My proposal is to build what I call a ‘Liquid View’ for the word processor Author which I have developed (full name of the application is Liquid | Author). This Liquid View is invoked through a gesture which hides all body text and only shows the Headings in the document which are now treated as Nodes in a free-form thinking and layout space where the user can arrange the Nodes to augment thinking to understand the evolving structure of the document. By repeating the gesture the document reverts to the normal Word Processing view, while retaining any content changes such as a re-naming of a Heading or re-ordering of the Headings.
Section 1: Literature Review
(a) What is Writing
The English Oxford ‘Living’ Dictionary defines writing as “A sequence of letters, words, or symbols marked on a surface and the new addition to the name of the dictionary, the ‘Living’ dictionary is interesting, referring to their technology as the Lexical Engine and Platform (LEAP) shows that even the OED is moving into the digital age, adding tools to unleash the digital potential of text.
The act of reading is older than the act of writing, since we have been passively ‘reading’ our environment for as long as we have had senses to do so. We have never had the memory capacity to store everything our senses provide for us – we have always relied on our environment to ‘hold’ some of the information about it for us, while we retain only what is most pertinent for our purposes and even if we theoretically had memory to store everything our senses give us, our senses have never been able to gather and present a full and complete set of what was being sensed. This is important since textual reading is not an entirely unconnected activity to the rest of our experience and it is also important to highlight how we have come to culturally fetishise the printed word over the last half millennium in the way we draw credibility from citing what someone has printed – through the printed document conveying ‘authority’.