Itsme A New Workstation To Exploit The Potential Of The Cyberspace 02

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  • 1. Fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza. Ye were not made to live like unto brutes, But for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge. Dante Alighieri , La Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto XXVI, 119-120, Transl. by A. Mandelbaum 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 2
  • 2.  The scenario 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 3
  • 3. At the 1984 Superbowl Apple launches the Macintosh: A new personal computer with graphical user interface based on the desktop metaphor It brings forth the ideas developed at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay and others to a large public, at a reasonable price 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 4
  • 4. And then … All personal computers adopt the desktop metaphor There is a dramatic growth of the size of internal and external as well as fixed and removable memories of personal computers The email becomes a universal medium Tim Berners - Lee invents the Web 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 5
  • 5. Moreover, … The Web, originally a system for publishing documents, grows and becomes capable of offering a large variety of services:  Downloading of files  Shared information spaces  E-commerce  Blogs and wikis  Chats  Social computing (Web 2.0) 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 6
  • 6. Three main problems The personal computer has been unable to cope with the evolution of the Cyberspace: dispersion of information (in the file system, the attachment folder, the e-mail systems, the browser) information overload (from keys to gigas; more and bigger objects) inadequacy of the file system with respect to the web (its content remains without tags, links and structure) 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 7
  • 7. Unforeseen facts Dispersion of information supports sub-optimal search methods (from messages to attachments, from documents to urls, …): a casual and incomplete divide et impera strategy. More and more efficient search engines. The web is constantly becoming more capable of providing all the functions of personal computers: do we still need personal computers? 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 8
  • 8. Still some problems remain On-line computing is not yet ubiquitous The personal computer has some capabilities missing, compared with the web Different users have different needs and desires: personal computers based on the desktop metaphor are not adequate for some of them Who has control? 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 9
  • 9.  Our idea 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 10
  • 10. A new workstation Avoiding the dispersion of information Embodying what we know about knowledge work Designed for those people who “think what they do has value” Based on a new metaphor: “stories and venues” 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 11
  • 11. Avoiding the dispersion of files A new front-end where:  related objects, messages, urls, people addresses, information sources, tools appear in a single place  All objects are characterized by tags and links No solution, today, to the structure problem: in any case we have plans for the future with respect to this problem 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 12
  • 12. No solution as yet for the information overload Putting everything in the same place does not solve the information overload problem. Moreover, it increase it A hierarchical file system leads to greater confusion Good search engines do not solve the problem: while performing an action we need to have everything that maybe relevant, ready at hand Searching distracts from the action we are performing No real change with respect to the desktop metaphor 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 13
  • 13. The lessons of ethnographic research on work What human beings do is embedded in their relations with other people: actions and interactions Action and communication are strictly intertwined Any action is situated in space, time and, often, in the story within which it has sense The stories a person lives are not disjoint Stories are viewpoints on actions and interactions 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 14
  • 14. The target users of ITSME High - value users, i.e., all those who have a great number of interactions with other people, manage loads of information, live a great number of stories at the same time, but do not have adequate support to manage the complexity of their life Professionals Managers Intellectuals Knowledge workers 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 15
  • 15. The limits of the desktop metaphor The desktop metaphor has been able to sort workstation contents in a simple and intuitive way But it has not solved any of the problems people encounter while managing their actions and interactions Where is the message John sent me about that issue? Where did Rick tell me that important thing? Which is the relevant part of this huge document? 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 16
  • 16. Beyond the desktop metaphor The desktop metaphor is over thirty years old. And it shows! The displays of today’s workstations are either populated with a huge number of icons or require functional commands to find an object. In both cases, users frequently do not find what they are looking for, or find the wrong thing 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 17
  • 17. A new metaphor: stories and venues Our life interweaves a large number of different stories Each story has its participants and objects Each story has its venue, where you can access its participants and objects Each person lives in several diverse interweaving venues The new metaphor is characterized by its being plural and its reflecting situatedness of human experience 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 18
  • 18. itsme / a workstation based on the metaphor of “stories and venues” At any moment, ITSME presents the venue of the story in which its owner is acting ITSME owners do not need to search for things: they have them ready at hand ITSME creates, maintains and updates the venues of its owner ITSME venues can be easily corrected, modified and/or organized by its owner ITSME is not intrusive: its behavior is purely reactive 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 19
  • 19. A metaphor implemented through a light model It lseems that if venues constitute a hierarchy, but the same file or resource can appear in different venues Users can move things between venues, and also copy things to different venues Venues may have sub-venues. Sub-venues are not hierarchical: rather they define viewpoints on venues The hierarchical model is only a light support to the metaphor The metaphor helps users understand what they see on the screen 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 20
  • 20.  Creating a new workstation and communicating it 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 21
  • 21. ITSME components An open-source operating system embodying the venue metaphor in its front-end A new workstation, with a radically new design A service supporting the migration of users from Apple and Microsoft workstations to ITSME A consistent and reliable plan for further improvements of the system 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 22
  • 22. ITSME / the operating system A radically new front-end to Linux, based on two simple rules: Objects created in a venue remain there Objects arriving with the reply to a message coming from a venue go in that venue In the venue where a story is performed, users can access: their partners in that story the files, email messages and web bookmarks created, exchanged and shared in it 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 23
  • 23. Some examples from the concept manual: the interface model 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 24
  • 24. Some examples from the concept manual: the interface architecture 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 25
  • 25. Some examples from the concept manual: the home 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 26
  • 26. Some examples from the concept manual: the home 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 27
  • 27. Some examples from the concept manual: a venue 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 28
  • 28. Some examples from the concept manual: the limbo and the transition panel 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 29
  • 29. ITSME / the operating system Venues may be further organized (sub-venues, folders) by users One-click mechanisms for correcting, modifying and organizing venues In the Limbo, users find what has not yet been located in a venue (what has not yet given raise to a story) On the screen, a transit zone is always accessible, to move and/or copy files A search engine to searching in other venues 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 30
  • 30. ITSME / the operating system Based on Linux The front-end is perfectly coupled with the underlying Linux operating system, so that the system performs effectively The front - end is based on a newly conceived interface design allowing users to understand effortlessly what is going on, even when changes are not generated by the user 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 31
  • 31. The migration service Associating applications running on Vista and/or Mac OS to the applications running on Linux, allowing users to continue working on their files Selecting a Vista (Mac OS) emulator to run applications not supported by Linux Putting by default in the Limbo the contents of the previous machine not yet located immediately in a story Defining the interaction protocol for creating new venues and placing objects 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 32
  • 32. ITSME / further improvements A new Linux file system, where files can be tagged, linked and have an XML structure An email system supporting conversations, with bi-directional links between messages and attachments A browser locating its bookmarks in the file system Navigation systems within venues Multiple views of venues 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 33
  • 33. Development milestones A three - year process Two years for the development of the front-end (spring 2008 - spring 2010) One year and a half for the development of a hardware prototype (spring 2009 - autumn 2010) Two years for the development of the migration support system (autumn 2008 - autumn 2010) 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 34
  • 34. The help we need Three active communities, supporting Itsme from the very beginning Research (CSCW, KM; ID) Open source software (Linux community) High-Tech industry (particularly in Europe) Good coverage of Itsme milestones by media and research community world- wide Support from public institutions in Italy and Europe 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 35
  • 35. Next steps in communication An interactive web site (Web 2.0) On line testing of the concept Presentations in major Universities/cities all around the world Courses at major Universities and Educational Institutions all around the world 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 36
  • 36. Selling an innovation Proving Itsme's with added value with respect to competitors Proving system and after market - assistance reliability of the Itsme initiative Granting small migration costs (moving from Vista or Mac OS to Itsme is not more costly than moving from one version to another of those systems) 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 37
  • 37.  The company 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 38
  • 38. The ITSME team A growing multi-disciplinary team organized in three work areas:  Interaction Design  Development and Open Source Software  Communication and Innovation 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 39
  • 39. The partners of ITSME Giorgio De Michelis, who is its CEO A group (≥20) of founding partners, subscribing the majority of its capital A group of academic institutions (among which, University of Milano - Bicocca, whose it is a spin-off) The managers of the company, who will receive warrants, allowing them to participate in value creation Venture capitalists, who will provide the financial resources needed to reach its objectives 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 40
  • 40. The Scientific Committee A growing group of senior scholars in the field advising the company on its activities:  Alfonso Fuggetta (Politecnico di Milano and Cefriel)  Patrizia Marti (University of Siena)  Roberto Polillo (University of Milano - Bicocca)  Marco Susani (Motorola Corp., Chicago) 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 41
  • 41. The Advisory Board A group of senior managers and entrepreneurs advising the company on its business plans. Among its members:  Elserino Piol (chair)  Luca De Michelis  Roberto Galimberti  Emanuele Marcianò  Roberto Polillo 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 42
  • 42. The ITSME Institute A non-profit association, called ITSME Institute, will be created to better access public funding for open source code development Giorgio De Michelis and Itsme will control the Institute The Association will be open to research and academic institutions The Association will allow significant cost reduction, if design and development will be funded by public institutions 02/12/08 ITSME a new workstation to exploit the potential of the cyberspace 43
  • 43. Thank you for your attention! giorgio.demichelis@itsme.it www.itsme.it