What Does Openness Mean to the Web Manager?


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Slides from a talk by Brian Kelly, UKOLN on "What Does Openness Mean to the Web Manager?" given at the Institutional Web Management Workshop 2006 (IWMW 2006) on 15 June 2006.

See http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/webmaster-2006/talks/metcalfe/

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What Does Openness Mean to the Web Manager?

  1. 1. What Does Openness Mean For The Institutional Web Manager? Open Standards, Open Content and a Model For Openness Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath Email [email_address] UKOLN is supported by: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/webmaster-2006/talks/metcalfe/ Acceptable Use Policy Recording/broadcasting of this talk, taking photographs, discussing the content using email, instant messaging, Blogs, SMS, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat)
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>This brief talk will cover: </li></ul><ul><li>Open Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards are great  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards don't always work  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layered approach developed by UKOLN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Commons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let's do it! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Model For Openness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware the fundamentalist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A risk assessment approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A user-focussed model for openness </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Open Standards Are Great … <ul><li>HEI IT development / JISC's development programmes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditionally based on use of open standards to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support interoperability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maximise accessibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid vendor lock-in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide architectural integrity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Help ensure long-term preservation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>UKOLN's involvement in standards work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eLib Standards document (v1 – 1996, v2 – 1998) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DNER Standards document (2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOF-digi Technical Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of standards development in metadata areas (e.g. Dublin Core, Collection Descrioption, …) </li></ul></ul>Open Standards Open Standards
  4. 4. … But Don't Always Work <ul><li>There's a need for flexibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning the lesson from OSI networking protocols </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Today: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the Web (for example) becoming over-complex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Web service considered harmful&quot; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The lowercase semantic web / Microformats </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lighter-weight alternatives being developed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responses from the commercial world </li></ul></ul>Open Standards <ul><li>RSS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Great lightweight standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well, two 'standards' with flawed governances, arguments, proprietary extensions & technical flaws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But still provide valuable, user-focussed services </li></ul></ul>Open Standards
  5. 5. The Context <ul><li>There will be a context to use of standards: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The intended use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mainstream  Innovative / research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key middleware component  Small-scale deliverable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational culture: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HE vs FE vs home …  Teaching vs Research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Service vs Development  … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available Funding & Resources: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Significant funding & training to use new standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal funding - current skills should be used </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Contextual Issues An open standards culture is being developed, which is supportive of use of open standards, but which recognises the complexities and can avoid mistakes made in the past Open Standards
  6. 6. The Layered Standards Model JISC JISC / project 3 rd Parties Owner External Self assessment Penalties Learning Context: Compliance JISC's layered standards model, developed by UKOLN. Note that one size doesn't always fit all Open Standards Quality Assurance External factors: institutional, cultural, legal, … Annotated Standards Catalogue Purpose Governance Maturity Risks … Prog. n Funding Research Sector … Context: Policies
  7. 7. Sustainability <ul><li>How do we </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustain, maintain & grow the standards catalogue? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a sustainable support infrastructure? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggestions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More resources for support infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extend model to related areas to gain buy-in, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage participation from the wider user community (including IWMW 2006 delegates) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploit learning gained by projects, reuse experiences, encourage sharing, etc.: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build on QA Focus approach (briefing docs and case studies) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contractual requirement for projects to produce end-user deliverables and deliverables related to development process </li></ul></ul></ul>Sustainability Open Standards
  8. 8. Creative Commons <ul><li>Creative Commons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognises importance of existing copyright legislation … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and build on this by allowing copyright owners to exercise their rights by allowing others to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use, modify resources subject, if desired, to various conditions (attribution, non-commercial, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now has legal status in UK </li></ul></ul>Open Content Creative Commons Note also Science Commons approach for open access to data
  9. 9. Using Creative Commons <ul><li>Creative Commons licences can be used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog postings, RSS feeds, Wiki pages to help clarify reuse of such resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On PowerPoint slides  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Open Content <ul><li>Let's Free IT Support Materials! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper by Kelly, Knight, Casey & Guy given at EUNIS 2005 conference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Described business reasons for CC licences for QA Focus documents (see QA For Web handbook) to maximise impact of work & support take-up of ideas) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Argued that support services should provide CC licences on their documents, training materials, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An opportunity for you! </li></ul></ul>Creative Commons
  10. 10. Support Infrastructure <ul><li>How do we integrate the standards catalogue with implementation experiences, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking to related information in Wikipedia (the world can help the updating) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uploading information to Wikipedia – the wider community can help to update and maintain it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making information available with CC licences – so others can use it, update it – and hopefully give feedback on enhancements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of syndication technologies (RSS & OPML) </li></ul></ul>Sustainability <ul><li>Note this is a Web 2.0 approach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses Web 2.0 syndication technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trusts users and benefits from a wide user base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributes to Web 2.0 services </li></ul></ul>Open Content
  11. 11. What You Can Provide! <ul><li>JISC & JISC Services have an openness culture to help maximise impact  (and organisations such as MIT & the OU which have made their teaching resources available) </li></ul><ul><li>You can be part of this for the HE/FE sector: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You are willing to help & share (cf web-support list) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can do more: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use a Wiki to develop & maintain communal resources (e.g. Best Practices For CMSs / VLEs / Intranets) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Write a QA Focus briefing paper or Case Study </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We'll all benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing the load can make it happen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75% of audience write a 2 page case study & 25% edit, proofread, etc – we've got a great resource </li></ul></ul>Sustainability Open Content
  12. 12. Web 2.0 <ul><li>Aspect of Web 2.0 include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse of content (syndication, mashups, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always beta (sometimes taking a risk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web services, APIs, … </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0 <ul><li>Web 2.0 applications and openness: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Maps, GMail, … APIs, RSS, to allow use by others </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0 and Openness
  13. 13. Web 2.0 & Maps <ul><li>University of Northumberland early Google Maps adopters This provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overlays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zooming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annotations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalisation (e.g. from home) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note openness isn't just about open source & standards. It's about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A mixed economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being user-focussed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Ownership Challenge <ul><li>Traditional View </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must own (buy) our mission-critical IT services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open Source Perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must/should/can download open source software for our mission-critical IT services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Today: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should/ provide an appropriate and sustainable environment for the outcomes of the services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The World Is Changing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There's a need to revisit these (old and new) orthodoxies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are risks, but there are also benefits. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisations are increasingly out-sourcing services (why should we invest in virus scanning software, for example). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT is often innovative, changing existing ways of working – we now need to rethink our own orthodoxies </li></ul></ul>Ownership Challenges
  15. 15. Risk Management <ul><li>Concerns? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I can't use open source software 'cos … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But open standards sometimes don't work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IPR is scary – what about the risks of Creative Commons, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill Gates said &quot; Free Culture advocates = Commies &quot;. Is he right? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I trust Wikipedia, …? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens if Google goes out of business? </li></ul></ul>Risk Management Valid questions, which need to be addressed Need for a risk assessment/management approach Risk Management
  16. 16. IWMW 2006 & Risk Management <ul><li>IWMW 2006 has taken a risk management approach to its evaluation of Web 2.0 technologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreements : e.g. in the case of the Chatbot. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of well-established services : Google & del.icio.us are well-established & financially security. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notification : warnings that services could be lost. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement : with the user community: users actively engage in the evaluation of the services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provision of alternative services: multiple OMPL tools. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use in non-mission critical areas: not for bookings! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long term experiences of services: usage stats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability of alternative sources of data : e.g. standard Web server log files. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data export and aggregation: RSS feeds, aggregated in Suprglu, OPML viewers, etc. </li></ul></ul>Risk Management Risk Management
  17. 17. R=AxBxCxD <ul><li>Prof. Charles Oppenheim's (lightweight) formula (for copyright infringements): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk = A (probability that you're illegal) X B (probability you'll be found out) X C (probability they'll want to do something) X D (extent of financial risk) </li></ul></ul>Risk Management <ul><li>So you're probably OK if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You're legal; they don't know what you've done; they won't bother chasing you or they won't chase you for more than £1,000 </li></ul></ul>Risk Management
  18. 18. R=f(A, B, C, D) <ul><li>Brian Kelly's adaptation to open standards & Web 2.0: Open standards risk (R os ) is a function of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maturity of standard body OSI=100% (ISO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support within community OSI=10% (UK HE, ..) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial take-up, competition, .. OSI=1% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architectural merit OSI=1% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 risk (R web2.0 ) is a function of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maturity of service provider </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk culture within organisation & members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dangers of data/service loss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significance of loss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Approach reflected in &quot; Matrix for Selection of Standards &quot; and &quot; Top Tips For Selecting Open Source Software &quot; docs & in &quot; Risk Assessment For Making Use Of Web 2.0 Services &quot; Risk Management Example Risk Management Also need to consider R web2.0
  19. 19. Beware The IT Fundamentalist! <ul><li>We need to avoid simplistic solutions to the complexities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Standards Fundamentalist: we just need XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source Fundamentalist: we just need Linux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor Fundamentalist: we must need next version of our enterprise system (and you must fit in with this) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility Fundamentalist: we must do WAI WCAG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership Fundamentalist: must own everything we use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User Fundamentalist: we must do whatever users want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Fundamentalist: it breaches copyright, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perfectionist : It doesn't do everything, so we'll do nothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplistic Developer : I've developed a perfect solution – I don't care if it doesn't run in the real world </li></ul></ul>User Focus IT Director, March 2006 &quot; I could give names of the individuals in my department! &quot; Risk Management
  20. 20. RANDP <ul><li>There's a need to recognise: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Departmental cultures (e.g. IT services, Marketing, Library and Academics) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We also need to recognise personal perspectives (personal beliefs, prejudices, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>We need to ensure these are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R easonable A nd N on- D iscriminatory P rejudices (&quot; No MS cos I don't like Bill Gates &quot; is discriminatory) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R easonable A nd Non- D iscriminatory P references is better </li></ul></ul>An open debate about future plans isn't helped by immutable prejudices Risk Management
  21. 21. Pollard Model <ul><li>Computer Says No! </li></ul><ul><li>Time to ditch this catch phrase </li></ul>User Focus Folksonomies? Library says no Skype? UKERNA says no Wikis? IT Services says no X Risk Management Yer, but, no, but, yer Time to embrace the ambiguities & complexities acknowledged by Vicky Pollard Yer, like Wikis are well cool, but, OK so I copied my homework, but, like I always copy my homework Images from BBC Web site
  22. 22. User-Focussed Approach <ul><li>There is a need for a user-focussed approach to address the benefits & problems if openness, rather than dogma, ideology or political correctness </li></ul>We are 100% committed to open source / access /standards Even if it doesn't work; even if it alienates users? <ul><li>We strive to make use of open source / access / standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in order to provide richly functional, widely accessible & interoperable … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for our broad user communities </li></ul></ul>A user-focussed approach, which allows for flexibility of the open stuff doesn't work User Focussed Approach
  23. 23. Other Examples <ul><li>Science Commons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote science by lowering costs of sharing scientific data </li></ul></ul>http://sciencecommons.org/ http://www.freeourdata.org.uk/ <ul><li>Free Our Data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guardian-led campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your Views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absolutely – and relates to other aspects of openness  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thatcherite trick to reduce public investment – OS maps will be like the trains  </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. What Openness is Not <ul><li>IMHO openness is not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An excuse to knock Microsoft, or the commercial company you'd like to knock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting things for free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A simplistic slogan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A stepping stone to the eradication of western capitalism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Openness is also: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not infallible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May need changes in culture, in law, etc. in order to fufill promises </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Why Openness? <ul><li>Openness: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects our broad educational & research goals (benefits to society, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects personal beliefs, for many </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can bring benefits … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>..but sometime doesn't </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be tolerant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take a risk assessment approach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But have an open culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness helped if we are providers of open resources and not simply consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't just talk openness, do it! </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Let's Do It!! <ul><li>Why us? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Web management community based on trust, openness, collaboration & willingness to experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks provide exponential benefits as nos. grow (cf. the telephone) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributing to Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Creative Commons licences on resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing staff development resources; case studies; … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploiting collaborative software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Map-A-Campus Day? <ul><li>Background: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Northumbria Univ. has campus map available on Google Maps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits if all of us did likewise (end users; sharing of best practices, code, etc.; involvement with others e.g. students) </li></ul></ul>http://www.stanford.edu/hpcgi/map/index.pl Ideas Get students (Comp Sci., Geography) with GPS devices mapping buildings, providing metadata. Engage with Google Maps API experts. Discuss best ways of doing this. etc, etc.
  28. 28. Questions <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul>Feedback Note resources cited in the talk & accompanying paper are bookmarked in del.icio.us using tag '' iwmw2006-plenary-kelly-metcalfe &quot;