Open to Disorder

We resist items that assert their own order. Numbered paragraphs and dated pages inhibit alternative arrangements. Better to focus on the actual value within and leave other processes to layer their own meaning upon any particular arrangement.

When should an object in a program know its own name? This was a challenge I faced early writing in Smalltalk. I don't recall a similar difficulty programming before then. Wiki has it both ways.

A page knows its own title in the lineup.

[ { title: open to disorder, story: [ ], journal: [ ] }, ... ]

A site knows a page by its slug.

{ open-to-disorder: { ... }, biological-inspiration: { ... }, exquisite-sensitivity: { ... }, ... }

The title is part of the composition while the slug is an identity for retrieval. One speaks to the reader, the other, the machine. But neither name implies order that is expected to persist.

It is no accident that wiki's first editing operation was move. Refactoring was a new process in programming and it came to the original wiki with some difficulty. If we are to mine the thoughts of others then surely they must be rearranged.

Self-Inflicted Wounds tells of the new woes to be endured by Boeing. Four quoted paragraphs work well together even though their order has been reversed from the original. The refactoring improves focus.

A date or a sequence can be part of a story. With numbers we can refer to step three, but only in the most local context and only usefully when order is important and will lead to failure if violated. The need for reference itself is a sure sign that too many threads of thought occupy the same page. Refactor.