixed, independent form
  • User (within an appropriate structural paradigm) can express queries in terms of allegorical actions on personae
  • Continuous query support is retained, although a nihilist phenomenology may cause degradation of transactional performance
  • Technological or methodological determinism need not be a coherent doctrine
  • Queries expressed as musical compositions need not be supported without special hardware

Admin user can deploy structural paradigms and symbols


The goal of this story is to allow an administrator to impose a hegemonic methodology of (relative) status and discourse communities within a medium

  • Administrator can construct and deconstruct social norms (either within a particular medium of discourse or at a more general phenomenological level)
  • Business data architect can indicate conventions of iconicity or representation to be culturally conventional on a given record collection
  • Pictorial semiotics need not be internationalized, as this will be a later story for data ingest
  • Marxist or post-structuralist analysis of the dichotomy between administrative users and query users does not fall within the scope of this story

User can experience (“view”) records by biotic designata


Experience generally, including user experience, is a fundamentally biological phenomenon and obtains its interpretive framework from the interplay of biotic and cultural imperatives. The goal of this story is to surface this interaction as a culturally and biologically mediated expression of independent facts.

  • Portlet requests can specify a humanizing medium such as dance or cuisine for the representation and mediation of assignment values
  • Forms of expression within a cultural context that require linguistic form must employ culturally appropriate dialects and signifiers (although, NOTE, transgression of linguistic boundaries may be used as a signifier in itself, dependent on data type)
  • Narrative or interactive modes of expression need not be supported for all significand data types or record designata
  • “Performance” may lose its positivist, quantitative framing in the context of fully humanized interaction


Completion by April 1 is desired.


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