Web 2.0 Evolution

Web 2.0 & Accessibility

Archive for October, 2007

Podcast test

Posted by iljitsch on October 29, 2007

Welcome to our first (test) podcast episode!gpmovesit.mov

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Summary of timing dedication

Posted by web20evolution on October 26, 2007

This is the summary of dedication of the web20evolution team:Summary of timing dedication

As per results, most of the time was dedicated to reading, mainly to get information about the different topics to be published on our blog. It is curious the amount of time team dedicated to think. This may be a misunderstanding, and may have been mixed with timing dedicating to understand and interpretate the readings. Probably a thing to improve next time is to interact with others and participate more actively on comments from others. Almost all posts have less than 4 comments, and discussion helps to make blogs richer and more useful.

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Posted by Rafa on October 24, 2007

FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) is an alternate and almost equivalent term to free software, the term created created by Richard Stallman,  and I think it’s worth considering it as part of the Web 2.0 world.

As in free software, FOSS gives the user the right to use, understand, change and redistribute the software (for free). The use of FOSS has increased in the last years, as the free-software community has created software in many areas, including operating systems (see GNU/Linux), databases and a big variaty of applications.

Some questions come to my mind regarding FOSS:
1) How can we make money with FOSS ? Can we make money by supporting and installing free software ? Anyone can access and download free SW, but installing and supporting it is different history.
2) Why do developers spend hours writing code and then give it away ?
3) What is the economic impact or FOSS ? FOSS is increasing a lot, and some studies says that the existing base of FOSS applications is worth Euro 12 Billion. This is a lot of money, and it threatens current SW companies.

What is clear is that FOSS is an important technological, social, and business phenomena, and probably will become one of the biggest change in the industry.

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Blogging = attention deficit?

Posted by iljitsch on October 22, 2007

One of the things that I find remarkable about blogging in general and our little experiment in particular, is how easy it is for everyone to talk about their own stuff, rather than to really interact with others. I don’t think this is an automatic result from being online, because in discussion forums and on old school systems like Usenet, you see real discussions rather than the more or less random thoughts that pop up a lot on blogs. Would it be fair to say that successful bloggers manage to stick to a subject, even if it’s set by someone else, while people who dabble in it don’t seem to be looking much further than their own thoughts and keyboard, and are usually not very successful at blogging? 

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CC needs support

Posted by Rafa on October 21, 2007

Creative commons (CC) is a corporation that defines different options between copyright and no rights at all in order to distribute content through the network. So, a key aspect in web2.0 since web2.0 is related to share information, included content created by ourselves.

CC now is asking for donations to survive. They already got 140K$ of the targeted 500K$. CC licensing is important, and is more and more used, since it can be an alternative to the tax (royalty) charged by the Spanish government through the so-called SGAE’s canon.

(For non-Spanish people, see example of the SGAE’s canon here).

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Web Mining

Posted by palolo on October 21, 2007

Reading again about Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 on the Internet, I stepped into this interestig concept: Web Mining. A general definition of the term would sound like this: the discovery and analysis of useful information from the World Wide Web. Why would we need this for? Well, since the number of information source is highly increasing it is necessary to have some intelligent systems to find the desired information resources but also to track their usage pattern.

Web mining has been classified according to the information provided by these patterns into three categories: Web Content Mining, Web Usage Mining and Web Structure Mining. Web Content Mining aims do discover useful information in the content of a web page that is afterwards mapped into some data model which could be used by a machine that cannot ‘understand’ the semantic of the document.

Web Structure mining focuses on determining the importance of a web page using the graph theory. The popularity of the page could be measured using the links pointing to that particular document, while the number of links that point to other page from the document could evaluate the variety of topics covered by that page.

Perhaps the most popular type of web mining is the web usage mining since it is also interesting from the comercial point of view. There are applications that track the user’s behaviour while browsing the web. This may help for example sales companies build profiles of their customers, evaluate their effectiveness and change the marketing startegy.

Such web mining applications exist for quite a while and probably many of you were traynig to buy a book a CD or a film and the web service was already addvertising you products that people who bought the same item were also interested in. Another proof that your activity is tracked while you access information.

Posted in Web2.0 evolution | 2 Comments »

I, Cyborg?

Posted by web20evolution on October 19, 2007

A cyborg is a human who needs a piece of metal to solve a problem in his or her body. At least, that’s a classical definition of a cyborg.

However a cyborg is no longer something from science fiction but something real. For example, if I put a surveillance camera up somewhere, it’s like a third eye and it doesn’t even sleep. So there is no metal in my body, but in a sense, I’m still a cyborg. However, if my metal extension need to work when I’m asleep, this means that some processing outside of my mind needs to go on as well. This is like having a piece of my brain in a computer somewhere. Or on the internet. There will be more and more cyborgs now that we have Web 2.0. Web 2.0 can function as a prothesis for many function, for example, as a database that keeps our knowledge.

If Web 2.0 is the prothesis for the human being, we can analyze the multiple prothesis we can use today or even others use today. Some examples are blogs, applications like flickr, del.ici.us or even search engines, like google. Simple prothesis though, but they may evolve in the future.
What’s next ? To become more advanced cyborgs, as Web 2.0 evolve to more advanced and intelligent applications, is the next step. New intelligent search engines, databases, a sensor network, things related to Web 3.0, … That might become tomorrow’s prothesis.

The odds are that Internet users can be starting to “FEEL” like a cyborg. Perhaps, we are starting to think like the machines. The network is changing, and the users too. The humans sometimes think ¿who are we?,and actually we should think, who am i? (into the network?). Like a cyborg, the users are integrating into their mind schemas, the different processing information modes through the network. In fact, we have differences in this behaviour, depening on if i am a man or a woman, and for this reason, the Cyber-Feminism or Cyber-Male Chauvinism concepts, are starting to be more powerful in the Web. These kind of things start to be each time more common in internet, and not only in our daily life. We should think how it is affecting to our private and personal life.

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How much important is colours in our accessibility designs?

Posted by be_Productive on October 18, 2007

Sometimes the client or the client’s design agency creates the visual design and leaves conversion to HTML + CSS + JavaScript and CMS-ifying to us. When that happens, we almost always find problems with insufficient colour contrast in the design. Sometimes the problems are minor enough to be acceptable, but often there are areas that need to be adjusted.

In case you’re wondering why we care (and why I think you should care) about the colour contrast of a website, it’s very simple. If text does not have sufficient contrast compared to its background, people will have problems. People with colour blindness or other visual impairments as well as people browsing the Web under less than ideal circumstances (bad monitor, window reflections, sunlight hitting the screen) may not be able to read the text, at least not without difficulty. And you don’t really want that, do you? If you publish text on a website, as most people do, we are guessing that in almost all cases it is because you want people to read that text.

There are different algorithms used to calculate contrast colours:

Note that neither of these algorithms are W3C recommendations (at least not yet), but they are still useful for determining if a combination of text and background colours is likely to cause problems for people with colour blindness or other visual impairments.

There are several tools to work with colours:

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Web without web?

Posted by iljitsch on October 17, 2007

Is the answer to web 2.0 really web 3.0? I’m starting to think that less web might be a better next step. For instance, when I read RSS feeds I see the posts formatted in a standard way by the RSS reader, rather than having to deal with a completely different layout for every site. And a program like iTunes gets different types of content from web servers, but it presents its own interface optimized for use as a media player rather than acting like a web browser. Then again, I’m of course extremely old fashioned when it comes to this stuff… 

Posted in Web2.0 evolution | 2 Comments »

An alternate search engine

Posted by palolo on October 17, 2007

Since we focus on the evolution of the Web perhaps some of you are wondering if search engines are evolving. Of course, most of the people will think about improving algorithms for finding the desired search, avoiding fake page rankings or offering new search criteria. Well, an australian company named Heap Media thought of taking advantage of the popular Google and create a search interface that will save energy. The ideea behind the concept is not new, as we all know that computer monitors require more power when displaying light colors than dark ones. Consequently, they have created Blackle, a search engine powered by Google Custom Search who according to ones could save around would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year if it were used instead of the classical version. By the time of my post it has already saved 256,105.223 Watt hours so why not trying it yourself!

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