Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
August 8, 2002

New UK Governmental E-learning Standards Body Proposed From the article: "An initiative to set up a new e-learning standards conformance authority for the UK has been launched. The authority's remit would consist of the drawing up of application profiles that are based on a core of international e-learning interoperability specifications and the testing of applications' conformance to these profiles." By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, August 8, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

FOS Newsletter, 8/8/02 This item has two parts. The first part recounts an interview with Ingenta's CEO Mark Rowse. Ingenta produces electronic editions of scholarly journals for publishers of print journals and recently appointed what Suber calls a "FOS friendly board" even though the company does not publish any free online journals. The second and much more interesting part is an assessment and timeline (with links) documenting the rise of eprint archiving. Suber has done a nice job in capturing the momentum of the movement and also compiling the major background information in one place. I have to agree with Suber that this idea is about to hit mainstream, a developement that should send scholarly publishers scrambling for a business model that no longer includes a lock on the market. By Peter Suber, FOS Newsletter, August 7, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The True Meaning of Service Interesting. This article looks at two different and apparently competing technologies: the semantic web and web services. The suggestion is that these ought not to be considered as competing visions, but rather, complementary technologies that support each other. The bridge between the two is something called DAML-S: Semantic Markup For Web Services. I must confess that this one seems like a no-brainer for me. Even if web services exist everywhere, how do you locate them? They have to be metatagged, it seems to me, just like everything else. Indeed, I would consider this to be an important component of online learning, where services providers create metadata for their services to allow them to be streamed into learning management systems. Anyhow, this article provides a good overview of the concept and there's a list of DAML resources at the end of the second page. By Kendall Grant Clark, XML.Com, July 17, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Secure and Robust Computer Systems for Primary and Secondary Schools This article proposes the use of a Linux install CD in school computer labs to create a secure computer system for a school environment. I think booting from a CD is a good idea but, as the author note, there remain some hurdles, the largest being slow performance on older computers. Oh, and an appropriate boot-CD has yet to be created. OLDaily readers involved in similar projects (such as SEUL-EDU; I know there's a number of you) should get in touch with the authors. By Richard A Sevenich and Michael P Angelo, Linux Gazette, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Manage Your Content With PHP You could spend thousands of dollars or more purchasing a content management system. Or you could build one using PHP for, well, for free. By Christopher Robbins, A List Apart, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Smarter Content Publishing Primer introducing the idea and some of the basic concepts behind publishing on the semantic web. In patrticular, the article shows how ontologies help you organize your metadata. "Ontologies provide vocabulary control just as taxonomies and thesauri do, but there are important differences. In general, ontologies aim to represent knowledge rather than describe content." Check out the links to some useful background material. By Victor Lombardi, Digital Web, December 31, 200-31 8:33 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes