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Closed systems, open systems


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Very brief presentation about open vs. closed system, open source, community source, and some of the challenges by robin fay,

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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Closed systems, open systems

  1. 1. Here comes who?  Introduction  Closed systems vs. open systems  Opensource vs. community sourced  APIs, RSS, crosswalking  How all of that stuff works  Questions and wrap-up Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  2. 2. Find me at, facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube, blogger, etc. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia, Metadata 101,
  3. 3. Here comes who?  Open systems are systems which allow users to contribute, manipulate, edit, use, reuse, mashup, and in some way actually create or alter content and/or the actual programming of the system  While the coding language may be proprietory (FBML is Facebook specific markup language) the actual software encourages user contributions  Examples of open systems software might include Wordpress and Unix; to a lesser extent Facebook.  If you can mod (modify it) the software, it is probably an open system.  Collaboration! Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  4. 4. Here comes who?  Closed systems are systems which allow users to use content as is, with minimal to modification to the actual system or program.  Users may create or email content, but changes to the system are minimal. Content may also live in a proprietary format, which is not compatible with other products (at least without conversion).  Examples of closed systems include many library catalog softwares, email software such as listservs, Microsoft Office, web browsers, etc.  Many pay to play, proprietary software are closed systems. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  5. 5. Here comes who?  Unfortunately, many systems are a mix of closed and open. You can often do some creation/alteration but you can’t actually change the program.  For example> Add, edit, delete entries in Wikipedia, but you are not actually altering the software, just the website.  However, if you install the Opensource software MediaWiki (used by Wikipedia) then you can mod the system. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,,
  6. 6.  Opensource is software that is released and licensed to the public for use and/or modification. It may be developed by one developer, a team, or a community. It may or may not be open system, but generally is.  Community source is software that is developed by a community or group. Community source does not necessarily mean opensource. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,,
  7. 7.  In a nutshell and very much in general:  open system = opensource + free software  Closed system = proprietary and/or commercial (cost may be through advertisement)  There are many variations in what constitutes opensystem.  ...but in order for all of the things to work and talk to each other and be open....  ...but in order for all of the things to work and talk to each other and be open.... Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,,
  8. 8. APIs are programming interfaces which facilitate communication between both open and closed systems Metadata is the underlying structure of information on the web. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  9. 9. Here comes who?  APIs are the pieces of programming allowing one software to talk to one another in ways that are understandable (think translation tools). RSS feeds are created from APIs.  Metadata is information which relates description, copyright, format, and more.  While programming languages are the engines which run the web and the software we use, metadata is akin to street signs or maps – communicating to people, software, and other computer languages.  Let’s check out a little metadata. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  10. 10. Web designers create metadata to describe the website and its content. Metadata for a website is either created by the user when building the website or hand- coded into the HTML. Some search engines use these keywords to varying degrees. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  11. 11. You create metadata every time you edit a Word document. Descriptive metadata Administrative & Structural Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  12. 12. ... Or upload to Flickr or tag a friend on Facebook. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  13. 13. Here comes who?  All of the metadata we (the world) creates is mined in some form or another. Search engines, document processing software, library catalogs, websites, digital portals, even our desktop computer’s indexing is mining our information  The Web provides almost endless possibilities to create and share resources and digital objects.  We are now all authors, artists, photographers, archivists in the world stage....  Sounds great, but.... Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,
  14. 14. Here comes who?  Many collaborative websites (social networking) such as Wikipedia rely on the collective expertise of the group -- the “true” or accurate information will rise to the top. Untrue or irrelevant information will either sink to the bottom (fewer hits, bad reviews, marked for review, etc.) or will be revised by more expert opinions.  For the most part, this works fairly well; however, there are drawbacks and quality control is an ongoing issue.  Accuracy and relevance are too big issues with user generated content. Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia, Metadata 101,
  15. 15. Here comes who?  Thoughts  Who owns information?  In the past, priest and experts controlled information. Now content is created and distributed by users – all of us. What is expertise? Who controls it?  How does copyright fit into this way of creating the human experience? What about mashups? When is something new?  Who controls information? Who controls our identity? If we chose not participate, will others create an identity for you? Robin Fay, Univ. of Georgia,