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Introduction Standards are quantifiable metrics to which parties adhere for purposes of allowing some common ground for interchange. Some students of standards view monetary systems developed for the exchange of goods as the earliest standards. The alphabet may be viewed as one of the earliest standards - a compatibility standard for the exchange of information. Modern U. The history is somewhat cloudy and many stories are told, but in most of them, mass production and the railroads play a role.

The railroads required standardization on many fronts, from track gauge to time. Overview This course is an introduction to web technologies standards. It spends some time setting the stage by looking more generally at standardization in the information technology industry. The course will explore the creation, modification, adoption, and maintenance of standards.

It examines a wide spectrum of standards, focusing on standards related to computing and information in electronic form. The standards that will be examined in this course are limited to those in the information technology arena. Within the realm of information technology standards, we still look primarily at the higher level software and information formatting standards. While hardware standards are important they are generally addressed in other courses in the curriculum.

Less well addressed, but of increasing prominence, are the software and information formatting standards. They will be the focus of our attention here. Network protocols will include addressing standards IP , transport standards TCP as well as their related standards — e. File formats for a selected set of file types will be reviewed e.

The XML standards will be reviewed. The course will provide students with the opportunity to explore these standards in the course of real application development. This means students have responsibility to be proactive in their learning. If you think back to the things you remember from other courses you have taken, you will probably find that the things you remember best are the things you had to work hard to learn.

What takes place in the classroom constitutes only a small part of the overall learning in any course. To this end, the course is constructed to provide three kinds of learning experiences. First, class lectures and discussions that help to clarify the concepts and principles in operation. Second, readings that both provide an overview and some depth in discussion of the topic.

Third, practical experiences related to the subject matter at hand. The most important learning will come from the efforts you undertake beyond the textbook and class lectures. The lectures will provide a counterpoint to what is in the book and the assignments will require the use of skills learned in this course along with the many other skills you have developed throughout your program.

The lectures for the course will cover a broad range of topics in an effort to provide both orientation and understanding about basic concepts.

Finally, the assignments will provide an opportunity to see, in relatively simple situations, how the concepts discussed in the lectures and readings are implemented in practice.

Expectations about Preparation At a very minimum, it is expected that you will read any material assigned to you before the class for which it is assigned.

This does not mean skimming the material - it means reading, annotating, and understanding the material. It also means that it is your responsibility to identify areas in which you need to do extra work to bring yourself up to basic competency in the areas we will cover. Any course in this school brings together a diverse group of people with vastly different experiences.

This makes it difficult to know where to start in a multifaceted course like this one. While the discussion of standards in the first part of the course is fairly well self contained, the latter parts of the course will require a fundamental understanding of telecommunication and computer systems.

The basic knowledge and the associated skills developed in data structures, networking, and information systems provide a common starting point for our discussion. Should you find yourself totally ignorant in these areas, you are encouraged to do some preliminary reading, skill enhancement, or thinking during the first few weeks of the course.

It is important that you understand that what you take out of the course will to a large extent be determined by what you bring to it.

While there is no accepted or standard programming language or operating system, there is a growing trend to establish such. For the last decade, many viewed the Unix operating system as a standard toward which we should be moving. More recently NT and Windows 95 have begun to emerge as operating system platform standards.

In conjunction with the explosive growth of the world wide web, Java has begun to gain in popularity as a language of choice. ISBN Williams ed. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. Volume Course Requirements Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the topic assigned for the day. In addition, students are expected to be doing their own exploratory reading on related subjects throughout the term.

As indicated, the instructor believes that the knowledge and skills you take away from a course come not only from what the instructor espouses in class, but from your external readings and your own work and writing.

The instructor reserves the right to modify the course requirements. In addition to readings and class participation accounting for 10 points of the grade awarded by the instructor , students are required to complete 90 points of project activities. There are 50 points worth of activities to be undertaken by all students. Beyond these minimum requirements, students may choose from the optional activities listed below or they may propose new activities in writing to be reviewed and if appropriate approved by the instructor.

Proposed activities may be individual or group, but care should be taken to insure that the scope of group activities are significantly larger than individual projects.

Your report should address what is being standardized and how it is being standardized. In addressing what is being standardized, you will need to articulate the motivation for standardization, what is being addressed, and what is being left out. You will also need to try to understand the process that is being used, who is involved, and what is going on.

This requires that measures of good and bad standards and standardization processes be identified. Examples of areas would include any of the topics listed on the main W3C pages. Some images contain embedded metadata.

Major Project Suggestions The activities below are simply illustrative of those suggested for the class. They are far from exhaustive, and are intended only to stimulate thinking about the kinds of projects students might undertake.


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