Tuesday, November 18, 2008

scriptaculous widgets

"Scriptaculous is a set of JavaScript libraries to enhance the user interface of web sites. It provides an visual effects engine, a drag and drop library (including sortable lists), a couple of controls (Ajax-based autocompletion, in-place editing, sliders) and more."
Excellent resource:

My example of opacity:

dojo resource

I have finally concurred dojo! It works.
I also found great dojo library with clear usage explanations:

Dijit component of dojo:

Google Maps Examples

I have worked on the Google maps recently and would like to provide my links to the pages:
Clickable markers with Map, Satellite and Hybrid options:

clickable markers based on the external source
(from http://gmaps-utility-library.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/markermanager/release/examples/google_northamerica_offices.html):
external source : http://www.geocities.com/shaareishalom_chc/google_offices.js

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CIT499 Group Web 2.0 and Ajax page

Web 2.0 and Ajax

Wikipedia describes Web 2.0 as "changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies."
The term became notable after the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004.
According to O'Reilly, Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "arcitecture of participation", and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences".
(Tim O'Really, "Web 2.0: Compact Definition?" O'Really Radar (10-1-2005), http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2005/10/web_20_compact_definition.html. Retrieved on 09-27-2008)

As specified by O'Reilly and Battelle, technologies tend to foster innovation in the assembly of systems and sites composed by pulling together features from distributed, independent developers.

O'Reilly provided examples of companies or products that embody these principles in his description of his four levels in the hierarchy of Web 2.0 sites:

  • Level-3 applications, the most "Web 2.0"-oriented, only exist on the Internet, deriving their effectiveness from the inter-human connections and from the network effects that Web 2.0 makes possible, and growing in effectiveness in proportion as people make more use of them. O'Reilly gave eBay, Craigslist, Wikipedia, del.icio.us, Skype, dodgeball, and AdSense as examples.
  • Level-2 applications can operate offline but gain advantages from going online. O'Reilly cited Flickr, which benefits from its shared photo-database and from its community-generated tag database.
  • Level-1 applications operate offline but gain features online. O'Reilly pointed to Writely (now Google Docs & Spreadsheets) and iTunes (because of its music-store portion).
  • Level-0 applications work as well offline as online. O'Reilly gave the examples of MapQuest, Yahoo! Local, and Google Maps (mapping-applications using contributions from users to advantage could rank as "level 2").

Non-web applications like email, instant-messaging clients, and the telephone fall outside the above hierarchy.(Tim O'Reilly (2006-07-17). "Levels of the Game: The Hierarchy of Web 2.0 Applications". O'Reilly radar. Retrieved on 2006-08-08.)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0. Retrieved on 2008-08-30)

The rationale behind Web 2.0 is captured by the following video by Chris Anderson, called “The Audience is Up to Something”.

It should be pointed out that Web 2.0 of is the evolution of the World Wide Web from a static content medium to a dynamic content medium. Powered by XML, formats such as RSS and ATOM are leading the charge in making a dynamic web. With the syndication format's, content is no longer tied to a single site, views now subscribe to a feed of the content with the aggregator of their choice. Web 2.0 allows users to share content without limits of the static web page. Where as in Web 1.0 you had to go to the data, in Web 2.0 the data comes to you.
- API's
- Separation of data and style

Companies who meet all of the following seven requirements are considered a Web 2.0 Technology company:
- Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
- Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
- Trusting users as co-developers
- Harnessing collective intelligence
- Leveraging the long tail (niche marketing) through customer self-service.
- Software above the level of a single device
- Lightweight user interfaces, development models, and business models
(Retrieved from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html )

The commercial benefits of the Web 2.0 to a large extent stem from the concept of "long tail", which emerged in 2004. It refers to a long tail of statistical distribution, where the frequency of occurrences is lower, but the total integral amount in the tail is large, as illustrated by the plot below. In other words, it describes a situation when a large percentage of the market exists in small niche areas, outside of the mainstream. The user-driven contents allows the website to target the tail as well as the peak of the distribution.
The Long Tail

Like we were talking about in class Web 2.0 is really just the same old web using a plethora of new technologies that make up what we see today. AJAX for instance which is really just an acronym and stands for more technologies. Specifically Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. I know Wikipedia isn't the best source but it always gives a jumping point and a lot of the time has references to other pages that you can check out so let's see what they say web 2.0 is. Kind of a web 2.0 site defining itself I guess. "Web 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users." So what does that mean to me? Web 2.0 is the word techies use to describe what the web is turning into. It focuses on the social aspect of the web as well as the creative part.

The term "Web 2.0" was conceived in 2005 to describe a new breed of websites that use newer web authoring tools, are low learning curves (for the user) and support a collaborative environment usually free and usually just all done in a web browser (http://www.shambles.net/Web2/** ).

Web 2.0 represents a change in attitude towards how the internet is used, and is not necessarily a change in technology. It is basically a ‘remixing’ of older technologies into new. There are four basic applications of technology that make up Web 2.0, all centered on the idea of collaboration and communication. These applications are: social networking, wikis, folksonomies, and blogs.
(http://education.umkc.edu/TLL/tutorials/What_is_Web_2_0.pdf. )

Web 2.0 Technologies

  • Social Networking

  • Communication a place where companies, organizations, and small groups can share and collaborate on documents, ideas, and chat with each other to voice opinions.

  • Online Diaries or (Blogs) - Personal Internet journals have taken the Internet by storm. Frequently updated and written in a personal tone, a blog is a diary or journal where the writer or "blogger" will write her observations on the world or provide links to useful websites. Different bloggers write about different themes, sort of like a newspaper columnist but with no specialized training necessary. The first blog is said also to have been the first website in 1992. Blogs didn't really start to take off until the late nineties

  • Social Bookmarking-a method for a community to share common bookmarks . The most famous social bookmarking web service Delicious (formerly del.icio.us, pronounced "delicious") provides a non- hierarchical keyword categorization system in which users can tag each of their bookmarks with a number of freely chosen keywords (compare folksonomy ). It utilizes a web 2.0 technology called a tag cloud to show the hottest bookmarks for a certain tag ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del.icio.us Retrieved on 09-02-2008.)

  • Shopping

  • Social Media-has becoming very popular over the past year. With the launch of YouTube, which is by far the most popular video sharing site, the concept of individual sharing home made videos has increased dramatically.**

  • Map Based Applications

Social Bookmarking

Background and History

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata. [1] Social bookmarking is a relatively new concept, which evolved in 2004 in response to the explosive growth of the world-wide web. Its underlying idea is similar to the rest of the Web 2.0, namely that it relies on the collective opinion of the users to help navigate the web. The key feature of the social bookmarking is that Internet users are able to categorize any site using so called “tags”, which represent freely chosen categories. At the heart of this approach is a concept of “folksonomies” [2]. Although this word is not yet officially recognized by Merriam Webster Dictionary, its genesis is quite easy to understand: instead of traditional “taxonomy” or scientific classification, it relies on the popular, or “folks” classification.


Human tagged searches and tag ranking (as opposed to the automated search engine spider searches and number of external links) provide the high quality web content analysis and therefore can be more useful to the end user. Groups of users can share the same set of bookmarks. Some sites allow partial content bookmarking: a) specific images, text excerpts, videos; b) expedites access to the essence of the information. Libraries have found social bookmarking to be useful as an easy way to provide lists of informative links to patrons. [3] Apart from any other benefits, such service is undoubtedly valuable in and of itself, especially to those people who have multiple computers and would like to rely on a single set of bookmarks. These sites also help users by installing a “tagging” button on a web browser, to make the process of tagging easy and quick. Finally, the bookmarking sites then pull together the statistical information and offer users a broad range of options, such as site popularity ratings, site associations (for example, “people who liked this site, also liked the following sites") The advantages of the Social Bookmarking are fairly obvious from its description. While human opinions can’t compete in efficiency with the search crawlers, they are capably of carrying much more nuanced, and therefore useful picture. At a high level of bookmarks agglomeration, an entirely new level of capabilities opens up, allowing customers to more efficiently find the information, but also, in principle, allowing the vendors to more precisely market their products and also better understand the needs of various niche customer groups. This later aspect is a part of the “long tail” feature inherent to all Web 2.0 applications.


Like with the advantages, the limitations of this technology are also quite obvious. Without rigid structure and controlled vocabulary the system is prone to problems caused by simple spelling errors, etc. Also, the rigid taxonomy allows the developers to easily internationalize the contents, by simply translating the category names. One can think of that as the Classifieds in a newspaper – “help wanted” is a common and rigid category anywhere in the world, and so can easily be localized by using the correct local spelling. On the other hand, the folksonomies do not lend themselves easily to such an approach. Another understandable limitation of this technology is that it is prone to manipulation. For example, a business owner interested in boosting traffic to their website, may create many fake accounts and upload their bookmarks lauding that site. Having artificially boosted the ratings, dishonest users may also sell that popular web address. Finally, there are ways of manipulating the ratings by intentionally using incorrect but popular tags.

An outstanding step-by-step instruction for using “Delicious.com” bookmarking site by Plain English

Even though social bookmarking method has several serious limitations compared to the regular automated search engines, it opened a new venue for Internet users to search and share information based on their opinion about the content, rather then carefully computed search relevance index, as well as to communicate with other users connected by similar tag-based web links.

Works cited:
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_bookmarking
  2. http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=2)
  3. Rethlefsen, Melissa L. (9 2007). "Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us". Library Journal.
  4. Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, Ben Lund and Joanna Scott. - Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Review In: D-Lib Magazine 11, Nr. 4, 2005)
  5. http://delicious.com/help/getStarted, on 09-09-2008