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Announcement: Software/Coding Innovations

Included in this category of Objects for Study are foundational programming or coding innovations (as opposed to particular programs) that bear thinking about for their possible impact on online reading practices. (See also Text Encoding (Markup) | Historical Encoding & Formatting Inventions)

Sophie Transliteracies Research Report

Sophie is an open-source multimedia authoring software.

“Sophie’s goal is to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of people and institutions and in so doing, redefine the notion of a book or academic paper to include both rich media and mechanisms for reader feedback and conversation” (http://sophieproject.cntv.usc.edu/)

Starter Links: Sophie Project Home Page | Sophie Blog

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Renee Hudson

Google’s OpenSocial

“The web is more interesting when you can build apps that easily interact with your friends and colleagues. But with the trend towards more social applications also comes a growing list of site-specific APIs that developers must learn.

OpenSocial provides a common set of APIs for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create apps that access a social network’s friends and update feeds.

Common APIs mean you have less to learn to build for multiple websites. OpenSocial is currently being developed by Google in conjunction with members of the web community. The ultimate goal is for any social website to be able to implement the APIs and host 3rd party social applications. There are many websites implementing OpenSocial, including Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.” (OpenSocial home page)

Starter Links: Video of highlights from the OpenSocial rollout event: Google Campfire One | OpenSocial home page | OpenSocial Getting Started Guide | Sample applications developed with the OpenSocial APIs


Britished-based company that specializes in using aritifical intelligence to “read” scripts and forecast their market success

“Investing in and developing the wrong film properties is the biggest risk that faces studio heads. Parent companies and investor groups place studios under ever-increasing pressure to deliver Returns on Investment across an annual portfolio of films. Epagogix’s approach helps management of this most critical financial risk through accurate predictive analysis of the Box Office value of film scripts. Epagogix works confidentially with senior management of major film studios to assist in identifying and developing scripts, and in transforming scripts with low Box Office revenue potential into properties that can be profitably produced and distributed.” (From the Epagogix home page.)

Starter Links: Epagogix | New Yorker Article by Malcolm Gladwell

Semantic Web Transliteracies Research Report

Innovative method for creating organizational structures and ontologies online.

“The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of researchers and industrial partners. It is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF)” (W3C).

Starter Links:
Glossary definition | W3C

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Angus Forbes

Computing with Words (Lofti Zadeh’s Fuzzy Logic and Natural Language/Perception Processing) Transliteracies Research Report

Fuzzy logic is a system of logic which applies meaning to imprecise concepts. Rather than simply labeling a statement as either “true” or “false”, traditional binary logic does, a statement is instead mapped along a continuum of values. These mappings are interconnected with other mapped statements, ultimately yielding applicable functions and rules despite the imprecision of the concepts on which the rules were based.
Fuzzy logic was developed initially by the engineer Lotfi Zadeh in the late Sixties as a method to create control systems whose inputs were made up from imprecise data. More recently, Zadeh has conceived of a merger of natural language processing and fuzzy logic called Computing with Words, and also of an associated Computational Theory of Perception as preliminary way of thinking about how to compute and reason with perceptual information.

Starter Links: Fuzzy Logic Archive | Lotfi Zadeh’s page at the Berkeley Institute for Soft Computing

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Angus Forbes


OpenOffice is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute. (from the OpenOffice website).

ProcessingTransliteracies Research Report

Open source programming language.

“Processing is an open source programming language and development environment initiated by Ben Fry and Casey Reas of the Broad Institute and UCLA Design | Media Arts, respectively. The processing language and environment strives to simplify programming for the beginner, such that someone with little or no programming experience can easily experiment and immediately see their results. While processing is capable of simple results quickly, it is robustly integrated with Java and streamlines many tasks that advanced users might expect. Processing runs on any machine with Java, is free and open source, and boasts a very active online community.” (From Mike Godwin’s research report.)

Starter Links:


Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Mike Godwin

Tom Jennings, “ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Infiltration”

This document by Tom Jennings describes a history of ASCII (the American Standard Code for Information Interchange) and its immediate ancestors including FIELDATA, ITA2, Murray’s telegraphy code, Baudot’s telegraphy code, and Morse’s telegraphy code. This history provides a thorough foundation for how ASCII came to be and serves as a basis for understanding electronic communication.

This research isn’t a detailed history of the development of character codes per se, but of the codes themselves and their specific meanings.


XMLTransliteracies Research Report

Basic concept and implications of XML (and markup language approaches in general):

“Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple, very flexible text format derived from SGML (ISO 8879). Originally designed to meet the challenges of large-scale electronic publishing, XML is also playing an increasingly important role in the exchange of a wide variety of data on the Web and elsewhere.” (from W3C Page on XML)

Starter Links: W3C Page on XML | Wikipedia article | See also Michael Sperberg-McQueen’s “A Gentle Introduction to SGML” for an overview of the text-encoding ot text “markup” concept

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Marc Breisinger