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Re: "Virtual" (was: Re: [zzdev] Some thoughts on virtual structures)

>The adjective "virtual" invokes the question: "So what's the real
>counterpart?" What's a real structure, as opposed to a mapping of data
>onto a hypergrid implementation? Makes no sense to me. For me, there are
>two associations here: Ted's notion of a "virtuality" as opposed to
>"reality:" a designed environment that is enacted e.g. on a computer
>screen and that only exists in our heads; and the notion of "virtual
>cells" as opposed to "real cells," where the real cells are those in a
>hypergrid structure that are saved on the harddisk, whereas the virtual
>ones are those that the computer constructs on-the-fly, for example the
>numbers in a representation of the natural number system. There can only
>be a finite number of real cells, as storage is limited, but, as the
>example shows, a theoretically infinite number of virtual cells.

I had inconveniently forgot to consider Ted's defined of 
'virtuality', sorry.

>To get back to the article, it is my understanding that it uses the term
>in this latter sense: the computer shows "virtual" cells that represent
>*external* data: a web page as retrieved through HTML; the contents of a
>database as queried through SQL. So when you used "virtual structures"
>in conjunction with file formats, I thought you might be talking about,
>similarly, representing the contents of a file as seen through the file
>system, not stored in the hypergrid.

If the cells are "virtual" how can they be edited?  I had assumed it would
be necessary to store the contents in the hypergrid, otherwise, when an
edit is made, GZigZag would be forced to modify the original file.  Maybe
my assumption is wrong.

What is better, a physical mapping (storing data in the hypergrid) or a
mapping (temporary storing in virtual cells)?

I suppose a physical mapping would be in a sense a copy, something that the
Xanadu project has been trying to avoid (in multiple ways -- the zigzag 
structure itself, transclusions, etc).

>I cannot see a good reason to use the term "*virtual* structures" for
>"mapping of data onto a hypergrid implementation," and I would propose
>to simply use "hypergrid structure" instead; does this capture your
>meaning? Or am I missing some good reason to use "virtual structure" instead?

Hmmm, it seems I used the term 'virtual structures' in too broad a sense for
too many different things.  How about the term "hypergrid mapping"?  

- Brent