Hypertexts: Slim, Smart Hypertexts
Texts are kept short within LogiLogi, at maximum around 1.000 words. They are kept so short in order to maximize the advantages of hypertext. A philosophical treatise split up in short texts is more modular, and can be more easily linked to, from other texts. Especially when the parts are written concisely, and make only one point or express one main idea each. Also in a practical sense, keeping them short allows them to be easily displayed and read on-screen. In addition, texts on LogiLogi don't need to be fully developed or perfect when published. They can be informal drafts at first, which can then be improved upon later, possibly only when they arouse enough interest. This allows one to explore and share many more ideas than would be possible in fully fledged journal articles.
On LogiLogi texts are called logis. This name is derived from the Greek word 'logos', which denotes word, saying, thought, language, principle, thesis, and logic. It was also used by Aristotle to denote rational discourse. The duplication of the word logos in LogiLogi can be read as it being a logi of logis. It was initially thought of because the names of many disciplins end in 'logi', such as biology, and sociology. And a more practical reason is that the domain name logilogi.org was still free at the time the project was started (February 2003), while logi-, and logos.org were not. In addition the same duplication of terms is also found in WikiWikiWeb (the first Wiki). However LogiLogi is not a Wiki because, among other differences, pages on LogiLogi can only be edited by their authors. This to allow authors to keep intellectual responsibility over their writings, which is necessary for philosophy, and an important value in the academic world.
Nevertheless texts on LogiLogi are fully interactive hypertexts. That is, while others cannot change the text of a logi, they are able to annotate any text, word or phrase with annotations, and to add links to other logis into the text. This is like the adding of a footnote to all copies of an already published article. Also, links don't interfere with normal reading because annotations and links only show up when a reader hovers his mouse-pointer over them. They appear like little text-balloons which, besides the link, also contain the remark resp. the first few sentences of any logis referred to. An example is shown in the text-balloon screenshot. Additionally, there can be multiple links/annotations/etc. behind the same word or phrase. So there are no problems when users add links overlapping with those added by the author or other users.
In addition to inserting links or annotations into logis, people can also reply to logis. Here we differentiate between commenting logis and remarks. Remarks are meant for short spontaneous notices or questions, and thus cannot be replied to in a threaded way, nor can they be annotated themselves. They are shown at the side of the logi, and they expire over time (see the remarks screenshot). Commenting logis on the other hand are like any other normal logi, and thus can be annotated, and receive replies themselves. The first few lines of all commenting logis are shown below the logi they are commenting on.
Differentiating between remarks and logis is done in order to make commenting logis more like journal articles, than like forum replies: they can be referenced to on their own, and also be brought into other discussions later on. To make this even easier, every logi has a permanent link (so called permalink), which is a stable reference that always will refer to the same logi. Thus, when citing a logi in a paper, this is also best done via its permalink. In addition it is also possible to refer to any specific version of a logi (including the current), because the history of all previous versions of logis is kept, and there are special permalinks to versions too.