Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IBM on Linux: "Lean, clean, and green"

IBM developerWorks has an article (Linux: Lean, clean, and green: How GNU/Linux is becoming more eco-friendly - 26 May 2009) which examines some of the Green benefits of the Linux operating system. It focuses primarily on the low resource demands Linux has on systems (as well as its support for older systems), thus extending the life of machines that would otherwise be junked. Also discussed is virtualization and aspects of the Linux OS that reduce power consumption in servers.

Additional Green Linux and Open Source resource:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Canadian Federal Natural Resources Department selects Open Source library system

This is old news from February, but I seemed to have missed it: the NRCan (Federal Natural Resources ministry in Canada) libraries have chosen the Open Source Evergreenintegrated library system (ILS). Kudos to my colleague George Duimovich and others at the NRCan library. Here is the opening search interface. It is great to see sensible Web 2.0 and Open Source choices can be made in such organizations.

NSF Workshop report: Information Seeking Support Systems Workshop

The final report for the NSF Information Seeking Support Systems Workshop has been released.
"The general goal of the workshop will be to coalesce a research agenda that stimulates progress toward better systems that support information seeking."
From the executive summary:
Our nation and our world depend on citizens who are able to seek, assess, understand, and use diverse kinds of information. Much of the information we need is complex with different components held in disparate electronic sources and many of our efforts to gather, assess, and use this information are done in collaboration with others. Additionally, much of the information we need is not discretely anticipated, but rather emerges as seeking and reflection continues over time. Information seeking in the digital age is a kind of problem solving activity that demands agile and symbiotic coordination of human and cyber resources; in short, a fundamental kind of computationally-augmented thinking. Computation has expanded our ability to do scalable what if thinking that leverages the best capabilities of humans and machines to abstract, synthesize, and iterate intellectual actions, and today’s search engines are the primitives on the technical side of information seeking. We must rise to the challenge to move information seeking from search engine support that provides discrete items in response to simple queries to tools and services that support reflective and interactive search over time and in collaboration....[emphasis added]

...Three kinds of challenges are defined and preliminary steps toward meeting the challenges are presented in this report: robust models of human‐information interaction; new tools, techniques, and services to support the full range of information seeking activities; and techniques and methods to evaluate information seeking across communities, platforms, sources, and time. Special attention is given to collaborative information seeking and the need for industry‐academic collaboration. Much broader and intensive efforts on the part of the academy, government, and industry are required if we are to meet the grand challenges of usable and ubiquitous information seeking support systems that empower people to solve problems, create new knowledge, and increase participation in efforts to improve the global human condition [emphasis added]. Preliminary efforts as illustrated in this report provide promising directions, however, sustained efforts are urgently needed to support research that leads to understanding information seeking as computationally augmented learning and problem solving, better seamless and ubiquitous systems for supporting information seeking, methods for training people to practice effective and efficient information seeking, and techniques and measures for assessing the tools and practices.

JCDL 2009 Poster Session to also be in Second Life

The 2009 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) poster session will be held both in real life and in Second Life. This is the first time that the JCDL has done this, and allows for remote participation in at least this part of the conference.

More information on all of the JCDL2009 sessions.
BTW, I will be chairing session #7 on Wednesday, June 17.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

W3C: Service Modeling Standards Extend Reach of XML Family

The W3C has today announced Service Modeling Language 1.1 and SML Interchange Format 1.1 (SML-IF), two XMl-based standards:
SML, SML-IF Enable Validation of Sets of XML Documents

To illustrate what SML adds to the XML ecosystem, consider what happens when someone purchases an airline ticket. Suppose the reservation information is stored as an XML document that includes passenger information. The reservation also refers to a second XML document that stores departure time and other information about the flight. One department manages customer information, another manages flight information. Before any transaction with the customer, the airline wants to ensure that the system as a whole is valid. SML allows the airline to verify that certain constraints are satisfied across the reservation and flight data. This makes it easier to manage inconsistencies, and to do so without writing custom code. As a result, the airline lowers the cost of managing tasks such as informing passengers when flight times change.

An organization may also find that it needs to apply additional constraints when using data in a particular context, for example because of local laws. Developers can use SML to layer on context-specific constraints without duplicating content. -From the W3C Press release

Friday, May 08, 2009

First issue of "Journal of Information Architecture"

The issue 1 volume 1, Spring 2009 of the Journal of Information Architecture is now available. Topics for this journal are (from the site):
  • Theoretical foundations of information architecture;
  • Pervasive information architecture;
  • History of information architecture;
  • Information architecture techniques and best practices; card sorting; freelisting;
  • Way-finding in digital environments; human information seeking; human information interaction; navigation and navigation behaviors; findability;
  • Labeling and representation in digital environments;
  • Organization of information; pace layering; taxonomies; folksonomies; collaborative tagging;
  • Social media; social computing; social networks;
  • Information architecture and digital genres;
  • Information architecture development in organizations, in communities, in society, globally;
  • The role of information architecture in information systems development;
  • The value of information architecture for organizations;
  • The impact of information architecture in organizational information policy and information strategy;
  • Multilingual, multicultural information architecture; global information architecture;
  • Information architecture design and evaluation for various applications in business, managerial, organizational, educational, social, cultural, and other domains;
  • The impact of information, information architecture or information technology on people's attitude, behavior, performance, perception, and productivity;
  • Information architecture education.
The Volume One Issue One table of contents is: