Multi-implications of
     multi-dimensional authoring;
                  or,
“everything you wanted to know about
 geek h...
Curse of dimensionality
Good news, everyone: giant ants can’t take over the world

Square-cube law




e.g. grow 3 times
–...
How big is multi-media?
           3 hyperlinked pages,             Testing that users of
           can be read 15 ways: ...
Many dimensions
to multi-media

 Metaphor : e.g.
  –   stewardship (SimCity)
  –   adventure games (LOTR quest)

 Visual s...
Each dimension has its own best
    tools, its own required skills
                                           metaphor
Spe...
How to tame the dimensionality problem:
           crowd sourcing

 You can do more if you
 take more folks along with
 yo...
Our institutions actively
         block crowd surfing

Fixated on ownerships or corporate property “rights,”
Academic ins...
The open source advantage
         Why is open source software so successful?
          – Testing = $0
         Linus’s la...
If lots of people are holding the pen,
              the pen must change
Not “product” but
“architecture” for
creating “pr...
Other changes

Group think
                                                   e.g. 6 people, 5months, conducting
 –   The ...
The development process
Not enough to just write “it”
Before writing “it”:                   1/3
 – plan the groups activi...
Do you like the ten people
             sitting next to you?
You’d better:
 – The curse of dimensionality cometh
 – Your n...
Questions?
 Comments?




             13
FAQ
(frequently asked questions)




                               14
But we donít need all that since ....

“We are using a
 COTS product”
COTS = commercial off-the-shelf software
 – Which, p...
But we donít need all that since ....

           “Our multi-media isn’t
         managing nuclear weapons”
No, but Englis...
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Multi-implications of multi-dimensional authoring; or, “everything you wanted to know about geek herding, but were afraid to ask”

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Multi-implications of multi-dimensional authoring; or, “everything you wanted to know about geek herding, but were afraid to ask”

  1. 1. Multi-implications of multi-dimensional authoring; or, “everything you wanted to know about geek herding, but were afraid to ask” tim@menzies.us CSEE, WVU SLS 2007 Nov-2-07 1
  2. 2. Curse of dimensionality Good news, everyone: giant ants can’t take over the world Square-cube law e.g. grow 3 times – 33 = 27 times as heavy – Legs, 27 times weaker Lesson: what works in the small has to change for the LARGE 2
  3. 3. How big is multi-media? 3 hyperlinked pages, Testing that users of can be read 15 ways: your multi-media masterpiece can travel 1. 1 2. 1,2 to all paths Standard 3. 1,2,3 assumptions of 20 hyper-linked pages 4. 2 essay writers 5. 2,3 – Connections= 6. 3 • 1018= 7. 1,3 8. 2,1 • 1,000,000,000, 9. 3,1 000,000,000 10. 3,2 That’s a lot of testing 11. 1,3,2 12. 2,1,3 – (We’ll come back to this) 13. 2,3,1 14. 3,1,2 15. 3,2,1 15 / 2 = 750 % 3
  4. 4. Many dimensions to multi-media Metaphor : e.g. – stewardship (SimCity) – adventure games (LOTR quest) Visual style : e.g Rhetorical style; e.g. – actors on a stage, – Team vs first person perspective – race cars on a track – Strategic vs tactical (e.g. shooter games) – Write once (and comment): Blogs – Rewrite often (Wikis) Ontology; e.g. – Physical, mental, economic Formats: e.g. – Binary: jpg, pdf, svg, msword,… – Textual: ascii, html, xml, docx,… Control : e.g – Linear (turn to next page) Platform; e.g. – Hyper (turn to any damn place you – Hardware: intel/ PowerPC want) – OS: windoze, linux, mac – Search (computer-aided tuition – Versions: vista, XP, leopard, tiger controls where can go next) 4
  5. 5. Each dimension has its own best tools, its own required skills metaphor Specialized toolkits let you built this stuff, fast visual style – But only by eliminating most choices blogger Now,at the birth of new media ... – … do you really want to walk fixed SimCity dimensions? wiki – Are you doing new media or control “cliched” media? – Should new media research try the path less traveled? (Btw, to write a multi-media Ph.D., generate art works at any two, randomly selected parts of this space 5 and discuss their deltas.)
  6. 6. How to tame the dimensionality problem: crowd sourcing You can do more if you take more folks along with you Mars DVD – Kendrick, – Burgess, – Markley, – Higgs, – Tripp – Hamming – Altmann, – a gang of consultants Biofutures DVD – “Rhillip”, – Burgess, – a gang of consultants 6
  7. 7. Our institutions actively block crowd surfing Fixated on ownerships or corporate property “rights,” Academic institutions – (read “tenure committees”) – give little credence to “team players.” Yet modern media authors – must enlist in an army – to complete multi-dimensional (And no “team” in “tenure”) masterpieces. 7
  8. 8. The open source advantage Why is open source software so successful? – Testing = $0 Linus’s law – quot;given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” – Given a large enough beta-tester and co- developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix will be obvious to someone. BTW, testing is not some post-hoc bolt-on – Rather, it is feedback to build better products – So multi-media authors aren’t finished when they hit the “save button”. • Testing is not “design-neutral” – Experience with hammers, changes hammers • Lucy Suchman’s situated action 8
  9. 9. If lots of people are holding the pen, the pen must change Not “product” but “architecture” for creating “product(s)”. Don’t write “stories”, write “dependencies” and “transforms”. 9
  10. 10. Other changes Group think e.g. 6 people, 5months, conducting – The gang, including you, negotiates a experiments, writing results, shared view of the emerging produce 40 page final report plus 2*PP slides Licensing – BSD, Creative Commons, GPL,… Tools – No proprietary product (No Microsoft, no Director) – No (few) binary formats (the text advantage) Environment – Tight version control – Apart from “it”, need installers of it, and tools that walk the dependence graphs Development process – Take a depth breath… 10
  11. 11. The development process Not enough to just write “it” Before writing “it”: 1/3 – plan the groups activities After writing “it”: testing – unit test • test your bits – Integration tests • Can you bits even connect to other bits – system test • Does everyone play well together? – Acceptance tests 1/2 • test on user groups • ? multiple platforms/versions 1/6 (BTW, “coding” is what you 11 used to call “writing”)
  12. 12. Do you like the ten people sitting next to you? You’d better: – The curse of dimensionality cometh – Your neighbors just become your most critical tool for completing your next multi-media masterpiece. But before you get together, – Your going to need new pencils – Change how you share/grow ideas – Change how you work, day to day on a project – Change models of accreditation • move beyond concepts of “I”, • acknowledge “us.” 12
  13. 13. Questions? Comments? 13
  14. 14. FAQ (frequently asked questions) 14
  15. 15. But we donít need all that since .... “We are using a COTS product” COTS = commercial off-the-shelf software – Which, presumably, the developers test. – Right? U.S.S. Yorktown missile carrier. – Laid low by COTS September 1997 – a divide-by-zero in some manually entered data in a Windows NT application • (legend has it, the Microsoft Access database program) – Dead in the water for 2 hours 45 minutes Note for testing: can you 2 May 1997 probe all paths within – A previous loss of propulsion program as well as all possible user inputs? – Also due to software. 15
  16. 16. But we donít need all that since .... “Our multi-media isn’t managing nuclear weapons” No, but English faculty have their own “mission critical” issues Biofutures. – Not-so-good version control. Robert Mitchell’s tenure review committee – For several days – Unclear if they were given wrong disk – One that would not play 16

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