[Twisted-Python] Twisted.pim

Kevin Turner acapnotic at twistedmatrix.com
Thu Jul 5 23:16:09 EDT 2001

On 07/03/2001, I heard Nafai say *something* like this, err, kinda,
anyway...  Please, do not hesitate to correct me where I have heard

> Hey Twisted gang!  I have been assimilated into the Twisted
> collective.  radix and I were discussing our ideas for Twisted.pim;
> here's a brief summary.  I submit them for crunchy things to add to
> your breakfast cereal.

> First of all, Twisted.pim should be more than what traditional PIMs
> (i.e. Outlook) offer.  The main function of those applications is to
> handle appointments, contacts, and to-do lists.  It's almost like they
> are applications written to do these things instead of being grand
> universal "_Information_ Manager"s.  Examples:
>       Example 1:
>         Integration.  Normally, when I have an appointment scheduled,
>         it will involve something other than the number of seconds
>         elapsed since the dawn of the epoch.  With the Palm and other
>         traditional PIMs, it isn't possible to link this other
>         information to the appointment.  Wouldn't it be nice to have
>         hyperlinks?
>       Example 2:
>         Information management.  I take notes.  I would like to store
>         and catalouge these notes, and make references to them from
>         other documents, and vice versa.  To achieve this goal, I
>         believe my application must have knowlodge of any and all
>         types of data I may encounter, for the only way I can be sure
>         I can make inter-document references is to own all the storage
>         formats.

>       Having access to my data from a wide range of platforms is
>       important to me.  I believe Twisted will help me with this, as
>       it lends itself to building resources with multiple interfaces
>       and is funky like that.
>       I believe that Twisted will also facilitate taking this project
>       into a multi-user groupware kind of thang, but as that leads to
>       hairy access control issues, I'll leave that part to someone
>       else with more internet than I.

>       So, basically, in a long nutshell (ehh... macademia?), those are
>       my ideas now of what Twisted.pim should do.

>   How will it be implemented?
>   With a cross-platform three-tier client-server arcitecture with
>   internet on top.  Except on systems running on thin computing
>   devices -- we think we'll only be able to fit two tiers in these.

> Thanks for listening to my ideas!
>  Nafai

Ok, so here are my issues:

1) Where is the line between PIM (Personal Information Manager) and that
great holy grail of the Information Age, the Universal Information
Manager?  What *doesn't* Twisted.pim do?  

2) What I'm hearing, distilled:

    "We have a project to manage relations between all types of
    documents a person may ever come in contact with.  Since this
    project is self-contained, we will use a private interface to manage
    related information between these documents.  This is okay, since we
    will always be able to manage any amount of information about any
    number of document types from a centeral place -- that is, this
    "In contrast to what's in our internal structure (that is,
    chunks of information with relations between them), there will be
    clients and other information tools for which we will have a
    seperate interface (using PB).  This is a different interface
    because these clients display documents... err, structured
    information...   which is built of relations to the information on
    other documents, which...   uhh, damn, what was the difference
    between this and our other thing again?"

I'm also taking issue with this notion that all sorts of documents will
be handled by the Twisted.pim codebase.  Let me humbly suggest that you
are wrong ;) and that you will not actually sit down and write a class
for everything under the sun.  Even if you did, there's going to be Some
Other Type of document out there, and someone is going to want to write
a third-party module for it, and perhaps I'm just not being Pythonic
enough, but I'm thinking this module is not going into the Twisted.pim

Twisted is ambitious.  Twisted laughs in the face of previous inventors
of the wheel.  But I feel Twisted is also pretty good at being modular
and de-centeralized, so I'm hoping it can realize the limitations of its
resources and leverage this other aspect, leaving a window open for more
resources to be linked in as they become available at a later date.

The moon is full, %99.95 full. (15.0 days old) phase: 0.506983
Angular diameter as seen from the earth: 0.4973 degrees

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