RE: Design document authoring tool

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 20:44:02 MDT

I always thought the "Personal Brain" tool (see was
funky-looking, however, I have never actually use it.

There are probably less peculiar things that will do what you want, but
using software designed with a brain metaphor to help develop a brain has a
certain intuitive sense to it ;)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 7:39 PM
> To:; SL4
> Subject: Q: Design document authoring tool
> I'm looking for a tool for systems analysis. Not a CASE tool; there's no
> intention of generating code. What I need is a tool for generating design
> documents: I need to create multiple hierarchies of topics, where some (in
> fact most) topics appear in many hierarchies; I need to write extended
> documents under each topic using ordinary word processing; and I need to
> create named relations between topics, where the relations may
> also contain
> their own subdocuments but are not forced to do so. The tool
> must not hold
> my data hostage - there must be some way to print it as a single document
> with chapters, and ideally some way to export the underlying data as XML.
> This looks to me like a pretty simple writing tool by comparison with
> today's expensive meta-CASE tools and so on, but I don't think I need much
> over and above outlining. I've overrun my ability to keep track of things
> using outlining in flat documents, but that's the only problem - I don't
> need software that "helps me think", just software that lets me write very
> large descriptions and navigate easily between linked topics that
> appear in
> multiple hierarchies. I don't need 2D mindmapping views; list
> views of the
> relations for a topic and expandable outline views for the
> hierarchies will
> do just fine.
> I expect to spend most of my time writing the topics - the tool's main
> purpose is to keep me from losing track of all the topics. So I'm looking
> for a tool that offers some reasonable subset of word-processing
> functionality for the topics, rather than a tool that assumes I'll spend
> most of my time manipulating networks and hierarchies, with
> "notes" added as
> afterthoughts.
> Does anyone have suggestions for a tool that does this, hopefully an
> inexpensive one? Failing that, does anyone know which search terms would
> describe this kind of tool? Feel free to answer privately.
> -- -- -- -- --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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