Posts from 2009

An infrastructure service anti-pattern

Last week I outlined an idea, that of the service anti-pattern, as part of a presentation I gave to the Resource Discovery Taskforce (organised by JISC in partnership with RLUK). The idea seemed to really catch the interest of and resonate with several of those members of the taskforce who were present at the meeting. My presentation was in a style which does not translate well to being viewed in a standalone context (e.

Paul Walk , December 7, 2009

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IDCC09

There is still time to register for this year's International Digital Curation Conference in London, although you will need to be quick - I'm told that registration closes on the 25th November. This year's conference (the fifth), organised in partnership with the Coalition for Networked Information, has the theme Moving to Multi-Scale Science: Managing Complexity and Diversity. It promises to be an interesting event - see the full programme for more details.

Paul Walk , November 20, 2009

Linked, open, semantic?

During an interesting session called the 'Great Global Graph' at the CETIS conference this week I formed the opinion that, in the recent rush of enthusiasm for 'linked data', three 'memes' were being conflated. These next three bullets outline my understanding of how these terms have been used in recent discussions, including the CETIS session: Open data: I see this as something expressed as a philosophy or, in more concrete terms, as a policy, such as that espoused by the UK Government.

Paul Walk , November 11, 2009

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Not ready to wave goodbye to email

Last week I posted a remark on Twitter: Can't help thinking that the idea that Google Wave will replace email rather misses the point.... The first response to this echoed my view on this suggesting that the real nature of Wave is rather harder to explain or understand, and implying that people fall back on a frame of reference with which they are comfortable. It certainly looks as though Google have anticipated this and offered some easily digested marketing messages.

Paul Walk , October 7, 2009

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JISC Rapid Innovation Event

I have just spent an interesting and inspiring 24 hours at the JISC Rapid Innovation Programme meeting, which was organised by UKOLN (disclaimer: I work for UKOLN), and funded through the JISC-funded IE Demonstrator project. The venue chosen for the event was certainly an unusual one - the City of Manchester Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club. I thought the venue worked very well for this event and would recommend it.

Paul Walk , September 4, 2009

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No data here - just Linked Concepts

Over the years I've found the ' Semantic Web' to be an interesting though, at times, faintly worrying concept. It has never much impacted on my work directly, despite my having been embroiled in Web development since, well pretty much, Web development began. Of late I've tried to follow the earnest discussions about how the Semantic Web went all wrong because it was hijacked by the AI enthusiasts, and how it is going to be alright now because a more pragmatic paradigm has gained the upper-hand, that of Linked Data.

Paul Walk , July 21, 2009

HEIs Get Facebook Fever (again)

Facebook rolled out its ' usernames' function today. This is a new feature at Facebook which allows a user to claim their little bit of the Facebook namespace, along the lines of: http://www.facebook.com/[preferred_name]/ The process started at 05:00 am UK local time - on a Saturday morning - yet several people in my social and professional networks got up early to claim their personalised Facebook URL. Not all were successful despite this determination, and some ended up having to settle for some variation on their preferred username.

Paul Walk , June 14, 2009

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day - Pattie Maes

Some time ago, Suw Charman-Anderson introduced the idea of an Ada Lovelace Day, to celebrate the achievements of women in technology. As part of this effort, Suw also created a 'pledge' on MySociety's excellent and innovative PledgeBank service, which stated: I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.

Paul Walk , March 24, 2009

Anything you quote from Twitter is always out of context

Brian Kelly posted Twitter Can Pimp Up Your Stuff - But Should It? a while ago. This post has caused me to think about courtesy and good practice. The aspect I want to talk about is Brian's reporting of a conversation which took place on Twitter. I'm writing this to make a general point, not as a personal criticism of Brian who has well-established credentials as an experimenter with these technologies and who I know, from talking to him directly, is interested in these issues.

Paul Walk , March 6, 2009

Smoke and mirrors, or good intentions?

Update: Karen's presentation has now been made available. Yesterday, despite the best efforts of Worst Great Western, I travelled to the British Library in London to hear Karen Calhoun, Vice President WorldCat and Metadata Services at OCLC presenting on Working collectively – the way forward in an academic environment (not available online as far as I can tell). While Karen's presentation was interesting it was, inevitably, mainly a sales-pitch for WorldCat, OCLC's global-scale union catalogue of bibliographic records.

Paul Walk , February 20, 2009

Facebook wants your attention, not your photos

There has been something of a furore over a recent change to Facebook's terms of service (ToS). The Consumerist reported this as Facebook's New Terms Of Service: "We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.". The change in question was the removal of a clause stating: You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

Paul Walk , February 18, 2009

Making developers happy

Since I joined UKOLN two years ago, I have frequently claimed that we ( JISC, the sector, our community) don't do enough to support and listen to developers. Well, I'm just back from The Developers Happiness Days (dev8D) in London and I can certainly no longer say this. A solid week of developer happiness! A week of ideas generated, geeks networking with users, competitive and yet collaborative development, knowledge being exchanged.

Paul Walk , February 13, 2009

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OpenID and name authority

In his Science in the Open blog Cameron Neylon has written an interesting post, A Specialist OpenID Service to Provide Unique Researcher IDs? in which he asks: Good citation practice lies at the core of good science. The value of research data is not so much in the data itself but its context, its connection with other data and ideas. How then is it that we have no way of citing a person?

Paul Walk , January 22, 2009

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Consumption and ownership

I just read a really good post from Martin Weller on Ed Techie called Ownership ain't what it used to be. Talking about web-based music sharing services such as LastFM, and having just signed up to Spotify, Martin says: It brought back to me some considerations I'd had about the nature of ownership. My generation will have a distinctly different concept of ownership to that of my daughter's generation. For my generation you partly constructed your identity around what you owned - your bookshelf, record collection and DVD archive were important aspects of who you were (as anyone who has read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity will appreciate).

Paul Walk , January 15, 2009

Developer happiness

Are you a developer of software? Could you be happier? If so, come along to the JISC Developer Happiness Days event! From the website: Over four intensive days we're bringing together the cream of the crop of educational software developers along with coders from other sectors, users, and technological tinkerers in an exciting new forum. Share your skills and knowledge with the coding community in a stimulating and fun environment and come away with new skills, fresh contacts – and you might even win a prize.

Paul Walk , January 13, 2009

Push or pull?

A brief comment, as I hop across the North Sea back to Bristol. With the news that arXiv will now accept deposits from institutional repositories, Dorothea Salo continues her theme about a deposit flow which goes from author, to institutional repository, to subject/discipline repository. Dorothea offers some scenarios, including: Achaea University adopts a Harvard-style open-access mandate. If she wants her articles in arXiv as well, Dr. Troia must rather annoyingly dual-deposit… unless Achaea’s IR implements a deposit pipeline to arXiv, in which case the most she has to do is tick a ticky-box (and I can imagine ways to abstract away the ticky-box).

Paul Walk , January 8, 2009

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