CZ Talk:CIS 700 Special Topics 2008

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Web 2.0, and other context

For an encyclopedia article to be clear to a reader first coming upon it, there has to be a common context. When I first coauthored a textbook, my colleague and editor "beat me with a clue-by-four" (ISP jargon) until I swore that I'd never use a term unless I had defined it, or it was an explicit prerequisite for the material.

In a Wiki, there some convenient ways to vary that, in a way that encourages collaboration. If an author introduces what may be a new term, it's wise to put in a wikilink to it, even if there's no corresponding article. I personally think that unless there is an article at that link, the original author really should try, within a short time, to make a stub article at the end of that link, with at least a few sentences of description, but others may also do that.

If you have potential collaborators, it's an excellent idea to mention the initial stub or null link; if there's disagreement on a definition at the stub level, that should be known early and brought forward.

A number of the CIS 700 articles reference Web 2.0. Citizendium (CZ) has no definition of it. Since I'm more of a specialist in the highways along the Information Superhighway than the destinations (i.e., I do routing and networks, and also some specific application areas like medicine, military, etc.), I decided to look around for a definition.

To my surprise, the W3C Consortium ( doesn't have an easy-to-find definition of Web 2.0. Searching their site comes up with Mobile Web 2.0, as well as some 2.0 or later versions of some of the underlying technologies, such as XHTML.

Pat and others, is this something that needs to be considered across the articles? From observation, I see characteristics of Web 2.0 being more means of user interaction, including wikis, perhaps SMS, virtual worlds, blogs, etc. There is a link under World Wide Web#Web 2.0, which helps, but probably should be expanded to an article. Now, it's fairly clear that some of the underlying technology is new, but, in reading some of the articles that assume Web 2.0, it seems more of a philosophy than anything rigorously defined.

Let's look at user experience not in terms of whatever "Web 2.0" might mean, but what changes it. As part of the expressed philosophies, it seems as if one of the criteria is presenting multiple forms of information to the user, which, to use a quite useful military term, improves situational awareness. Take a look in the cockpit of a modern fighter aircraft, especially fighter aircraft#Fourth generation and later. Are HUDs, new user controls, and a steady movement to virtual reality things that share concepts with Web 2.0?

Presumably, it's more than multiple kinds of information being presented. In 1970, I was developing medical interfaces that simultaneously showed an image of a surgically removed specimen, the patient's chart, and a place for notes. This was not trivial, especially in the human interface. We had, for the time, a photo-realistic display. The doctors who were eagerly involved were oddly reluctant to use the touch-sensitive screen; we eventually realized that the specimen was realistic enough that it triggered the reflex "never touch with ungloved hands". We substituted a light pen, as a scalpel equivalent, and things were fine. Today, we'd use VR gloves.

So, I encourage thinking about shared assumptions outside your class. Does everyone know what defines Web 2.0? What differentiates a mashup from earlier multiple-window multimedia displays? Are some of thee human interfaces widespread implementations of techniques that have been used, for some time, in environments such as high-performance aircraft cockpits?

Howard C. Berkowitz 13:10, 9 August 2008 (CDT)

Adding some more context

This work, especially AJAX (web technology), and Brian Caputo's JSON - as a data interchange format led me to see if we had enough background information, and we really don't. I did create Document Object Model (XML), but I'm emphatically not a specialist in this area. While I have some other skeletal things I will edit into CZ format, please Wikilink them from your articles here (and edit in links to your articles from those articles).

If any of you see a need for other background articles, not within the scope of your courseware, mention it here, email, or put it on my talk page.

Howard C. Berkowitz 13:17, 12 August 2008 (CDT)