Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends


Posted by cadsmith on September 13, 2009


To a digital library, all readers are scholars. At least users develop smoother knowledge interaction skills. There is no foraging in the stacks and waiting in line at the tall desk for someone to do book checkouts, indicate what’s relevant or where it might be hidden. New ideas can be discovered through links between material. Excerpt streams raise interest. Like testers, readers can get to original data from which conclusions are drawn, e.g. electronic records. Librarians or teachers may leverage a set of reader proxies to serve wider audiences. Filters deliver timely and flawless content to each customer. A miniature copy of the world’s information can also be carried on person for those who prefer an old school approach.

As in heavy metal, paradise or perdition is subjectively layered. This entry’s title might describe devotees of a cousin to the previously discussed Hali world of immersion or augmentation for seekers of the perfect portal, lens or cave. Those who prefer fiction may find a wider range of levels. some noticing hints of a precursor to singularity where Q&A email or messaging is a type of Turing test for content analysis and sources.

What are some examples of a digital library? They’re more than just notes and quotes:

  • WDL has an international museum collection that features a time slider to change the date range from 8000BC to present.
  • Google books has public literature.
  • Papercube visualizes the domain of academic papers.
  • DigitalGlobe offers high-resolution geospatial imagery for sale.

In addition to concepts, digital library artifacts cover books, documents, podcasts, music and video recordings, art, news, databases, software, taskflows and messages. Digital rights management (DRM) prevents fraudulence and can limit the number of simultaneous copies, whole or partial, where necessary for payment. Private libraries can be implemented, e.g. for educational exploration. A digital library can also be embedded in the web and vice-versa. This becomes interesting when one considers that present web search engines or wikis already offer language localization and translation, web2.0 has bookmarks, annotations, reviews, rankings, recommendations, search wikis, creative commons and mashups, and semantic web has taxonomies, ontologies, datamining and linked-data.

Library classifications include at least the size of collection, purpose, users, implementation, features, interaction, media types, and errata or known issues, e.g. structural or tested. User roles encompass readers, authors, librarians, publishers, artists, and critics. Faculty and students are also contained in this set. Purposes have not been exhausted, but so far have comprised cultural archives, research, documentation, academic or learning management system (LMS), business and personal entertainment. Implementations span the gamut of IT from software, to internet or cloud, and devices including mobile ereaders, laptops, phones and netbooks.

A key feature is digitization of data, metadata and processes. An example is books scanned into storage. Accessibility aids may convert these to another language, large print, audio or braille. Details and topics are indexed for multimedia browsing or search guides. Details can be summarized for outlines. Data calculations can be performed. Answers can be derived upon request or realtime alerts can be sent to interested parties when relevant information appears.

Speed reading techniques can be adapted. Rapid skimming loads preconcious representations (though may trigger site autodownload blockers in extreme cases). Mnemonics can be filled in, e.g. by repetition, outlining, and cues. Historically this involved  poetry and pictures. Now there are also hyperlinks, tag clouds, and storyboards.

Issues are legion. The digital divide needs to be conquered. Copyright involves negotiation as demonstrated by the book rights registry resulting from the Google settlement. There are tradeoffs involving cultural identities when collections merge, e.g. the library of (party) congress. Censorship is an ancient barrier in modern guise. There are need-to-know limitations for safety or security. Sponsors may have agendas. Some material may not be digitized. Where media is cultural memory, unrepresented items cease to have ever existed which affects government legislation based upon official research. Misinformation techniques exist for revisionism, tampering or spoofing. Surveillance can be excessively pervasive, e.g. reading lists used to label (literary) agents. Datawarehousing concerns apply, e.g. synching copies to sources. Users have to distinguish between appropriateness of specialized and general-purpose devices. We can further evaluate qualities such as preservation, usability, findability, accessibility, performance, scalability, quality of service, interoperability and sustainability.

Also see bookmarks.

Image: Buddha‘s Kindle.


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