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  • Slide 1
  • A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future
  • Slide 2
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Who is Don Cowan? 47 years at Waterloo Founding Chair Computer Science Assoc Dir/Computing Centre in 60s (now IST) Software engineering research Helped found some of the spinoffs WATCOM (iAnywhere), LivePage (Oracle) Retired but still active in research Direct Computer Systems Group
  • Slide 3
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 1967/68 IBM 360/75 The Red Room (in MC) Housed Canadas largest computer The Past - 40 years ago
  • Slide 4
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 1967/68 IBM 360/75 Backup for NASA space shots In several science fiction films Solid-state transistors same as now Same function as today but bigger Solid state electronics around about 7 years in 67 Early machines - IBM 1620/7090 Transistor - cm in diameter Today CPUs + memory like a speck of dust (mote) Before 1960 - vacuum tubes (light bulbs with a personality) The Past - 40 years ago
  • Slide 5
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 1967/68 - Central Processor 1967 - Everyone used IBM 360/75 clock speed 1 MHz - $3,000,000 2007 - Personal computer more powerful Laptop clock speed 2 GHz - $1,400 The Past some comparisons
  • Slide 6
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 1967/68 - Random Access Memory 1 megabyte - $2,000,000 - footprint 3m x 1m 1 gigabyte $2,000,000,000 footprint 3,000 m 2 (10 homes) 2007 1 gigabyte $9 thumb-size or less The Past some comparisons
  • Slide 7
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 1967/68 - Hard drives 1967 8 drives X 28MB = 224MB - $500,000 Footprint 4m x 1m 120 GB - $250,000,000 2,000m 2 (7 homes) 2007 120 GB - $150 10cm X 10cm The Past some comparisons
  • Slide 8
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Celebrating software WATFOR/WATFIV/WATBOL/Janet (Graham et al) High-speed debugging compilers/PC LANs MAPLE (Geddes, Gonnet) Worlds leader in algebraic computation New Oxford English Dictionary (Tompa, Gonnet) First search engine, advance in tagging languages (XML) Sparse matrix software (George) Solving science/engineering problems faster Elliptic Curve Cryptography (Mullin, Vanstone, Agnew) Latest advance in secure information exchange
  • Slide 9
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Hardware (faster, smaller, cheaper) In the 80s predicting $1,000 computers Premiums in cereal boxes (flash drives) Hardware as a commodity The $100 laptop Ray Kurzweil The Singularity is Near predicts Exponential growth Machine as extension of man Weve come a long way
  • Slide 10
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Information is the lifeblood of an organization Yet building/evolving information systems is complex just plain hard Only relatively simple software a commodity Word processors, spreadsheets, blogs, wikis, facebook, search engines Software engineering is still a black art Still depend on the programming paradigm Only the language has changed not the techniques Hardware has gone from soldering to photo lithography The science/engineering of software has not kept pace with hardware But have we?
  • Slide 11
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Interesting to compare with other areas Information technology harder than relativity/quantum physics? Relativity/quantum physics knows the answer not the question (Lederman) Information technology needs to know both the answer and the question Because the possible uses of IT appear boundless Why we need requirements engineering We still have a long way to go What are the consequences? A comparison
  • Slide 12
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Disenfranchising much of society SMEs, NGOs, social support organizations, even the health system Yet the Web is a powerful medium the medium of choice for the foreseeable future Not really using IT to benefit society compared to what we could do We dont understand the impact of software on users What might be done? The consequences
  • Slide 13
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Meet the challenges and expectations created by the webs ability to create and distribute massive amounts of interactive information 1. Lower technology barriers to software requirements, development and evolution 2. Understand the new IT paradigms such as Web 2.0, mapping, social networking and effective use 3. Research and implement new approaches to sustainability of web-based information systems What might be done?
  • Slide 14
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 1. Lowering technology barriers To implementation, evolution and maintenance of web-based systems A paradigm shift - change the way systems are built WIDE toolkit Complete specification of a web-based system - both services and control structures Completing forms and then transforming the resultant data structures into code. Based on XML & XSL Service frameworks include I/O forms, mapping, agents, search, push, content, security Domain experts can build/maintain/evolve systems Changes cost almost the same at any stage What might be done?
  • Slide 15
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 2. Understand the new IT paradigms Web 2.0 what does it mean Collaboration - Wikinomics Mapping (most uses of mapping are simple) Social networking - blogs, wikis, facebook Semantic search - more intelligent search Sensible security & privacy, safety Mobility & context awareness Location, proximity, time etc Active user participation in system build Rapid application development What might be done?
  • Slide 16
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future 3. Research and implement new approaches to sustainability of web- based information systems. Data sustainability keep it fresh Distributed and decentralized Networks of trust Technical sustainability Manage change its inevitable!!! Financial sustainability - business models Identify sources of $$ - social enterprise Partnerships What might be done?
  • Slide 17
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Using these 3 guidelines Have built about 40 web-based operational information systems. Four examples Stewardship Tracking System Project NOW Immigrant Portal Volunteer Action Centre Performance Indicator Monitoring System What have we done?
  • Slide 18
  • com Stewardship Tracking System http://comap.ca/sts Contact dwm@csg.uwaterloo.ca for a userid and password.dwm@csg.uwaterloo.ca
  • Slide 19
  • Similarities of Other Approaches versus STS Search Engine Information Retrieval WEB Site Public Information Facebook / Blog Activity Records Network of Friends Document Sharing Document Repository Mapping Role-based Security
  • Slide 20
  • Project NOW (Newcomers Online Waterloo) http://www.newcomerswaterloo.ca
  • Slide 21
  • Volunteer Action Centre http://www.volunteerkw.ca
  • Slide 22
  • Performance Indicators Monitoring System
  • Slide 23
  • WatITis | Life After 50 | December 4, 2007 | A Glimpse of the Past, One View of the Future Thank You Comments!! Questions??

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