Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Survey Questions

Survey questions

What did the survey results show?

Three people responded, most people had not used the information but had already created a link.

Where there any questions that were not effective? Which ones?

The question that asked for a response did not attain any answers, the one response there was a simple no (i.e. it followed the yes/no pattern of the other questions).

If you had to develop the survey over again, what would you do differently?

I would have looked for a larger sample. To be effective the sample size needs to be in the 100s, usually between 300-500 is a good sample, depending on the target population.

What do you think are the best things about collaborative writing with wikis? Are there any features which you would avoid in future?

Everyone in the group can contribute and they don't need to be in the same room at the same time. I would avoid having multiple sessions open at the same time as it can get confusing who's version to keep.

What are the advantages of online surveys? Are there any disadvantages? Is there information you cannot capture?


Quick and cheap to develop.


Surveys are the least reliable form of data gathering and these online surveys are self selected which makes them even more unreliable.

Information that cannot be captured:

  • There is no ability to interrogate the response to clarify the position that is represented.
  • There is no ability to monitor actual behaviour so no ability to match reported response in the survey with actual events.
  • Because the survey is self-selected the surveyed population does not truly represent the real population and the results can be skewed to reflect the views of a vocal minority

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Internet??

Another Digg article today on the birthday of the Internet.

Is it 20 years old or 40?

20th Birthday of the Internet?

Neil Williams

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Privacy on the Web

I came across this article during my usual browser of Digg.

Privacy on the Web

Although the examples are from the US it makes me wonder how much personal information is being stored on the Internet in Australia.

A further question that occurs to me related to the issue of who controls this information about us. It seems that already we have lost the battle to control this.

Maybe the future is with RDF where we can at least have some control about how our information is used.

A further thought occurs to me, in conversation our total communication uses the actual words, gestures, voice inflection, relationships between those involved as well as the physical setting. Putting that conversation on the internet will retain most of those on the original site. However once the words are used during a Mash up of the site, all the context information is lost. Can RDFs put that context back into the information?

Neil Williams

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cloud computing is not new

In a previous life I was the principal of a school outside of Katherine which implemented what is now known as cloud computing. This was in 1996!!!.

In those days it was called Terminal Services which was an add-on to Server NT. Terminal Services was developed by Citrix and Windows NT had a poorer version of it. It was based upon the mainframe ideas of the 1950s. Basically each desktop had a small client application (called a thin client) which simply ran a screen display of a service running on a server.

All the programs ran on the server and all the data manipulation was done on the server with the traffic over the network simply updating the screen display on the client and sending back commands to the server.

This worked very well with a room full of computers able to run Photoshop via Terminal Services, through a radio network in1996!! Some people will still tell you today that it can't be done.

I remember talking to the techs at CSG about this in late 1990. They saw great potential in the use of Terminal Services over the internet, not just over closed networks. The only issue then was the speed of the Internet.

Neil Williams

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Assessment 1

How is the World Wide Web related to the Internet?

The Internet is a collection of servers connected together through the telecommunication's system (read phone lines) which share data using a standardised format.

World wide web is one application which uses the platform of the internet. WWW involves the creation of of web pages (mainly using an HTML format) which are interpreted by browers on the individual client computers.

Other applications often involve a small client on the users computer which communicated directly with a particular server, these include email, MMORPGs, some financial software (stockbroking etc)

A growing area of use is the VOIP market where the telecommunication's system is being used for voice connection, though this time using the Internet rather than directly.

What is the primary publishing format on the web?

At present the primary publishing format is HTML web pages. Exact figures are hard to determine, however in 2007 Netcraft Web Server Survey found 108,810,358 distinct websites


It is difficult to see any other format taking over this depth of penetration in the foreseeable future (read 20 years) though blogs/social networking may surpass this in the medium future.

Include a useful hypertext link to any web site which lists the elements used in this publishing format.

There a a huge number of website devoted to the development of html and css code. These include for example:


and of course the standard site for all issues regarding


Within the w3c site there are standards for every version of html including the following link which details HTML 4.01


Which organisation's role is it to develop standards for the web?

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has developed this role for a number of years. They are concerned not just with HTML but numerous other standards used within the Internet. W3c was established in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee and his teams at Cern and MIT to develop standards to be used across the internet. It has now developed to become the authorative organisation. Membership of the organisation is open to all involved in the industry however the cost is very high, $8000 per year for non profit organisations and up to $70,000 per year for profit organisations.

List at least two popular web publishing standards described by this organisation?

Two of the many standard of interest to W3C are HTML in in many incantations (XML, XHTML, XHTML2 ...) and CSS.

What is this organisation's goals?

The W3C has these long-term goals for creating one World Wide Web.

  • Web for Everyone

  • Web on Everything

  • Knowledge Base

  • Trust and Confidence


Why is validation a good practice for developing web documents?

Validation is the process of checking that the code is robust and conforms with the current standards. This means that the creater of the code can be confident that the majority of browsers will be able to read and interpret the code.

Validation also ensures that the code conforms to the programming standard. By doing so the code is clean and has the greatest likelihood to run quickly and well in all environments, now and in the future.