[wp-hackers] [OT] Testing needed for WordTrails plugin from Xerox

Venkatesh Rao vgururao at gmail.com
Sun Oct 4 16:18:31 UTC 2009

Hi Stephen

> What it reminds me of is "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books.  I think
> that's as good a metaphor as any for describing what it does.

Yes, this is the perfect metaphor for those who've read those books
(there were several Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew books that used that model).
I actually think that idea was rather unnatural in book form, but is a
natural fit for the Web. In fact, one of our bolder ambitions for the
trails technology is to enable people to get beyond the book metaphor
retrofitted on to the Web, and really start exploiting the potential
of the Web as a creative medium in its own right, where much of the
creativity is in coming up with thoughtful patterns of hyperlinks for
your own and others' content. "Painting with hyperlinks" so to speak,
which is painful with bare-metal hyperlinking technolog, but will
hopefully be way more fun with trails.

> I can also see using this for setting up a series of instructions that
> vary based on your situation, but for which certain steps are common
> to different situations.  Imagine a site with instructions for
> replacing parts of a computer.  The "open the case" step will pretty
> much always be there, but "remove the the hard drive" only for certain
> projects.  With Trails you only have to write the "open the case" step
> once and include it in different trails.
> Am I understanding Trails correctly?  :)

Absolutely. This reusability argument is central. Similar to the
troubleshooting domain is the travel domain: the "Rome" page can be
the same whether you include it in a "3 day Italy trip" trail or a "15
day Europe trip" trail.  Other examples might be sites with
weight-training exercises or yoga poses arranged in different
sequences. We hope a "medium is the message" effect takes over, and
people innovate a whole new blogging genre called "trail blogging" :)

> P.S. -- I don't think this topic is "OT" at all.  This is a
> significant WP plugin.

You just made my day :)


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