Wiki's Robot Scouts

We've designed an information space that can accomodate sprawl as well as any favela in the world. How will we ever find our way?

There are pages with titles that can conjure up related pages by casting their titles as links. This is hypertext.

Pages can move freely between sites as the site owners fork them from others and improve them as their own.

The conjuring of one page from another involves consulting the recorded travel history that has been forked with pages as they move about.

See Async Polymorphic Fetch for conjuring details.

# Maps

We ask our robots to explore the space around us and bring back a map of where we might choose to go. Here is how to talk to robots.

Our map will be a diagram made of nodes connected by arrows sometimes called edges.

We say NODE to add a title to the map. We say -> to draw an arrow to or from a node.


# Instructions

An outline of instructions will move our robots about and choose what they will draw for a map.

Instructions deeper in the online will always be done after all instructions at a shallower level. Robot clones are launched and wait their turn each time we indent.

We say HERE to know a place conjured from a name. We say ELSE to try an alternative for when the conjuring fails.

We say LINKS to find and optionally draw titles as nodes connected by edges to/from HERE.

We say LINKS HERE -> NODE to show an arrow leading from here.

We say LINKS NODE -> HERE to show an arrow from there leading to here. There is an assumption then that there knows here which may or may not be true.

# Attentions

We direct the attention of robot clones by being selective about where they should look for links when they get to the pace they will know as here.

We say WHERE to direct attention. We can complete this instruction many ways. Notice the details of punctuation.

We say WHERE /word1|word2|word3/ to direct attention to paragraphs that contain one or more of three words.

We say WHERE /^word1|^word2|^word3/ to direct attention to paragraphs that begin with one of three words.

We have many options for how we might distinguish interesting paragraphs for those less interesting.

See RegExp Metacharacters for a guide to punctuation.

If we have many interests we can write many where instructions each of which can have nested instructions beneath them to be follow by another wave of robot clones.

# Synergy

We encourage hypertext authors to write for the commons where impact comes from being reread and reused widely.

Both readers and robots will follow the links you write and the fork history you leave within your writing.

A writing project can use templates to leave consistent signposts to be followed by readers and robots alike.

A template might include a place for a map and instructions for robot scouts to complete that map each time a page is viewed.

See More About Algorithmic Markup for the robot technical manual.

Robot instructions are just another kind of content that can be shared and improved as projects in the commons evolve. As a community perfects robot scouts they will be perfecting the styles they choose to write together.