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I have been away from the message board for a couple of a weeks. I have been putting all of my spare time into developing a dynamic index system for this board. I expect to be finished in just a few days as I have managed to take more time off work. I started with Perl but I will move it over to Java Servlets (faster) once we have a model that everyone like.

In summary the Dynamic Index it is a way to organise all the information here (whether it be intelligent ponders, raw research results, also historical milestones), using a structure that is defined by mass consensus. The last bit is the key. It starts off messy but evolves into something valuable. It has a deep heirarchy and the nodes are completely editable by all the users here, and when there is consensus I can add locks in various places. Also, you can upload graphs and other information that can't be displayed here (I'll get to that later).

That's the summary. Here's the reason that I wanted to develop something like this. I sometimes have very specific questions such as:

"What was the basis for using a hi-market cap filter with the low price/book-value screen? In which message was the idea first proposed?"

or..

"When the keystone screen was developed, what was the point of limiting to US stocks only? Where can I find the original argument for doing so?"

or..

"Who invented the UG screen and where are first the messages relating to this?"

Really, it can be a challenge to pinpoint information. You might have a great idea, or a criticism for someone else's idea, but with the right education or means of pinpointing some information, you will have dismissed or moved forward with the idea before adding more traffic here with some question that has been answered so many times.

I wanted to have something that integrates with this message board to maintain a heirarchical series of hyperlinks, most of which lead to various messages on the MI board, but other links may lead to information elsewhere, such as charts or content that cannot be displayed here. My vision was for this message board to act as the content layer while the dynamic menu would be the navigation layer. It is not a replacement to what we have but a tool specifically designed to identify key messages and other useful information that can't be displayed here, without the jokes, repeated questions and off-topic stuff found here (which can be quite appropriate and gives the sense of community rather than just an information database and provides comfort and so on). But I wanted the dynamic menu to be concentrated to only the best information regarding MI research. It's a slightly different concept. The dynamic index doesn't let people write messages - it is just about pointing to information in an organized manner and allowing the community here to efficiently define the structure and we can decide for ourselves when something is worth adding to the dynamic index. I can come up with arguments against the idea. But it doesn't bother me. You can also come up with arguments against the RS screens.. or just about anything, prior to seeing results.

While I point out that the dynamic menu is not about adding new content, I will eventually allow people to upload graphs and similar information that cannot be displayed on the board here. I already have the code and just need to have everything in a format that everyone likes, and I want to use English that promotes the best use of the service (in the instruction and error messages). I'll start really simple and go from there, and we can always resort to individual customization regarding visual formats and other such things.

The index database will begin as experimental. I think the first way to organise the information is to give everyone here the complete freedom to do what they want - add, edit and delete links and define the menu structure. I expect and welcome vandalism, and some stupid decisions mixed with brilliant input, but what evolves should at least be 'a very useful result'. That's my target. Later I can make some of the links protected when we have a consensus that those areas are rock solid. I'll provide a hyperlink soon.

Anyone can start hitting me with ideas and criticism so I can factor/add them into the first version. Please recommend this post if you think I'm onto something helpful. We all need some encouragement.

- Manlobbi
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It appears that with TMF's latest changes, you can tell the specific message - not just the thread - to which a reply is related. The move toward real threaded conversations may be useful in this context as well...

Kind regards,
Joshua
On what special subject of the theorems and topics does your desire for vocality seem to be connected with?
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In our last episode, MakeItJake wrote:
It appears that with TMF's latest changes, you can tell the specific message - not just the thread - to which a reply is related. ...

Really? How?

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In our last episode, Manlobbi wrote:
... Please recommend this post if you think I'm onto something helpful. ...

Sorry, I have no sock-puppet accounts to use, I can only recommend it once. :-) Hope it helps.
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My apologies; this will be wide.

mrmeyer asks how you can tell the specific message to which a reply is related.

For an example, let's look at the thread beginning with gritton's message "What about this option strategy?", <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>.

Click that link and go to Threaded mode so you can step through the conversation. As you step through it, look at the linked subject (e.g., "Re: What about this option strategy?"). The conversation looks like this (showing the URL of the message, followed by the URL to which it links in the "Re:" field):
gritton's message: 			<http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>
BarryDTO to gritton: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122194> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>
gritton to BarryDTO: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122665> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122194>
sparfarkle to gritton: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122347> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>
sparfarkle to himself: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122384> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122347>
gritton to sparfarkle: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122708> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122384>
jtatman to gritton: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122501> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>
gritton to jtatman: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122724> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122501>
TMF Synchronicity to gritton: <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13124323> <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13122724>
... and so on.

In each case you can see which message the reply is directed to; it is pointed to by the "Re:" link.

This can be used to construct a true conversation-threading off-line reader, I suspect. That would be of great value.

Kind regards,
Joshua
They give a banquet in the engine house to us, and we make our bow for the first time as benefactors to the cause of progress and enlightenment.
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mrmeyer asks how you can tell the specific message to which a reply is related.

For an example, let's look at the thread beginning with gritton's message "What about this option strategy?", <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>.



All that was made unnecessary by The Fool's software upgrade over the weekend. Now, if you click on the thread title you will be taken back to the post to which the response is aimed.

dcobranchi
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mrmeyer asks how you can tell the specific message to which a reply is related.

For an example, let's look at the thread beginning with gritton's message "What about this option
strategy?", <http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13120800>.

Click that link and go to Threaded mode so you can step through the conversation. As you step through
it, look at the linked subject (e.g., "Re: What about this option strategy?"). The conversation looks like
this (showing the URL of the message, followed by the URL to which it links in the "Re:" field):



Also clicking on the subject line appears to take you to the message that is being responded to. It no longer takes you to the original message.

InParadise
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Now, if you click on the thread title you will be taken back to the post to which the response is aimed.

Yes. That's what my message said, and more. This can be used to build a tool that will allow us to read messages in the order of the individual conversations within a thread, rather than in chronological order.

If you read my message again, you'll see three separate conversations, parts of one message thread: gritton and BarryDTO; sparfarkle and gritton (with an afterthought from sparfarkle, sort of a note to his post); and jtatman, TMF Synchronicity, and gritton. The "conversational" order in the thread, to invent a term, is not the same as the chronological order you see if you read either in threaded or unthreaded mode. If you only read chronologically, you miss the conversational coherence. That's what makes TMF's changes in this area so important, IMO.

But what do I know?

Kind regards,
Joshua
When I regained intellectualness I found myself walking into an unidentified town on the A., T. & S. F. railroad.
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In our last episode, MakeItJake explained:
... mrmeyer asks how you can tell the specific message to which a reply is related. ...

Um, actually, that was me, not my evil clone mrmeyer. Or am I the evil clone? I keep forgetting.

This was cool: I didn't notice the error until I saw someone else's reply to this post. All I had to do was click the subject and I was brought straight back to MakeItJake's post. Thanks for the tip!
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Great idea. I have put together a few databases in the past but never with the function you are attempting. I have always been frustrated by this site's search function. Always wanting to ask questions the way you propose but knowing I would have to search by one or two keywords at a time.

I do a lot of presentations and have developed a good sense from this of how to provide inforamtion to others in a organized and logical way. It has a lot of similarities to interface design in that they are both ways to convey information.

I will organize some thoughts and pass them on. Hope they will help.

Scott
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No. of Recommendations: 12
I have been away from the message board for a couple of a weeks. I have been putting all of my spare time into developing a dynamic index system for this board. I expect to be finished in just a few days as I have managed to take more time off work. I started with Perl but I will move it over to Java Servlets (faster) once we have a model that everyone like.

I have a Microsoft Word file that is 388 pages long consisting of Backposts and discussions on many topics on the MI board. It doesn't cover 100% of what was written on this board but it may aid in your "dynamic index". The file is at your disposal should you think it adds value to your index. Just check the "email author" if you choose to request it for your index.

Current statis of the Backposts file is:

1379 Backposts in 76 Catagories
31 Motley Fool Articles
38 Site Links

Best Regards,
- Mike
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>I have a Microsoft Word file that is 388 pages long consisting of Backposts and
>discussions on many topics on the MI board. It doesn't cover 100% of what
>was written on this board but it may aid in your "dynamic index". The
>file is at your disposal should you think it adds value to your index. Just
>check the "email author" if you choose to request it for your index.

Thanks Mike, please email the document to be. It is not quite what we want, because we need the hyperlinks and not the text. The challenge we'll have is to organize the information. For example, we probably won't be differentiating TMF articles from the messages here.

The vision for the project was to leave the structure in the hands of the community here, but the trick will be for people to be very thoughtful about how they are editing the system. Everyone has full editing rights and we'll look at locking off isolated sections when there is majority agreement. I don't think a single person would have the time to do quality control over all the links and decide how everything should be organized, but if only a handful of people *use their brain* when editing the dynamic index, we'll end up with a fantastic research resource.

If there is too much vandalism or even just careless use of editing rights I can set-up an account system where editors log in to make changes, but that's very much a last resort.

I'm coding the graphics uploading this minute. We really need to be able to see charts here with a single click and in particular have the ability for those who don't manage web-sites to upload graphics. I'll provide a link to the first version (without graphics uploading) very soon.

Manlobbi
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Thanks Mike, please email the document to be. It is not quite what we want, because we need the hyperlinks and not the text. The challenge we'll have is to organize the information. For example, we probably won't be differentiating TMF articles from the messages here.

Just for clarification the Word document has all the links to each Backpost. When I create a "backpost" I copy a paragraph(s) from the post that denotes the main meaning/facts the author of the post is trying to convey to the board. After that I copy the post authors name, the post number, and a copy of the link (see example).

--------------------------------------------------------------------
6/30/00 - I finally have some limited backtesting to report for the Exponential screen methods.

Background:


An Exponential screen is similar to an Overlap screen. It provides a way of picking the "best" stocks from among those that have already been chosen by several other screens. The underlying assumption in any Exponential screen is that stocks that have been rising on a nearly exponential growth path for the past 6 months will make excellent investments, with lower risk than stocks with more irregularity and volatility. To find such stocks it is necessary to have access to weekly closing stock prices, adjusted for splits and dividends, over the previous 6 months. Thus this screen is more difficult to use than our normal screens, and much more difficult to backtest.

The Test:

It seemed to me that it would be interesting to look at the behavior of these screens during two 3-month episodes that will not soon be forgotten by mechanical investors:

Really good: the period between Oct 1 and Dec 31 of 1999.
Really ugly: the period between Mar 3 and Jun 2 of 2000.

For comparison purposes, I considered these standard screens: RS-13wk, RS-26wk, RS-Overlap, and RS-52wk. In each case I assumed a 5-stock portfolio purchased at the beginning of the episode and held for 3 months (purchase and sale on Fridays).

For the exponential screens I used rankings based on 13-week growth projections under the -2*sigma, -1*sigma, expected, and +1*sigma conditions. These can be called the Risk Averse, Pessimistic, Risk Neutral, and Optimistic growth projections. I also tried a new idea, the Low Volatility screen, which uses rankings based only on sigma. The Low Volatility screen simply picks the 5 stocks that have the lowest measured volatility. In all of these exponential screens, the universe from which exponential stocks are drawn is the set of all stocks mentioned in either the RS-13wk or RS-26wk lists published weekly by Jack Cade. Thus these stocks are already known to be growing strongly.

Here are the total returns for each screen during the two episodes. The "NET" return is the product of the Good and Ugly returns.

SCREEN GOOD UGLY NET
RS-13wk +79% -14% +54%
RS-26wk +118% -9% +98%
RS-Overlap +69% -19% +37%
RS-52wk +114% -23% +64%
Risk Averse +124% -10% +101%
Pessimist +124% -9% +103%
Risk Neutral +133% -9% +112%
Optimist +139% -27% +74%
Low Vol +66% +9% +81%

Analysis:

1. The "Risk Averse" and "Pessimist" screens performed admirably during these episodes, as I had hoped they would. During the Go-Go era last Fall they would have generated somewhat better returns than the standard Relative Strength screens. During the Recent Unpleasantness they did somewhat less badly than the standard screens. The net performance looks quite good, and much better than RS-Overlap. No formal statistical tests are possible on these small amounts of data.

2. As one might expect, the Low Volatility screen turned in results that were not as good as any of the standard screens during the Go-Go era. But look at that +9% return when all other screens were dripping with red ink! Its net performance was not too shabby, either.

3. These results provide some evidence that this is a profitable line of research, but we still need a real backtest. I will be contacting those who volunteered their time as soon as I have a solid design for the research (soon, I hope).
- LorenCobb - Post 73140
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013013211000&sort=postdate
--------------------------------------------------------------

The one possible problem it that the Motley Fool has recently changed their link format from this:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013013211000&sort=postdate

...to this:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12826596

All my links are the former version. I have a feeling they still should work (I tested some and they seemed to work) but haven't tested all of my links due to sheer volume.

I will be emailing you a copy as soon as possible. It is in Microsoft Word 97 format. If you require another format that Word will save it in I can send that as well.

I fully understand that the organization of the information is the MI communities consensus choice.

Best Regards,
- Mike
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My apologies! I hate getting peoples' names wrong.

Kind regards,
Joshua
Look as economical and rich and rugged as you can.
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Julian,

I came across a reference to this link (http://www.qis.net/~manymice/foolweb/archtool/archmain.html). I do not have any personal experience in using the tool mentioned in this link, so I can not say for sure, but it appears to be a tool that may be of interest to you in terms of getting some ideas for your Dynamic Index tool?

Fool On,
Gerry (a.k.a. IllinoisGEM)

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