All posts from
February 2004

The Visual Language of PowerPoint: Q&A with Bob Horn

“Are we at the verge of the creation of a new global verbal-visual language? In 1998 political scientist and Stanford scholar Robert Horn released ‘Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century’, a ‘must-read’ for anyone who communicates with words and images, and an important roadmap for any serious PowerPoint practitioner.” (Cliff AtkinsonSociable Media) – courtesy of ben hyde

segusoLand: Screenshots and tutorial

“(..) a program for GNU/linux that enables users to specify any kind of action in a very uniform way, with an artificial intelligence that aids you while you are composing the action, by showing you only the relevant options. segusoLand features a completely new user interaction paradigm called ‘reciprocal list narrowing’. You won’t find it anywhere else. Some people would call segusoLand a ‘desktop environment’, some a ‘file manager”, some a “start menu’ … it is difficult to classify it because it is quite innovative.” (Maurizio Colucci – segusoLand) – courtesy of nooface

Component Technology and Modeling Support in UML for Developers

“In this article, a try has been made to see CBD from a developer’s perspective. We shall see that support does exist in terms of modeling the CBD process, but the level of support differs significantly at different stages of the process. We will see how UML supports a service-based architecture and what sorts of model it provides for the different people in the development team. We try to explore the different models provided by UML to analyze, design and implement the Component-Based systems and see what sort of support do they provide for the different levels in development process.” (Amjad Bashir – Journal of Conceptual Modeling)

Abstract identifiers, intertextual reference and a computational basis for recordkeeping

“This paper presents three proposals concerning the structure and maintenance of formal, inter–referential, digitally stored texts: (1) include abstract atomic identifiers in texts, (2) identify these identifiers with references to text objects, and (3) keep among the texts records of computationally substantiated claims about those texts. We use ‘formal’ in a narrow sense approximating computer–checkable; we are informed by informal symbolic practices used in mathematical text and program source text, which we hope to enhance and exploit explicitly. The basic management problem is how to alter texts rather freely without ruining the bases for claims depending upon them; this becomes an issue of accounting for various dependencies between texts.” (Stuart Frazier Allen – FirstMonday 9.2)

PeopleSoft Case Study: Acquisition-driven Information Architecture

“In July 2003, PeopleSoft acquired mid-tier enterprise software company JD Edwards. Perhaps the most important business move in PeopleSoft’s history, this acquisition required quick action from the team, which wanted to demonstrate the very real integration of the two companies. PeopleSoft brought in Adaptive Path to ensure a smooth process, and the integrity of the new Web site.” (Adaptive Path)

Jef Raskin, Macintosh inventor, looks to the future of computing

“Twenty years ago, Pacifica resident Jef Raskin was a 40-year-old software designer and writer for Apple Computers. He was also a cutting-edge thinker, (he still is, by the way), who imagined a world of connected computers providing infinite bits of information to people sitting at home in front of user-friendly machines. He imagined those machines would be named after his favorite fruit – the Macintosh apple, and that they would have a very simple, graphic interface; designed to be used the way humans think and work, not the way machines do.” (Chris Hunter – Pacifica Tribune) – courtesy of lawrence lee

A New Kind of Science (online version)

Immediate access to the complete book (text and images, fully searchable, 30,000+ links, and many enhanced features) – “This book is the culmination of nearly twenty years of work that I have done to develop that new kind of science. I had never expected it would take anything like as long, but I have discovered vastly more than I ever thought possible, and in fact what I have done now touches almost every existing area of science, and quite a bit besides.” (Stephen Wolframwolframscience) – Limited registration required

Integrating Reading and Writing of Documents

“Computer users have become accustomed to the writing of documents being regarded as a separate activity from the reading of documents. We believe that this division is unnecessary and limits the effectiveness of virtually every computer user. It is time for a rethink of underlying concepts. A key concept for integrating reading with writing is a general mechanism for annotation. This general mechanism can be combined with hyperlinking to create a single unifying super-concept that provides a base for integrating reading and writing. The paper explains the underlying ideas, and describes the results of a small experiment that supported the viability of the super-concept. We believe that the super-concept might possibly provide the foundations for a revolution in thinking about documents, which would benefit everyone.” (P. J. Brown and Heather Brown – Journal of Digital Information)

Writing with Images

“The sudden emergence and explosive growth since 1994 of the World Wide Web as a graphics-heavy medium is but the latest of several surges that marked the ‘rise of the visual’ in the twentieth century. Each of these waves was enabled by new technology and each changed the world’ practices before it changed its theories. Photo-offset printing unleashed the first wave of photograph in mass distribution newspapers and illustrated magazines.Then the technology for making moving pictures developed into a world-wide industry. Television opened a main pipe line into the homes of the developed world, and video recorders brought films from the theater into the home as well. A typewriters became computers, sprouting monitors and connected to other computers around the world, the flow of visual information and entertainment reaches into the offices of corporations and bureaucracies around the world.” (University of Washington)