Shahrood University of Technology Morteza Zahedi, PhD

This is the lecture note for winter semester 2009

Computer 2

Table of Contents
1. Computer ................................ ................................ ................................ ....10 1-1. History of computing ................................ ................................ ...............11 1-2. Stored program architecture ................................ ................................ .....15 1-3. How computers work ................................ ................................ ...............18 1-3-1. Control unit ................................ ................................ ...................... 18 1-3-2. Arithmetic/logic unit (ALU) ................................ ............................. 20 1-3-3. Memory................................ ................................ ............................ 20 1-3-4. Input/output (I/O) ................................ ................................ .............22 1-4. Programming languages ................................ ................................ ...........23 2. Computer hardware................................ ................................ ..................... 25 2-1. Motherboard ................................ ................................ ............................ 25 2-2. Power supply ................................ ................................ ........................... 26 2-3. Storage controllers ................................ ................................ ................... 26 2-4. Video display controller ................................ ................................ ...........27 2-5. Removable media devices ................................ ................................ ........27 2-6. Internal storage ................................ ................................ ........................ 27 2-7. Sound card ................................ ................................ ............................... 28 2-8. Networking ................................ ................................ .............................. 28 2-9. Other peripherals................................ ................................ ...................... 28 3. Computer software ................................ ................................ ...................... 31 3-1. Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ .31 3-2. Relationship to computer hardware................................ ........................... 32 3-3. Types ................................ ................................ ................................ .......32 3-4. Program and library................................ ................................ .................. 33 3-5. Three layers ................................ ................................ ............................. 33 3-6. Operation ................................ ................................ ................................ .34 3-7. Quality and reliability................................ ................................ ...............35 3-9. License ................................ ................................ ................................ ....36 3-10. Patents ................................ ................................ ................................ ...36 3-11. Ethics and rights for software users ................................ ........................ 36 4. Programming language ................................ ................................ ...............37


English for Computer and IT Engineers

4-1. Definitions ................................ ................................ ............................... 37 4-2. Usage ................................ ................................ ................................ .......38 4-3. Elements ................................ ................................ ................................ ..39 4-3-1. Syntax ................................ ................................ .............................. 39 4-3-2. Static semantics ................................ ................................ ................ 41 4-3-3. Type system................................ ................................ ...................... 42 4-3-4. Typed versus untyped languages................................ ....................... 42 4-3-5. Static versus dynamic typing................................ ............................. 43 4-3-6. Weak and strong typing ................................ ................................ ....43 4-3-7. Execution semantics ................................ ................................ .........44 4-3-8. Core library ................................ ................................ ...................... 44 4-4. Practice ................................ ................................ ................................ ....44 4-4-1. Specification ................................ ................................ ..................... 45 4-4-2. Implementation ................................ ................................ ................. 45 4-5. Taxonomies ................................ ................................ ............................. 46 5. Operating system ................................ ................................ ........................ 48 5-1. Technology ................................ ................................ .............................. 49 5-1-1. Program execution ................................ ................................ ............49 5-1-2. Interrupts ................................ ................................ .......................... 49 5-1-3. Protected mode and supervisor mode ................................ ................ 50 5-1-4. Memory management ................................ ................................ .......51 5-1-5. Virtual memory ................................ ................................ ................ 52 5-1-6. Multitasking ................................ ................................ ..................... 52 5-1-7. Disk access and file systems ................................ ............................. 53 5-1-8. Device drivers................................ ................................ ................... 55 5-2. Security................................ ................................ ................................ ....55 5-2-1. Example: Microsoft Windows ................................ ........................... 57 5-2-2. Example: Linux/Unix................................ ................................ ........58 5-3. File system support in modern operating systems ................................ .....58 5-3-1. Linux and UNIX ................................ ................................ ...............58 5-3-2. Microsoft Windows ................................ ................................ ..........59 5-3-3. Mac OS X................................ ................................ ......................... 59


Computer 4 5-3-4. Special purpose file systems................................ .............................. 60 5-3-5. Journalized file systems ................................ ................................ ....60 5-4. Graphical user interfaces ................................ ................................ ..........60 5-5. History ................................ ................................ ................................ .....61 5-6. Mainframes ................................ ................................ .............................. 63 6. Web engineering ................................ ................................ ......................... 66 6-1. Web design ................................ ................................ .............................. 67 6-2-1. History ................................ ................................ ............................. 68 6-2-2. Web Site Design ................................ ................................ ...............69 6-2-3. Issues................................ ................................ ................................ 70 6-2-4. Accessible Web design ................................ ................................ .....74 6-2-5. Website Planning ................................ ................................ ..............75 6-3. Web page ................................ ................................ ................................ .77 6-3-1. Color, typography, illustration and interaction................................ ...78 6-3-2. Browsers................................ ................................ ........................... 79 6-3-3. Rendering ................................ ................................ ......................... 79 6-3-4. Creating a web page................................ ................................ ..........80 6-3-5. Saving a web page ................................ ................................ ............81 7. HTML ................................ ................................ ................................ ........83 7-1. HTML markup ................................ ................................ ......................... 83 7-1-1. Elements ................................ ................................ ........................... 83 7-1-2. Attributes ................................ ................................ .......................... 84 7-1-3. Character and entity references ................................ ......................... 85 7-1-4. Data types ................................ ................................ ......................... 86 7-2. Semantic HTML ................................ ................................ ...................... 86 7-3. Delivery of HTML ................................ ................................ ................... 88 7-4-1. HTTP ................................ ................................ ............................... 88 7-3-2. HTML e-mail ................................ ................................ ................... 89 7-3-3. Naming conventions ................................ ................................ .........89 7-4. Dynamic HTML................................ ................................ ....................... 90 7-5. Cascading Style Sheets................................ ................................ .............91 7-5-1. Syntax ................................ ................................ .............................. 91

......................................... ............ 111 8-3-3...... Debugging ..... Limitations .....................0 ............................... History ........................................ ..... ............... 101 8............... Resources ... 102 8-1........................................................ 110 8-3-1........ .................................................................... ... ............ .. Features ............ .. ...... ................................ 118 8-3-6............... .. Critique .................................................... Related languages ..... 127 9-3.. 129 9-5-2........... .......................................................................................... XML and RSS ............................................................. ............................. 119 8-4......................... 94 7-5-3.............. 97 7-5-4...................................................... ..... ......... Use in web pages . 129 9-5-1............................... Internet applications.. Speed optimization ............................... Security .... ...... 121 8-4-2.............................................5 English for Computer and IT Engineers 7-5-2........... 128 9-4....... Associated innovations. ... 104 8-1-3....... . Characteristics .......... ...................... .................. 102 8-1-1......... Technology overview.......................... History and naming................. ..... .............................. ...... Web-based applications and desktops....................................................... PHP ................................................................................................................ ................................... 128 9-5................................................... .............. ........................................................................................ Web 2.. ............................ ............ 106 8-1-6.......... .................................................. Browser support......... 124 9-1.............................. ........................................................ ....... 130 5 ...... Usage .. .. 102 8-1-2........................ Syntax . ....... ........... 113 8-3-4..117 8-3-5....... ................ 124 9-2............. ............... ............................................. ............. ................ 121 8-4-1................. 98 7-5-5........... 108 8-2.... ............................................................................. ....... ........................... ........... 105 8-1-5.... ....................................... 105 8-1-4... .. . ..... .............................. .......... ............................................ 122 9............. ........................................ .......................... ....................... History ................. Uses outside web pages.......... ................................. ..................................... 121 8-4-3......................... 110 8-3-2....................... Advantages ........ .............. . ............. Definition ......... ............... ................................................................. ........ JavaScript ................... Technologies .................. Ajax (programming)..... Active Server Pages .......... .................... Web Scripting languages................................... ..... 109 8-3................... ................ .................................................................. ........ History ...........

............................................. 130 9-6..................................... ........ 139 10-4-3....................................... 136 10-2-1.................. Components .................................... Services ......................................... ..... 133 10............ E-Learning 2.... Descriptive and extensible.............. Criticism . Pedagogical elements ................................ Computer-based learning ........ ...................................................................................................................................................... 140 10-5...... 139 10-4-5................................ ......... 137 10-3....................................................... Semantic vs................................ ........... ....................... 138 10-4....... 131 9-7.......0 ...... Growth of e-learning .............................................................................. ............ Relationship to Object Orientation .......... .... ... .... 132 9-8............. ..... ....................................................... .......................................... ................................................... ....... 135 10-2........... ... ......................... An unrealized idea ........ Relationship to the Hypertext Web ................................ Electronic learning ............ ......................................................... ............. Electronic commerce .... Purpose ..................... 138 10-4-1... Semantic Web .................. 145 11-7........ Economics ..... 140 11............................... .. ........ 144 11-5-2........................... Doubling output formats . 144 11-5.................... .................... Censorship and privacy . ..................................................................... 135 10-1....... ...... ............. Communication technologies used in e-learning ............... Need ............. ................................ non-Semantic Web ................................. .......................................... Computer-based training ..... ................ .. Market .............. .. ................... ...... Trademark............................. 148 12................. .......................139 10-4-4........ .......................................... ..... ............. Practical feasibility ......... ................ ........................................ 142 11-1................... Skeptical reactions ................Computer 6 9-5-3.......................................... 144 11-5-1..................... .... ........ .......... 146 11-9. Reusability............ ........................... 137 10-2-3.... Technology .................. .............. standards and learning objects ............... 143 11-4........ ........................................................................................ 146 11-8..... ....... Web APIs ........... .......................... 142 11-3.................. Goals of e-learning .............. ...147 11-10.. ............................. Pedagogical approaches or perspectives...... Markup .. ....... 136 10-2-2........... 149 .......................................................................... 138 10-4-2..........142 11-2................... .................................. .. ........ ................................................ 145 11-6........... ................................... .

............... Planning ............................ ............................................................................. ..... Practical issues with e-democracy ............................................... 157 13-3-4............................. ................... AI research .. 152 13-1............. .......... .......................... ..................... 171 15.. 167 14-4....... ........ Typical tasks of computer vision .......... 163 14-2................... e-Government .................. ...................... History ...... .......... Electronic voting ..... ............................................................. .......... History of AI research ....................................................... 170 14-5........... Artificial intelligence .... .................. Related fields .............. ..... Natural language processing........ Motion .... .............................................. ............................................ Image restoration ... E-democracy .... .............. ........................ .. Development and implementation issues .......... Computer vision systems .... ........ .. 178 7 ........................................ 173 15-1.... ................................................................................................................. ........................................................... .............................. 159 13-4.. Forms ........................... ... ........... 150 12-3.... 176 15-3-2............................... .............................................. ....... ...................... ............................................................ .. 169 14-4-2................. Government regulations ....... ............ ...................................... ......... ....... .................. Scene reconstruction ............. ................... . 157 13-3-3....... 170 14-4-4........................ Learning .... Problems of AI ........................................................................ ................ ..................... ... ............. 156 13-3-2........ Recognition ......... Business applications ................................. 156 13-3-1........... Applications for computer vision....................... ........ 153 13-3.............. State of the art . 174 15-2. History of E-Government ......................... Knowledge representation ........................ ........................ 153 13-2.....7 English for Computer and IT Engineers 12-1..................................................... Benefits and disadvantages .......................... ............................ . 178 15-3-4.................................... .................... .................................. 163 14-1.............................................................. . 176 15-3-1...149 12-2........... 177 15-3-3................... 159 Computer vision ........................... .................... ................. .............. ..... 164 14-3.. .............................. .... ............................................. 169 14-4-1...................................... .................................... ........ Electronic direct democracy .................................... 170 14-4-3.............................. 151 12-4........... Philosophy of AI ...................................... 175 15-3......... 178 15-3-5....................151 13....... 14..................... Internet as political medium ..

..... Major issues ..... 197 17-3............... Machine translation..................... Some notes on terminology ....... .... ..................... Translation process...... 186 16-3.. Differences with related fields ........ .............. Cybernetics and brain simulation .... ...... ............. ................................... ............. 202 18......196 17-2............ 179 15-3-7....................... Applications of artificial intelligence ........... Traditional symbolic AI . ................................................... Future developments in HCI... History ...... .. .... ...................................................................185 16-2............. ........................................... Design methodologies .......................... Applications ...................................................................... 188 16-6.................... 200 17-4-1. 180 15-2-17............ 203 ................................................................................ .................................. 187 16-5................................................................ .......... ........................ 196 17-1................ ..........191 16-7..................... ............... Approaches .................................................................. ......................... 183 15-3-10.......... ..................... ................. ....................... Goals ....... ......................203 18-2.... ........... 203 18-1....... 184 15-4...................................... Transfer-based machine translation ...... ...............193 16-8.. .................... 199 17-3-3........ 181 15-3-8..... 199 17-3-4.................... Display design........ Evaluation ........................... 199 17-4... .....194 17.... 203 18-2-1......................... .................................................................... . .............. ........ Neural networks ..... Speech recognition.... 184 16................ 200 17-5................................ ......... 182 15-3-9.. ................................................................. ............ ..................... Disambiguation.................................... Applications ..... 201 17-6............................................ ............. ....... ...................................................... 199 17-3-2.......................................... ......... 198 17-3-1................................... ................................ .......... History ................ ......................... Human-computer interaction.......................... ....... ............................................................................... ...... .................. .. ................. Logic ............ Statistical ........Computer 8 15-3-6... ...... Example-based ............... Human±computer interface ....................................... ........ .................. ...................... .................. Search and optimization ......... .............. ..................... Rule-based ................................................... ......................... Design principles........................................................................................185 16-1...... ................................................... ............... Health care............. ......... 186 16-4.......................... Classifiers and statistical learning methods .............. .......... ...

................. .................. .... . 207 18-2-4. Performance of speech recognition systems .......... 208 18-3............. Dynamic time warping based speech recognition .......................................... Telephony and other domains.......9 English for Computer and IT Engineers 18-2-2.................................. 210 18-4... ....................... Speech recognition systems ..... .............................. 208 18-3-2.... Hidden Markov model based speech recognition.......................................... 204 18-2-3.. ..... 210 9 ....................208 18-3-1........ ........................................................... .. Military....... Further applications ...........................

digital cameras. The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile and distinguishes them from calculators. in various forms. consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers. Figure 1-1: The NASA Columbia Supercomputer The first devices that resemble modern computers date to the mid-20th century (around 1940 . ¨ ¥¤ £ ¢¡  t 10 . Therefore. they may be found in machines ranging from fighter aircraft to industrial robots. Embedded computers are small.C 1. Personal computers. computers with capability and complexity ranging from that of a personal digital assistant to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks given enough time and storage capacity. Modern computers are based on tiny integrated circuits and are millions to billions of times more capable while occupying a fraction of the space. capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. although the computer concept and various machines similar to computers existed earlier. and children's toys. simple computers may be made small enough to fit into a wristwatch and be powered from a watch battery. Computer A computer i¦ a machi that mani lat ¦¤ £¢ ¤§ data according to a li¦t of instructions. the most common form of computer in use today is the embedded computer. Today. in principle. The Church±Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is. however.1945). are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "a computer". simple devices that are used to control other devices ² for example. Early electronic computers were the si e of a large room.


English for Computer and IT Engineers

1-1. History of computing
It is difficult to identify any one device as the earliest computer, partly because the term "computer" has been subject to varying interpretations over time. Originally, the term "computer" referred to a person who performed numerical calculations (a human computer), often with the aid of a mechanical calculating device.

Figure 1-2: The Jacquard loom was one of the first programmable devices.

The history of the modern computer begins with two separate technologies - that of automated calculation and that of programmability. Examples of early mechanical calculating devices included the abacus, the slide rule and arguably the astrolabe and the Antikythera mechanism (which dates from about 150-100 BC). Hero of Alexandria (c. 10±70 AD) built a mechanical theater which performed a play lasting 10 minutes and was operated by a complex system of ropes and drums that might be considered to be a means of deciding which parts of the mechanism performed which actions and when. This is the essen of ce programmability. The "castle clock", an astronomical clock invented by Al-Jazari in 1206, is considered to be the earliest programmable analog computer. [4] It displayed the zodiac, the solar and lunar orbits, a crescent moon-shaped pointer travelling across a gateway causing automatic doors to open every hour, and five robotic musicians who play music when struck by levers operated by a camshaft attached to a water wheel. The length of day and night could be re-programmed every day in order to account for the changing lengths of day and night throughout the year.


Computer 12 The end of the Middle Ages saw a re-invigoration of European mathematics and engineering, and Wilhelm Schickard's 1623 device was the first of a number of mechanical calculators constructed by European engineers. However, none of those devices fit the modern definition of a computer because they could not be programmed. In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard made an improvement to the textile loom that used a series of punched paper cards as a template to allow his loom to weave intricate patterns automatically. The resulting Jacquard loom was an important step in the development of computers because the use of punched cards to define woven patterns can be viewed as an early, albeit limited, form of programmability. It was the fusion of automatic calculation with programmability that produced the first recognizable computers. In 1837, Charles Babbage was the first to conceptualize and design a fully programmable mechanical computer that he called "The Analytical Engine". Due to limited finances, and an inability to resist tinkering with the design, Babbage never actually built his Analytical Engine. Large-scale automated data processing of punched cards was performed for the U.S. Census in 1890 by tabulating machines designed by Herman Hollerith and manufactured by the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation, which later became IBM. By the end of the 19th century a number of technologies that would later prove useful in the realization of practical computers had begun to appear: the punched card, Boolean algebra, the vacuum tube (thermionic valve) and the teleprinter. During the first half of the 20th century, many scientific computing needs were met by increasingly sophisticated analog computers, which used a direct mechanical or electrical model of the problem as a basis for computation. However, these were not programmable and generally lacked the versatility and accuracy of modern digital computers. 
$" #" !     ©  ©
D i i
Fi erati May 1941 Summer 1941


aract ri tics of some early di ital computers of t e 1940s
Numeral mputi tem mechani m Binary



Zuse Z3 (Germany) Atanasoff±Berry omputer (US)

Electromechanical Electronic

Program-controlled by punched film Yes stock Not programmable²single purpose No





Turing complete




English for Computer and IT Engineers )(

January 1944



Program-controlled by patch cables No and switches Program-controlled by 24-channel punched paper tape (but no conditional branch) No

Harvard Mark I ± 1944 IBM CC )





Manchester mall- June 1948 cale Experimental Machine (UK) Modified ENI C (US)


Manchester Mark October I (UK) 1949

CSIRAC (Australia)

1)( 0 1

1)( 0


November 1945



Program-controlled by patch cables Yes and switches Stored-program in Williams cathode Yes ray tube memory




September Decimal 1948


Program-controlled by patch cables Yes and switches plus a primitive readonly stored programming mechanism using the Function Tables as program ROM Stored-program in mercury delay line memory Yes

May 1949





Stored-program in Williams cathode Yes ray tube memory and magnetic drum memory Stored-program in mercury delay line memory Yes

November 1949




Computer 2


Figure 1-3: E SAC was one of the first computers to implement the von Neumann architecture.

A succession of steadily more powerful and flexible computing devices were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s, gradually adding the key features that are seen in modern computers. Several developers of ENIAC, recognizing its flaws, came up with a far more flexible and elegant design, which came to be known as the "stored program architecture" or von Neumann architecture. This design was first formally described by John von Neumann in the paper First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, distributed in 1945. A number of projects to develop computers based on the stored-program architecture commenced around this time, the first of these being completed in Great Britain. The first to be demonstrated working was the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM or "Baby"), while the EDSAC, completed a year after SSEM, was the first practical implementation of the stored program design. Shortly thereafter, the machine originally described by von Neumann's paper²EDVAC²was completed but did not see full-time use for an additional two years. Nearly all modern computers implement some form of the stored-program architecture, making it the single trait by which the word "computer" is now defined. While the technologies used in computers have changed dramatically since the first electronic, general-purpose computers of the 1940s, most still use the von Neumann architecture.

Figure 1-4: Microprocessors are miniaturized devices that often implement stored program CPUs.

Computers that used vacuum tubes as their electronic elements were in use throughout the 1950s. Vacuum tube electronics were largely replaced in the 1960s by transistor-based electronics, which are smaller, faster, cheaper to produce, require less power, and are more reliable. In the 1970s, integrated circuit technology and the subsequent creation of microprocessors, such as the Intel 4004,

000 would take thousands of button presses and a lot of time²with a near certainty of making a mistake. These instructions are read from the computer's memory and are generally carried out (executed) in the order they were given. computer instructions are simple: add one number to another. they may at times jump back to an earlier place in the text or skip sections that are not of interest. On the other hand. Furthermore. send a message to some external device. That is to say that a list of instructions (the program) can be given to the computer and it will store them and carry them out at some time in the future.15 English for Computer and IT Engineers further decreased size and cost and further increased speed and reliability of computers. Stored program architecture The defining feature of modern computers which distinguishes them from all other machines is that they can be programmed. But to add together all of the numbers from 1 to 1. computers became sufficiently small and cheap to replace simple mechanical controls in domestic appliances such as washing machines. While a person will normally read each word and line in sequence. These are called "jump" instructions (or branches). Similarly a . personal computers are becoming as common as the television and the telephone in the household. This is called the flow of control within the program and it is what allows the computer to perform tasks repeatedly without human intervention. a 15 . etc. Program execution might be likened to reading a book. a person using a pocket calculator can perform a basic arithmetic operation such as adding two numbers with just a few button presses. there are usually specialized instructions to tell the computer to jump ahead or backwards to some other place in the program and to carry on executing from there. Many computers directly support subroutines by providing a type of jump that "remembers" the location it jumped from and another instruction to return to the instruction following that jump instruction. 1-2. The 1980s also witnessed home computers and the now ubiquitous personal computer. move some data from one location to another. In most cases. computer may sometimes go back and repeat the instructions in some section of the program over and over again until some internal condition is met. However. With the evolution of the Internet. jump instructions may be made to happen conditionally so that different sequences of instructions may be used depending on the result of some previous calculation or some external event. By the 1980s. Comparatively.

An intelligent human faced with the above addition task might soon realize that instead of actually adding up all the numbers one can simply use the equation and arrive at the correct answer (500.num . In practical terms.500) with little work. In other words. computers cannot "think" for themselves in the sense that they only solve problems in exactly the way they are programmed to. For example: mov #0. set num to 1 loop: add num. set sum to 0 mov #1. a computer program may run from just a few instructions to many millions of instructions. A typical modern computer can execute billions of instructions per second (gigahertz or GHz) and rarely make a mistake over many years of operation. as in a program for a word processor or a web browser. go back to 'loop' halt . compare num to 1000 lable loop . Large . However.Computer 16 computer may be programmed to do this with just a few simple instructions. if num <= 1000. Figure 1-5: A 1970s punched card containing one line from a FORTRAN program. a computer programmed to add up the numbers one by one as in the example above would do exactly that without regard to efficiency or alternative solutions.sum .sum . It will almost never make a mistake and a modern PC can complete the task in about a millionth of a second. stop running Once told to run this program. add num to sum add #1. end of program. add 1 to num cmp num.num .#1000 . the computer will perform the repetitive addition task without further human intervention.

code designed to take advantage of a bug and disrupt a program's proper execution. the more complex computers have several hundred to choose from²each with a unique numerical code. a computer might store some or all of its program in memory that is kept separate from the data it operates on. or have only subtle effects.become unresponsive to input such as mouse clicks or keystrokes. especially for complicated programs. SUB. Machine languages and the assembly languages that represent them 17 . Bugs are usually not the fault of the computer. But in some cases they may cause the program to "hang" . The fundamental concept of storing programs in the computer's memory alongside the data they operate on is the crux of the von Neumann. architecture. it can also store the instruction codes. The simplest computers are able to perform any of a handful of different instructions. Modern von Neumann computers display some traits of the Harvard architecture in their designs. the command to multiply them would have a different opcode and so on. Since the computer's memory is able to store numbers. These mnemonics are collectively known as a computer's assembly language. Errors in computer programs are called "bugs". In most computers. such as in CPU caches. The command to add two numbers together would have one opcode. In some cases. bugs are nearly always the result of programmer error or an oversight made in the program's design. This leads to the important fact that entire programs (which are just lists of instructions) can be represented as lists of numbers and can themselves be manipulated inside the computer just as if they were numeric data. it is extremely tedious to do so in practice. Otherwise benign bugs may sometimes may be harnessed for malicious intent by an unscrupulous user writing an "exploit" . each basic instruction can be given a short name that is indicative of its function and easy to remember²a mnemonic such as ADD. or to completely fail or "crash".17 English for Computer and IT Engineers computer programs comprising several million instructions may take teams of programmers years to write. Bugs may be benign and not affect the usefulness of the program. individual instructions are stored as machine code with each instruction being given a unique number (its operation code or opcode for short). thus the probability of the entire program having been written without error is highly unlikely. MULT or JUMP. Since computers merely execute the instructions they are given. Converting programs written in assembly language into something the computer can actually understand (machine language) is usually done by a computer program called an assembler. While it is possible to write computer programs as long lists of numbers (machine language) and this technique was used with many early computers. This is called the Harvard architecture after the Harvard Mark I computer. or stored program. Instead.

1-3-1. and the input and output devices (collectively termed I/O). For instance. registers.Computer 18 (collectively termed low-level programming languages) tend to be unique to a particular type of computer. ontrol unit . an ARM architecture computer (such as may be found in a PDA or a hand-held videogame) cannot understand the machine language of an Intel Pentium or the AMD Athlon 64 computer that might be in a PC. writing long programs in assembly language is often difficult and error prone. Though considerably easier than in machine language. The control unit. ow computers work A general purpose computer has four main sections: the arithmetic and logic unit (ALU). most complicated programs are written in more abstract high-level programming languages that are able to express the needs of the computer programmer more conveniently (and thereby help reduce programmer error). The task of developing large software systems is an immense intellectual effort. Producing software with an acceptably high reliability on a predictable schedule and budget has proved historically to be a great challenge. the academic and professional discipline of software engineering concentrates specifically on this problem. These parts are interconnected by busses. it is possible to use different compilers to translate the same high level language program into the machine language of many different types of computer. Therefore. This is part of the means by which software like video games may be made available for different computer architectures such as personal computers and various video game consoles. Since high level languages are more abstract than assembly language. the memory. the control unit. 1-3. Early CPUs were composed of many separate components but since the mid-1970s CPUs have typically been constructed on a single integrated circuit called a microprocessor. and basic I/O (and often other hardware closely linked with these) are collectively known as a central processing unit (CPU). ALU. High level languages are usually "compiled" into machine language (or sometimes into assembly language and then into machine language) using another computer program called a compiler. often made of groups of wires.

2. A key component common to all CPUs is the program counter. a special memory cell (a register) that keeps track of which location in memory the next instruction is to be read from. The control system decodes each instruction and turns it into a series of control signals that operate the other parts of the computer. Increment the program counter so it points to the next instruction. 7. it can be changed by calculations done in the ALU. Read the code for the next instruction from the cell indicated by the program counter. 8. The control system's function is as follows²note that this is a simplified description. 3. Figure 1-7: A MIPS architecture instruction is decoded b the control s stem. 5. Jump back to step (1). Provide the necessary data to an ALU or register. Decode the numerical code for the instruction into a set of commands or signals for each of the other systems. Control systems in advanced computers may change the order of some instructions so as to improve performance. 4. It reads and interprets (decodes) instructions in the program one by one. If the instruction requires an ALU or specialized hardware to complete. instruct the hardware to perform the requested operation. Write the result from the ALU back to a memory location or to a register or perhaps an output device. The location of this required data is typically stored within the instruction code. Read whatever data the instruction requires from cells in memory (or perhaps from an input device). and some of these steps may be performed concurrently or in a different order depending on the type of CPU: 1. Adding 100 to the program counter 19 3 3 . Since the program counter is (conceptually) just another set of memory cells.19 English for Computer and IT Engineers The control unit (often called a control system or central controller) directs the various components of a computer. 6.

Superscalar computers contain multiple ALUs so that they can process several instructions at the same time. An ALU may also compare numbers and return boolean truth values (true or false) depending on whether one is equal to. cosine. trigonometry functions (sine. there is another yet smaller computer called a microsequencer that runs a microcode program that causes all of these events to happen. any computer can be programmed to perform any arithmetic operation²although it will take more time to do so if its ALU does not directly support the operation. The set of arithmetic operations that a particular ALU supports may be limited to adding and subtracting or might include multiplying or dividing. 1-3-2. XOR and NOT.Computer 20 would cause the next instruction to be read from a place 100 locations further down the program. OR. Logic operations involve Boolean logic: AND. etc) and square roots. greater than or less than the other ("is 64 greater than 65?"). These can be useful both for creating complicated conditional statements and processing boolean logic. Instructions that modify the program counter are often known as "jumps" and allow for loops (instructions that are repeated by the computer) and often conditional instruction execution (both examples of control flow). 1-3-3.and indeed. Arithmetic/logic unit (ALU) The ALU is capable of performing two classes of operations: arithmetic and logic. in some more complex CPU designs. It is noticeable that the sequence of operations that the control unit goes through to process an instruction is in itself like a short computer program . However. any computer that is capable of performing just the simplest operations can be programmed to break down the more complex operations into simple steps that it can perform. emory . Some can only operate on whole numbers (integers) whilst others use floating point to represent real numbers² albeit with limited precision. Therefore. Graphics processors and computers with SIMD and MIMD features often provide ALUs that can perform arithmetic on vectors and matrices.

Each cell has a numbered "address" and can store a single number. Figure 1-8: Magnetic core memor was popular main memor for computers through the 1960s until it was completel replaced b semiconductor memor . A computer can store any kind of information in memory as long as it can be somehow represented in numerical form. either from 0 to 255 or -128 to +127.21 English for Computer and IT Engineers A computer's memory can be viewed as a list of cells into which numbers can be placed or read. RAM can be read and written to anytime 21 5 5 5 5 4 . There are typically between two and one hundred registers depending on the type of CPU. Other arrangements are possible. Each byte is able to represent 256 different numbers. even computer instructions can be placed into memory with equal ease. The computer can be instructed to "put the number 123 into the cell numbered 1357" or to "add the number that is in cell 1357 to the number that is in cell 2468 and put the answer into cell 1595". The information stored in memory may represent practically anything. four or eight). Letters. Since data is constantly being worked on. To store larger numbers. but are usually not seen outside of specialized applications or historical contexts. two. Registers are used for the most frequently needed data items to avoid having to access main memory every time data is needed. In almost all modern computers. they are usually stored in two's complement notation. it is up to the software to give significance to what the memory sees as nothing but a series of numbers. Since the CPU does not differentiate between different types of information. Modern computers have billions or even trillions of bytes of memory. reducing the need to access main memory (which is often slow compared to the ALU and control units) greatly increases the computer's speed. Computer main memory comes in two principal varieties: random access memory or RAM and read-only memory or ROM. several consecutive bytes may be used (typically. The CPU contains a special set of memory cells called registers that can be read and written to much more rapidly than the main memory area. numbers. each memory cell is set up to store binary numbers in groups of eight bits (called a byte). When negative numbers are required.

In embedded computers. In a PC. the contents of RAM is erased when the power to the computer is turned off while ROM retains its data indefinitely. ROM is typically used to store the computer's initial start-up instructions. In general. Input/output (I/O) I/O is the means by which a computer receives information from the outside world and sends results back. I/O devices are complex computers in their own right with their own CPU and memory. Hard disk drives. Often. the ROM contains a specialized program called the BIOS that orchestrates loading the computer's operating system from the hard disk drive into RAM whenever the computer is turned on or reset. In more sophisticated computers there may be one or more RAM cache memories which are slower than registers but faster than main memory. Software that is stored in ROM is often called firmware because it is notionally more like hardware than software. 1. all of the software required to perform the task may be stored in ROM. but ROM is pre-loaded with data and software that never changes. often without the need for any intervention on the progr ammer's part. A graphics processing unit might contain fifty or more tiny . Flash memory blurs the distinction between ROM and RAM by retaining data when turned off but being rewritable like RAM. However. which frequently do not have disk drives. peripherals include input devices like the keyboard and mouse.-4. Figure 1-9: Hard disks are common I/O devices used with computers.Computer 22 the CPU commands it. On a typical personal computer. so the CPU can only read from it. floppy disk drives and optical disc drives serve as both input and output devices. Devices that provide input or output to the computer are called peripherals. Generally computers with this sort of cache are designed to move frequently needed data into the cache automatically. Computer networking is another form of I/O. flash memory is typically much slower than conventional ROM and RAM so its use is restricted to applications where high speeds are not required. and output devices such as the display and printer.

MIPS. Python. C#. Unlike natural languages. Table 1-5: Programming Languages Lists of programming languages Timeline of programming languages. COBOL. Perl 23 . Lisp. JavaScript. Generational list of programming languages. They are purely written languages and are often difficult to read aloud.23 English for Computer and IT Engineers computers that perform the calculations necessary to display 3D graphics. C. Java. NonEnglish-based programming languages Commonly used Assembly languages ARM. PHP. Sometimes programs are executed by a hybrid method of the two techniques. Pascal Commonly used Scripting Bourne script. others useful only for highly specialized applications. They are generally either translated into machine language by a compiler or an assembler before being run. C++. x86 Commonly used High level languages BASIC. Alphabetical list of programming languages. Modern desktop computers contain many smaller computers that assist the main CPU in performing I/O. Ruby. 1-4. There are thousands of different programming languages² some intended to be general purpose. Fortran. Categorical list of programming languages. programming languages are designed to permit no ambiguity and to be concise. or translated directly at run time by an interpreter. Programming languages Programming languages provide various ways of specifying programs for computers to run.

24 languages .

Performs most of the calculations which enable a computer to function. through which all other components interface. 2-1. 25 6 . Computer hardware A typical personal computer consists of a case or chassis in a tower shape (desktop) and the following parts: Figure 2-1: Internals of t pical personal computer. Central processing unit (CPU) . Motherboard y y Motherboard . sometimes referred to as the "brain" of the computer.It is the "body" or mainframe of the computer. Figure 2-2: Inside a Custom Computer.25 English for Computer and IT Engineers 2.

o PCI o PCI-E o USB o HyperTransport o CSI (expected in 2008) o AGP (being phased out) o VLB (outdated) External Bus Controllers .Connections to various internal components. . Firmware is loaded from the Read only memory ROM run from the Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) or in newer systems Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) compliant Internal Buses . Fast-access memory that is cleared when the computer is powered-down. Storage controllers Controllers for hard disk. IDE is usually integrated. and (usually) a cooling fan. The floppy drive interface is a legacy MFM interface which is now slowly disappearing. o y y y y 2-2. such as a Disk array controller. All these interfaces are gradually being phased out to be replaced by SATA and SAS. CD-ROM and other drives like internal Zip and Jaz conventionally for a PC are IDE/ATA. Power supply A case control. though it focuses more on individual parts rather than the overall temperature inside the chassis. Liquid cooling can also be used to cool a computer. and supplies power to run the rest of the computer.Computer hardware 26 Computer fan .Used to lower the temperature of the computer. These ports may also be based upon expansion cards. a fan is almost always attached to the CPU. Random Access Memory (RAM) -It is also known as the physical memory of the computer. the most common types of power supplies are AT and BabyAT (old) but the standard for PCs actually are ATX and Micro ATX. the controllers sit directly on the motherboard (on-board) or on expansion cards. 2-3. unlike SCSI Small omputer System nterface which can be found in some servers. RAM attaches directly to the motherboard. and is used to store programs that are currently running. and the computer case will generally have several fans to maintain a constant airflow. such as printers and input devices.used to connect to external peripherals. attached to the internal buses.

an outdated medium-capacity removable disk storage system. Video display controller Produces the output for the visual display unit. or AGP).a device used for both reading and writing data to states and from a DVD.a high-density optical disc format and successor to the standard DVD.0.a device used for rapid writing and reading of data from a special type of DVD. Zip drive . This will either be built into the motherboard or attached in its own separate slot (PCI. removable. Floppy disk . o BD Writer .a device used for reading data from a Blu-ray disc. 2-5. 2-6. It is the most common way of transferring digital video. USB flash drive . Blu-ray .27 English for Computer and IT Engineers 2-4. nternal storage 27 . including high-definition video. HD DVD .a high-density optical disc format for the storage of digital information. typically small.a device used for both reading and writing data to and from a Blu-ray disc.an outdated storage device consisting of a thin disk of a flexible magnetic storage medium.a device used for both reading and writing data to and from a CD. o DVD-ROM Drive .used for long term storage.a device used for reading data from a CD. Tape drive . first introduced by Iomega in 1994.a device that reads and writes data on a magnetic tape. o BD-ROM Drive . PCI-E 2.the most common type of removable media. in the form of a Graphics Card. It was a discontinued competitor to the Blu-ray format.a flash memory data storage device integrated with a USB interface. o CD-ROM Drive . lightweight.a popular type of removable media that is the same dimensions as a CD but stores up to 6 times as much information. DVD (digital versatile disc) . o DVD Writer . PCI-E. o CD Writer . and rewritable. emovable media devices y y y y y y y y CD (compact disc) . o DVD-RAM Drive . inexpensive but has a short life-span.a device used for reading data from a DVD.

Direct Cable Connection . Other peripherals In addition.a device similar to hard disk. y y y Hard disk . connecting two computers together using their serial ports or a Laplink Cable. hardware devices can include external components of a computer system. .Computer hardware 28 Hardware that keeps data inside the computer for later use and remains persistent even when the computer has no power.Use of a null modem. Networking Connects the computer to the Internet and/or other computers. Solid-state drive . but containing no moving parts.for DSL/Cable internet. though it is common for a user to install a separate sound card as an upgrade. connecting two computers together with their parallel ports. Sound card Enables the computer to output sound to audio devices. dial up connections broad band connections 2-9. to achieve performance or reliability improvement.for medium-term storage of data. The following are either standard or very common. Most modern computers have sound cards built-in to the motherboard. Disk array controller . y y y Modem . 2-7. and/or connecting to other computers.for dial-up connections Network card .a device to manage several hard disks. as well as accept input from a microphone. 2-8.

a pointing device that detects two dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface.a specific type of controller specialized for certain gaming purposes.a general control device that consists of a handheld stick that pivots around one end.a general handheld game controller that relies on the digits (especially thumbs) to provide input. usually external to the computer system Input y y y y y Text input devices o Keyboard .a low resolution video camera used to provide visual input that can be easily transferred over the internet. printed text. or an object. similar to a typewriter. handwriting.a device to input text and characters by depressing buttons (referred to as keys).A controller used for Xbox 360. o Trackball . o Xbox 360 Controller . o Webcam . o Game controller . Video input devices o Image scanner .29 English for Computer and IT Engineers Figure 2-3: Wheel mouse Includes various input and output devices. Image. The most common English-language key layout is the QWERTY layout.a pointing device consisting of an exposed protruding ball housed in a socket that detects rotation about two axes. Audio input devices 29 . Gaming devices o Joystick . which can be used as an additional pointing device with the left or right thumbstick with the use of the application Switchblade(tm). . Pointing devices o Mouse . o Gamepad .a device that provides input by analyzing images. to de tect angles in two or three dimensions.

Computer hardware 30 o Microphone . Video output devices o Printer o Monitor Audio output devices o Speakers o Headset .an acoustic sensor that provides input by converting sound into electrical signals Output y y Image.

JAVA. meaning that the "hard" are the parts that are tangible (able to hold) while the "soft" part is the intangible objects inside the computer.org Writer software "Software" is sometimes used in a broader context to mean anything which is not hardware but which is used with hardware. which interface with hardware to provide the necessary services for application software. and middleware which controls and co-ordinates distributed systems. XML. that are coded by programming languages like C. tapes and records. C++. Software includes websites.NET. ASP. OpenOffice developed by technologies like C. Overview Computer software is usually regarded as anything but hardware. Figure 3-1: A screenshot of the OpenOffice. 3-1. PHP. programs. such as film. or just software is a general term used to describe a collection of computer programs. etc. etc. Software encompasses an extremely wide array of products and technologies developed using different techniques like programming languages. JSP. The types of software includes web pages developed by technologies like HTML. video games etc. procedures and documentation that perform some tasks on a computer system. C#. and desktop applications like Microsoft Word. Perl.31 English for Computer and IT Engineers 3. C++. Software usually runs on an operating 31 . Computer software Computer software. scripting languages etc. system software such as operating systems. The term includes application software such as word processors which perform productive tasks for users.

Software is an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer hardware in a particular sequence.Computer software 32 system (which are software also) like Microsoft Windows. software consists of a machine language specific to an individual processor. a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Call of Duty. so that they are expect to operate as expected and video games like Super Mario. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via an assembler. Linux (including GNOME and KDE). interpreters or re-writing the source code for that platform. computer software is all computer programs. for personal computers or video game consoles. Also each software usually runs on a software platform in that for instance. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions which change the state of the computer from its preceding state. 3D Studio Max etc. These applications can work using software porting. which encompasses the physical interconnections and devices required to store and execute (or run) the software. The theory that is the basis for most modern software was first proposed by Alan Turing in his 1935 essay Comput ble numbers wit an application to t e Entscheidungsproblem. These games can be created using CGI designed by applications like Maya. Types Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes: system software. The term "software" was first used in this sense by John W. and often blurred. Software may also be written in an assembly language. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. elationship to computer hardware Computer software is so called to distinguish it from computer hardware. In computer science and software engineering. At the lowest level. 3-3. essentially. 3-2. etc. Sun Solaris etc. programming software and application software. Microsoft Windows application will not be able to run on Mac OS application because how the software is written is different between the systems. 8 8 7 . Tukey in 1958. although the distinction is arbitrary. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code.

Businesses are probably the biggest users of application software. keyboards. but which cannot work on their own. linkers. servers. diagnostic tools. and computer games. medical software. and etc. business software. it may require additional software from a software library in order to be complete. interpreters. device drivers. and software using different programming languages in a more convenient way. but almost every field of human activity now uses some form of application software. and such as accessory devices as communications. debugging. 3-4. interpreting. because the IDE usually has an advanced graphical user interface. readers. Libraries may also include 'stand-alone' programs which are activated by some computer event and/or perform some function (e. Thus. Three layers Users often see things differently than programmers.. compilers. printers. or GUI. The purpose of systems software is to insulate the applications programmer as much as possible from the details of the particular computer complex being used. 33 . Libraries may be called by one to many other programs. etc. and so on. 3-5. People who use modern general purpose computers (as opposed to embedded systems. of computer 'housekeeping') but do not return data to their calling program. and a programmer may not need to type multiple commands for compiling. Application software allows end users to accomplish one or more specific (non-computer related) tasks. In particular. analog computers. displays.33 y English for Computer and IT Engineers y y System software helps run the computer hardware and computer system. Program and library A program may not be sufficiently complete for execution by a computer. debuggers. programs may include standard routines that are common to many programs.g. especially memory and other hardware features. extracted from these libraries. utilities and more. programs may call zero to many other programs. educational software. databases. The tools include text editors. It includes operating systems. windowing systems. An Integrated development environment (IDE) merges those tools into a software bundle. Typical applications include industrial automation. tracing.. Programming software usually provides tools to assist a programmer in writing computer programs. Such a library may include software components used by stand-alone programs.

but that does not change the fact that they run as independent applications. through the system software. Application software Application software or Applications are what most people think of when they think of software. Depending on how competently the user written software has been integrated into purchased application packages. Typical examples include office suites and video games. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is. Data movement is typically from one place in memory to another. though they are often tailored for specific platforms. Even email filters are a kind of user software. Applications are almost always independent programs from the operating system. and typically a graphical user interface which. User-written software End-user development tailors systems to meet users' specific needs. in total. This involves passing instructions from the application software. Application software is often purchased separately from computer hardware. to the hardware which ultimately receives the instruction as machine code. carrying out a computation. Most users think of compilers. scientific simulations. and what has been added by fellow co-workers. the computer is able to execute the software. databases. an operating system.Computer software 34 supercomputers. allow a user to interact with the computer and its peripherals (associated equipment). and scripts for graphics and animations.moving data. On a PC you will usually have the ability to change the platform software. application. 3-6. many users may not be aware of the distinction between the purchased packages. and user software. Sometimes it involves moving data between memory and registers which enable high-speed data . Sometimes applications are bundled with the computer. or altering the control flow of instructions. memory. Each instruction causes the computer to carry out an operation -. Platform software Platform includes the firmware. Platform software often comes bundled with the computer. word processor macros. and other "system software" as applications. etc.) usually see three layers of software performing a variety of tasks: platform. device drivers. Once the software has loaded. User software include spreadsheet templates. Operation Computer software has to be "loaded" into the computer's storage (such as a hard drive. or RAM).

pleasing music and literature. this is sometimes avoided by using "pointers" to data instead. In some languages this is known as an "if" statement. Instructions may be performed sequentially. large areas of activities (such as playing grand master level chess) formerly assumed to be incapable of software simulation are now routinely programmed. In this case. or iteratively. Conditional instructions are performed such that different sets of instructions execute depending on the value(s) of some data. one instruction may "call" another set of instructions that are defined in some other program or module. The only area that has so far proved reasonably secure from software simulation is the realm of human art² especially. Moving data. Consequently. can be costly. Computations include simple operations such as incrementing the value of a variable data element. 3-7. Kinds of software by operation: computer program as executable. even the example above could become complicated. More complex computations may involve many operations and data elements together. The field of software engineering endeavors to manage the complexity of how software operates.35 English for Computer and IT Engineers access in the CPU. source code or script. Sequential instructions are those operations that are performed one after another. This is sometimes called a "loop." Often. If a different menu entry such as "Paste" is chosen. Depending on the application. a conditional instruction is executed to copy text from data in a 'document' area residing in memory. the software may execute the instructions to copy the text from the clipboard data area to a specific location in the same or another document in memory. Currently. A simple example of the way software operates is what happens when a user selects an entry such as "Copy" from a menu. When more than one computer processor is used. Iterative instructions are performed repetitively and may depend on some data value. configuration. conditionally. perhaps to an intermediate storage area known as a 'clipboard' data area. Quality and reliability 35 . almost the only limitations on the use of computer software in applications is the ingenuity of the designer/programmer. So. This is especially true for software that operates in the context of a large or powerful computer system. especially large amounts of it. instructions may be executed simultaneously.

believe that software users should be free to modify and redistribute the software they use. such as the free software community. Software quality. They argue that these rights are necessary so that each individual can control their computer. and Software reliability. 3-9. See also License Management. License The software's license gives the user the right to use the software in the licensed environment. and so that everyone can cooperate. See Software auditing. See software patent debate. Software can also be in the form of freeware or shareware. faults. granting the recipient the rights to modify and redistribute the software. the idea of what rights users of software should have is not very developed. Other software comes with a free software license. Ethics and rights for software users Being a new part of society. 3-10. while others argue that software patents provide an important incentive to spur software innovation. implementation and operation of software. Some. Patents The issue of software patents is controversial. or an OEM license when bundled with hardware. to work together as a community and control the direction that software progresses in. 3-11. if they choose. Some software comes with the license when purchased off the shelf. and failures related to the design. Others believe that software authors should have the power to say what rights the user will get.Computer software 36 Software reliability considers the errors. . Some believe that they hinder software development. Software testing.

some are defined by an official implementation (for example. which involve a computer performing some kind of computation[4] or algorithm and possibly control external devices such as printers. while programming languages also allow humans to communicate instructions to machines. and to express algorithms precisely. while others have a dominant implementation (such as Perl). sometimes the term "computer language" is used for more limited artificial languages. Programming language A programming language is an artificial language that can be used to write programs which control the behavior of a machine.37 English for Computer and IT Engineers 4. For example PostScript programs are frequently created by another program to control a computer printer or display. Programming languages are defined by syntactic and semantic rules which describe their structure and meaning respectively. 4-1. efinitions Traits often considered important for constituting a programming language: y Function: A programming language is a language used to write computer programs. robots. Programming languages are also used to facilitate communication about the task of organizing and manipulating information. and new languages are created every year. Some programming languages are used by one device to control another. Many programming languages have some form of written specification of their syntax and semantics. Constructs: Programming languages may contain constructs for defining and manipulating data structures or controlling the flow of execution. Some authors restrict the term "programming language" to those languages that can express all possible algorithms. an ISO Standard). Target: Programming languages differ from natural languages in that natural languages are only used for interaction between people. and so on. particularly a computer. y y 37 . Thousands of different programming languages have been created so far.

4-2. altered to meet new needs. within the domain of control of that program. . and the program's inputs must fully specify the external behavior that occurs when the program is executed. are usually not considered programming languages. ANSI/ISO SQL and Charity are examples of languages that are not Turing complete yet often called programming languages. figuratively speaking. The need for diverse computer languages arises from the diversity of contexts in which languages are used: y y Programs range from tiny scripts written by individual hobbyists to huge systems written by hundreds of programmers. all of them have failed to be generally accepted as filling this role. When using a natural language to communicate with other people. Programmers range in expertise from novices who need simplicity above all else. and cannot "understand" what code the programmer intended to write. In this case the "commands" are simply programs. to experts who may be comfortable with considerable complexity. combined with other languages. human authors and speakers can be ambiguous and make small errors. Although there have been attempts to design one "universal" computer language that serves all purposes. However.Programming language 38 y Expressive power: The theory of computation classifies languages by the computations they are capable of expressing. a program. Non-computational languages. The combination of the language definition. Programs for a computer might be executed in a batch process without human interaction. or a user might type commands in an interactive session of an interpreter. and still expect their intent to be understood. such as markup languages like HTML or formal grammars like BNF. When a language is used to give commands to a software application (such as a shell) it's called a scripting language. computers "do exactly what they are told to do". Many languages have been designed from scratch. Usage Programming languages differ from most other forms of human expression in that they require a greater degree of precision and completeness. All Turing complete languages can implement the same set of algorithms. and eventually fallen into disuse. whose execution is chained together. A programming language (which may or may not be Turing complete) may be embedded in these non-computational (host) languages.

4-3. This lets them write more functionality per time unit. features have been added that let programmers express ideas that are more remote from simple translation into underlying hardware instructions. 39 . and dismissed natural language programming as "foolish. or they may undergo nearly constant modification." Alan Perlis was similarly dismissive of the idea. One common trend in the development of programming languages has been to add more ability to solve problems using a higher level of abstraction. Natural language processors have been proposed as a way to eliminate the need for a specialized language for programming. they use sequences of text including words. As new programming languages have developed. However. their programs can do more computing with less effort from the programmer. Most programming languages are purely textual. and punctuation. and simplicity on systems ranging from microcontrollers to supercomputers.39 y y y English for Computer and IT Engineers Programs must balance speed. much like written natural languages. Elements 4-3-1. Because programmers are less tied to the complexity of the computer. numbers. Edsger Dijkstra took the position that the use of a formal language is essential to prevent the introduction of meaningless constructs. programmers may simply differ in their tastes: they may be accustomed to discussing problems and expressing them in a particular language. The earliest programming languages were tied very closely to the underlying hardware of the computer. size. using spatial relationships between symbols to specify a program. this goal remains distant and its benefits are open to debate. Finally. Programs may be written once and not change for generations. there are some programming languages which are more graphical in nature. On the other hand. Syntax A programming language's surface form is known as its syntax.

Below is a simple grammar. optionally preceded by a plus or minus sign. The meaning given to a combination of symbols is handled by semantics (either formal or hard-coded in a reference implementation). @ @ A 9 . Programming language syntax is usually defined using a combination of regular expressions (for lexical structure) and Backus-Naur Form (for grammatical structure). Since most languages are textual.* list ::= '(' expression* ')' This grammar specifies the following: y y y an expression is either an atom or a list. this article discusses textual syntax.Programming language 40 Figure 4-1: Parse tree of P thon code with inset tokenization The syntax of a language describes the possible combinations of symbols that form a syntactically correct program. based on Lisp: expression ::= atom | list atom ::= number | symbol number ::= [+-]?['0'-'9']+ symbol ::= ['A'-'Z''a'-'z']. an atom is either a num er or a sym ol. a num er is an unbroken sequence of one or more decimal digits.

4-3-2." is grammatically well-formed but expresses a meaning that cannot be true. per the language's rules. it may not be possible to assign a meaning to a grammatically correct sentence or the sentence may be false: y y "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." is grammatically well-formed but has no generally accepted meaning. such programs may exhibit undefined behavior. but performs an operation that is not semantically defined (because p is a null pointer. the operations p->real and p->im have no meaning): complex *p = NULL. i. and may (depending on the language specification and the soundness of the implementation) result in an error on translation or execution. The following C language fragment is syntactically correct. 41 . "John is a married bachelor. complex abs_p = sqrt (p->real * p->real + p->im * p->im). '(a b c232 (1))' Not all syntactically correct programs are semantically correct. Using natural language as an example. The syntax of most programming languages can be specified using a Type-2 grammar. it may still have a meaning that is not intended by the person who wrote it. Many syntactically correct programs are nonetheless ill-formed.41 y y English for Computer and IT Engineers a symbol is a letter followed by zero or more of any characters (excluding whitespace). In some cases. The following are examples of well-formed token sequences in this grammar: '12345'. The grammar needed to specify a programming language can be classified by its position in the Chomsky hierarchy. Even when a program is well-defined within a language.. and a list is a matched pair of parentheses.[13] The most important of these restrictions are covered by type systems. they are context-free grammars.e. Static semantics The static semantics defines restrictions on the structure of valid texts that are hard or impossible to express in standard syntactic formalisms. with zero or more expressions inside it. '()'.

such as Rexx or SGML. Internally. how it can manipulate those types and how they interact. For example. an untyped language. High-level languages which are untyped include BCPL and some varieties of Forth. Many production languages provide means to bypass or subvert the type system. and rejected by the compiler. "this text between the quotes " is a string. all data in modern digital computers are stored simply as zeros or ones (binary). allows any operation to be performed on any data. Most modern programming languages will therefore reject any program attempting to perform such an operation. In most programming languages. This generally includes a description of the data structures that can be constructed in the language. dividing a number by a string has no meaning. resulting in a runtime exception. the meaningless operation will be detected when the program is compiled ("static" type checking). while few languages are considered typed from the point of view of type theory (verifying or rejecting all operations). These are often scripting or markup languages. A special case of typed languages are the single-type languages. The design and study of type systems using formal mathematics is known as type theory. with the implication that it is not applicable to other types. In some languages. which are generally considered to be sequences of bits of various lengths. and have only one data type ² most commonly character strings which are used for both symbolic and numeric data. while in others. Typed versus untyped languages A language is typed if the specification of every operation defines types of data to which the operation is applicable. In contrast. Type system A type system defines how a programming language classifies values and expressions into types. In practice. it will be detected when the program is run ("dynamic" type checking). such as most assembly languages. 4-3-4.Programming language 42 4-3-3. . most modern languages offer a degree of typing.

Java and C# both infer types in certain limited cases. In JavaScript. also called latent typing. Dynamic typing. However. this may permit a single variable to refer to values of different types at different points in the program execution. 1 and (2+2) are integer expressions. they cannot be passed to a function that expects a string. making debugging more difficult. Complete type inference has traditionally been associated with less mainstream languages. An attempt to perform an operation on the wrong type of value raises an error. the compiler infers the types of expressions and declarations based on context. 43 . Such implicit conversions are often useful. undefined. Strongly-typed languages are often termed type-safe or safe. In the second case. In the first case. Ruby. For example. Statically-typed languages can be manifestly typed or type-inferred. the expression 2 * x implicitly converts x to a number. the programmer must explicitly write types at certain textual positions (for example. determines the type-safety of operations at runtime. Static versus dynamic typing In static typing all expressions have their types determined prior to the program being run (typically at compile-time). and Python are dynamically typed. are manifestly typed. JavaScript. for example treating a string as a number. dynamically typed languages do not require the programmer to write explicit type annotations on expressions. such as C++. Strong typing prevents the above. but it can also allow some kinds of program faults to go undetected at compile time and even at run time. in other words. This can occasionally be useful. type errors cannot be automatically detected until a piece of code is actually executed. an Array. and this conversion succeeds even if x is null. for example. types are associated with runtime values rather than textual expressions. However. Weak and strong typing Weak typing allows a value of one type to be treated as another. Lisp. C# and Java. such as Perl. at variable declarations). but they can mask programming errors. many manifestly typed languages support partial type inference. As with type-inferred languages. JavaScript. or a string of letters. 4-3-6.43 English for Computer and IT Engineers 4-3-5. for example. and C++. Most mainstream statically-typed languages. An alternative definition for "weakly typed" refers to languages. such as Haskell and ML. which permit a large number of implicit type conversions. Among other things. or stored in a variable that is defined to hold dates.

Thus C has been called both strongly typed and weakly. Indeed. an anonymous function expression (a "block") constructs an instance of the library's BlockContext class. in Smalltalk. similarly. Some use the term strongly typed to mean strongly. a string literal is defined as an instance of the java. or. or the manner in which control structures conditionally execute statements. For example. 4-3-7. and mechanisms for input and output. Execution semantics Once data has been specified. For example. A language's core library is often treated as part of the language by its users. Many language specifications define a core that must be made available in all implementations. 4-3-8. to mean simply statically typed.String class. The execution semantics of a language defines how and when the various constructs of a language should produce a program behavior. and in the case of standardized languages this core library may be required. Core libraries typically include definitions for commonly used algorithms. 4-4. but usage in the literature differs. Scheme contains multiple coherent subsets that suffice to construct the rest of the language as library macros. statically typed. some languages are designed so that the meanings of certain syntactic constructs cannot even be described without referring to the core library. especially if it is included as part of the published language standard). statically typed. although the designers may have treated it as a separate entity. the semantics may define the strategy by which expressions are evaluated to values. The line between a language and its core library therefore differs from language to language. Conversely. Practice .Programming language 44 Strong and static are now generally considered orthogonal concepts.lang. data structures. the machine must be instructed to perform operations on the data. even more confusingly. and which must be implemented as parts of a library. in Java. which is conventionally made available by all implementations of the language. and so the language designers do not even bother to say which portions of the language must be implemented as language constructs. ore library Most programming languages have an associated core library (sometimes known as the 'Standard library'.

... The syntax and semantics of the language are explicit in the behavior of the reference implementation. The most important of these artifacts are the language specification and implementation. mplementation For more details implementation. two approaches to programming language implementation: compilation and interpretation. A reference or model implementation. It is generally possible to implement a language using either technique. sometimes written in the language being specified (e. including the following: y y y An explicit definition of the syntax. broadly.g. There are. which may be written in natural or a formal language.g. or a formal semantics (e. In some implementations that make use of the interpreter approach 45 . A programming language specification can take several forms. The output of a compiler may be executed by hardware or a program called an interpreter. static semantics. the C++ and Fortran specifications). 4-4-2. Prolog or ANSI REXX [20]). the C language). 4-4-1. The syntax and semantics of the language have to be inferred from this description. A description of the behavior of a translator for the language (e.45 English for Computer and IT Engineers A language's designers and users must construct a number of artifacts that govern and enable the practice of programming. While syntax is commonly specified using a formal grammar.g. Specification The specification of a programming language is intended to provide a definition that the language users and the implementors can use to determine whether the behavior of a program is correct. and execution semantics of the language. the Standard ML[18] and Scheme[19] specifications). semantic definitions may be written in natural language (e. on this topic.g. given its source code.. see Programming language An implementation of a programming language provides a way to execute that program on one or more configurations of hardware and software.

A programming language may also be classified by factors unrelated to programming paradigm. For instance. domain specific languages. translates the blocks of bytecode which are going to be used to machine code. and logic programming. Paradigms include procedural programming. A given programming language does not usually have a single ancestor language. Taxonomies There is no overarching classification scheme for programming languages. most programming languages use English . programming languages divide into programming paradigms and a classification by intended domain of use. One technique for improving the performance of interpreted programs is just-intime compilation. object-oriented programming. For example.Programming language 46 there is no distinct boundary between compiling and interpreting. for direct execution on the hardware. For instance. By purpose. programming languages might be considered general purpose. Some general purpose languages were designed largely with educational goals. system programming languages. functional programming. In broad strokes. 4-5. some implementations of the BASIC programming language compile and then execute the source a line at a time. Programs that are executed directly on the hardware usually run several orders of magnitude faster than those that are interpreted in software. or concurrent/distributed languages (or a combination of these). Here the virtual machine. just before execution. and then leap suddenly across familial gaps to appear in an entirely different family. some languages are hybrids of paradigms or multi-paradigmatic. Ideas that originate in one language will diffuse throughout a family of related languages. Python is an object-oriented scripting language. Languages commonly arise by combining the elements of several predecessor languages with new ideas in circulation at the time. Java is both an object-oriented language (because it encourages object-oriented organization) and a concurrent language (because it contains built-in constructs for running multiple threads in parallel). An assembly language is not so much a paradigm as a direct model of an underlying machine architecture. scripting languages. The task is further complicated by the fact that languages can be classified along multiple axes.

Other languages may be classified as being esoteric or not. 47 . while a minority do not.47 English for Computer and IT Engineers language keywords.

supercomputers. desktop computers. commonly pronounced C C C C .Operating system 48 5. one of the purposes of an operating system is to handle the details of the operation of the hardware. pass parameters. and even video game consoles. Operating system An operating system (commonly abbreviated O and O/ ) is the software component of a computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of the computer. This relieves application programs from having to manage these details and makes it easier to write applications. As a host. B B Figure 5-1: A la er structure showing where Operating S stem is located on generall used software s stems on desktops Operating systems offer a number of services to application programs and users. By invoking these interfaces. and receive the results of the operation. Applications access these services through application programming interfaces (APIs) or system calls. Some of the oldest models may however use an embedded operating system. Users may also interact with the operating system with some kind a software user interface (UI) like typing commands by using command line interface (CLI) or using a graphical user interface (GUI. use an operating system of some type. Almost all computers. the application can request a service from the operating system. including handheld computers. that may be contained on a compact disk or other data storage device. The operating system acts as a host for applications that are run on the machine.

Interrupts provide a computer with a way of automatically running specific code in response to events. loading program code from a disk or another part of memory into the newly allocated space. Embedded device markets are split amongst several operating systems.49 English for Computer and IT Engineers ³gooey´). and are therefore basically similar. 5-1-1. while servers generally run on Linux or other Unix-like systems. the user interface is generally considered part of the operating system. This is analogous to placing a 49 . These technologies may or may not be present in every operating system. However as stated above most modern operating systems are derived from common design ancestors. the user interface is generally implemented as an application program that runs outside the operating system. nterrupts Interrupts are central to operating systems as they allow the operating system to deal with the unexpected activities of running programs and the world outside the computer. Technology An operating system is a collection of technologies which are designed to allow the computer to perform certain functions. For hand-held and desktop computers. 5-1-2. Interrupt-based programming is one of the most basic forms of timesharing. 5-1. Linux and Solaris. Mac OS. Program execution Executing a program involves the creation of a process by the operating system. the computer's hardware automatically suspends whatever program is currently running by pushing the current state on a stack. When an interrupt is received. and starting it running. and its registers and program counter are also saved. and allow the programmer to specify code which may be run when that event takes place. being directly supported by most CPUs.) Common contemporary operating systems include Microsoft Windows. and there are often differences in how they are implemented. (Whether the user interface should be included as part of the operating system is a point of contention. The kernel creates a process by setting aside or allocating some memory. Microsoft Windows has a significant majority of market share in the desktop and notebook computer markets. Even very basic computers support hardware interrupts. On large multi-user systems like Unix and Unix-like systems.

providing things like virtual memory addressing and limiting access to hardware in a manner determined by a program running in supervisor mode. If a program wishes to access hardware for example. Similar modes have existed in supercomputers. . In modern operating systems. A program may also trigger an interrupt to the operating system. minicomputers. or both. launch or communicate with another program. Interrupts may come from either the computer's hardware. CPUs with this capability use two modes: protected mode and supervisor mode. Device drivers may then relay information to a running program by various means. and mainframes as they are essential to fully supporting UNIX-like multi-user operating systems. the operating system's kernel decides how to deal with this event. or from the running program. the term is used here more generally in operating system theory to refer to all modes which limit the capabilities of programs running in that mode. Protected mode and supervisor mode Modern CPUs support something called dual mode operation. protected mode does not refer specifically to the 80286 (Intel's x86 16-bit microprocessor) CPU feature. 5-1-3. which causes control to be passed back to the kernel. or ignoring it. The processing of hardware interrupts is a task that is usually delegated to software called device drivers. interrupts are handled by the operating system's kernel. which may be either part of the operating system's kernel. The kernel may then process the request which may contain instructions to be passed onto hardware. generally by running some processing code. but only that the interrupt be configured at an earlier time. part of another program. which are very similar in function. Here. or signal that it no longer needs the CPU. which allow certain CPU functions to be controlled and affected only by the operating system kernel. CPUs might have other modes similar to 80286 protected mode as well. although its protected mode is very similar to it. This task requires no operating system as such. When a program wishes to allocate more memory. However. When a hardware device triggers an interrupt. it does so through interrupts./ 50 bookmark in a book when someone is interrupted by a phone call. or to a device driver. such as the virtual 8086 mode of the 80386 (Intel's x86 32-bit microprocessor or i386). it may interrupt the operating system's kernel.

5-1-4. In both segmentation and paging. In protected mode. This ensures that a program does not interfere with memory already used by another program. This system of memory management is almost never seen anymore. bootloader and the operating system have unlimited access to hardware. including memory segmentation and paging. causing control to be passed back to the kernel. Cooperative memory management. The first few programs to run on the computer. each program must have independent access to memory. and do not exceed their allocated memory. which contain information that the running program isn't allowed to alter. since programs often contain bugs which can cause them to exceed their allocated memory. it can place the CPU into protected mode. used by many early operating systems assumes that all programs make voluntary use of the kernel's memory manager. With cooperative memory management it takes only one misbehaved program to crash the system. it is automatically running in supervisor mode. However when the operating system passes control to another program. Attempts to alter these resources generally causes a switch to supervisor mode. The term "protected mode resource" generally refers to one or more CPU registers. Malicious programs. A user program may leave protected mode only by triggering an interrupt. In this way the operating system can maintain exclusive control over things like access to hardware and memory. programs may have access to a more limited set of the CPU's instructions. All methods require some level of hardware support (such as the 80286 MMU) which doesn't exist in all computers. If a program fails it may cause memory used by one or more other programs to be affected or overwritten. a multiprogramming operating system kernel must be responsible for managing all system memory which is currently in use by programs. being the BIOS. Memory protection enables the kernel to limit a process' access to the computer's memory. Since programs time share. Attempts 51 . certain protected mode registers specify to the CPU what memory address it should allow a running program to access. Various methods of memory protection exist.51 English for Computer and IT Engineers When a computer first starts up. or viruses may purposefully alter another program's memory or may affect the operation of the operating system itself. emory management Among other things.

/ 52 to access other addresses will trigger an interrupt which will cause the CPU to reenter supervisor mode. Under Windows 9x all MS-DOS applications ran in supervisor mode. this . giving them almost unlimited control over the computer. 5-1-5. and what that memory area contains can be swapped or exchanged on demand. This is called swapping. When the kernel detects a page fault it will generally adjust the virtual memory range of the program which triggered it. application memory which is accessed less frequently can be temporarily stored on disk or other media to make that space available for use by other programs. giving the appearance that it is performing the tasks at the same time. however the system would often crash anyway. but programs could easily circumvent the need to use it. 5-1-6.) Under UNIX this kind of interrupt is referred to as a page fault. Windows 3. This gives the kernel discretionary power over where a particular application's memory is stored. Virtual memory The use of virtual memory addressing (such as paging or segmentation) means that the kernel can choose which memory each program may use at any given time. (See section on memory management. In modern operating systems. and since it is usually a sign of a misbehaving program.1-Me had some level of memory protection. as an area of memory can be use by multiple programs. the kernel will be interrupted in the same way as it would if the program were to exceed its allocated memory. the kernel will generally kill the offending program. ultitasking Multitasking refers to the running of multiple independent computer programs on the same computer. allowing the operating system to use the same memory locations for multiple tasks. A general protection fault would be produced indicating a segmentation violation had occurred. and report the error. but nonetheless has been allocated to it. If a program tries to access memory that isn't in its current range of accessible memory. granting it access to the memory requested. or even whether or not it has actually been allocated yet. This is called a segmentation violation or Seg-V for short. Since most computers can do at most one or two things at one time. placing the kernel in charge.

Control is passed to a process by the kernel. In this model. higher reliability. when control is passed to a program by the kernel. To accomplish this.53 English for Computer and IT Engineers is generally done via time sharing. An early model which governed the allocation of time to programs was called cooperative multitasking. but it didn't reach the home user market until Windows XP. (See above sections on Interrupts and Dual Mode Operation. which means that each program uses a share of the computer's time to execute. which are structured in specific ways in order to allow for faster access. A protected mode timer is set by the kernel which triggers a return to supervisor mode after the specified time has elapsed. which allows the program access to the CPU and memory. This so-called passing of control between the kernel and applications is called a context switch. as home computers generally run a small number of well tested programs. modern operating system kernels make use of a timed interrupt.) 5-1-7. This implies that all programs must be limited in how much time they are allowed to spend on the CPU without being interrupted. The philosophy governing preemptive multitasking is that of ensuring that all programs are given regular time on the CPU. It also allows them to be stored in a hierarchy of directories or folders arranged in a directory tree. so that another program may be allowed to use the CPU. Windows NT was the first version of Microsoft Windows which enforced preemptive multitasking. and to make better use out of the drive's available space. This means that a malfunctioning program may prevent any other programs from using the CPU. and in which order execution control should be passed to programs. (since Windows NT was targeted at professionals. it may execute for as long as it wants before explicitly returning control to the kernel. 53 . Computers store data on disks using files. The specific way files are stored on a disk is called a file system.) On many single user operating systems cooperative multitasking is perfectly adequate. isk access and file systems Access to files stored on disks is a central feature of all operating systems. An operating system kernel contains a piece of software called a scheduler which determines how much time each program will spend executing. and enables files to have names and attributes. At a later time control is returned to the kernel through some mechanism.

Various differences between file systems make supporting all file systems difficult. free space. open. and creation and modification dates. When the kernel has an appropriate device driver in place. third party drives are usually available to give support for the most widely used filesystems in most general-purpose operating systems (for example. as well as gather various information about them. contained within a hierarchical structure. case sensitivity. more modern operating systems like UNIX and Linux support a technology known as a virtual file system or VFS. delete. making it very difficult for an operating system to support more than one file system. and close files. These limitations often reflected limitations in the operating systems they were designed for. Allowed characters in file names. Operating systems tend to recommend the use of (and so support natively) file systems specifically designed for them. On UNIX this is the language of block devices. NTFS in Windows and extn and ReiserFS in Linux. and directories/folders. They can create. Programs can then deal with these file systems on the basis of filenames. including access permissions. A file system driver is used to translate the commands used to access each specific file system into a standard set of commands that the operating system can use to talk to all file systems. However./ 54 Early operating systems generally supported a single type of disk drive and only one kind of file system. for example. which may contain one or more file systems. it can then access the contents of the disk drive in raw format. and the presence of various kinds of file attributes makes the implementation of a single interface for every file system a daunting task. A modern operating system like UNIX supports a wide array of storage devices. A VFS allows the operating system to provide programs with access to an unlimited number of devices with an infinite variety of file systems installed on them through the use of specific device drivers and file system drivers. speed. While many simpler operating systems support a limited range of options for accessing storage systems. Early file systems were limited in their capacity. size. regardless of their design or file systems to be accessed through a common application programming interface (API). and in the kinds of file names and directory structures they could use. in practice. The device driver understands the specific language of the drive and is able to translate that language into a standard language used by the operating system to access all disk drives. A connected storage device such as a hard drive is accessed through a device driver. NTFS is available in Linux . This makes it unnecessary for programs to have any knowledge about the device they are accessing.

Computers and their operating systems cannot be expected to know how to control every device. and ext2/3 and ReiserFS are available in Windows through FSdriver and rfstool). A modern operating system provides access to a number of resources. typically an operating system or applications software package or computer program running under the operating system kernel.55 English for Computer and IT Engineers through NTFS-3g. evice drivers A device driver is a specific type of computer software developed to allow interaction with hardware devices. and usually provides the requisite interrupt handling necessary for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interfacing needs. 5-2. Typically this constitutes an interface for communicating with the device. 5-1-8. Every model of hardware (even within the same class of device) is different. which is controlled in a new manner. and to external devices like networks via the kernel. The key design goal of device drivers is abstraction. Security A computer being secure depends on a number of technologies working properly. which are available to software running on the system. and others which sho uld not be processed. Newer models also are released by manufacturers that provide more reliable or better performance and these newer models are often controlled differently. both now and in the future. The function of the device driver is then to translate these OS mandated function calls into device specific calls. To solve this problem. and on the other end. While some systems may simply distinguish between "privileged" and "non- 55 . OSes essentially dictate how every type of device should be controlled. should function correctly if a suitable driver is available. In theory a new device. This new driver will ensure that the device appears to operate as usual from the operating systems' point of view for any person. through the specific computer bus or communications subsystem that the hardware is connected to. to interact transparently with a hardware device. The operating system must be capable of distinguishing between requests which should be allowed to be processed. providing commands to and/or receiving data from the device. the requisite interfaces to the operating system and software applications. It is a specialized hardware-dependent computer program which is also operating system specific that enables another program.

storage and retrieval of sensitive or classified information. is the operating . At the operating system level. The United States Government Department of Defense (DoD) created the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC) which is a standard that sets basic requirements for assessing the effectiveness of security. resources may be accessed with no authentication at all (such as reading files over a network share). because the TCSEC was used to evaluate. and each username may have a password. one can install and be running an insecure service. Other methods of authentication. classify and select computer systems being considered for the processing. At the front line of security are hardware devices known as firewalls or intrusion detection/prevention systems. most of which can have compromised security. web sites. there are a number of software firewalls available. such as a login at a connected console or some kind of network connection. or security from an already running program is only possible if all possibly harmful requests must be carried out through interrupts to the operating system kernel. as well as intrusion detection/prevention systems. External requests are often passed through device drivers to the operating system's kernel. such as a user name. and file transfer protocols (FTP). Security of operating systems has long been a concern because of highly sensitive data held on computers. "who has been reading this file?"). Most modern operating systems include a software firewall. Internal security. To establish identity there may be a process of authentication. and not have to be threatened by a security breach because the firewall would deny all traffic trying to connect to the service on that port. they cannot be secured. These would allow tracking of requests for access to resources (such as. email. Network services include offerings such as file sharing. In addition to the allow/disallow model of security. In some cases. where they can be passed onto applications. External security involves a request from outside the computer. Often a username must be quoted. This became of vital importance to operating system makers. Therefore. both of a commercial and military nature. An alternative strategy. a system with a high level of security will also offer auditing options. A software firewall can be configured to allow or deny network traffic to or from a service or application running on the operating system. which is enabled by default. especially connections from the network. and the only sandbox strategy available in systems that do not meet the Popek and Goldberg virtualization requirements. such as Telnet or FTP. If programs can directly access hardware and resources. might be used instead. such as magnetic cards or biometric data./ 56 privileged". print services. systems commonly have a form of requester identity. or carried out directly.

and did not allow concurrent access. User applications.partially due to the number of programs which unnecessarily required administrator rights -. start the process using the unrestricted token. However. are then started with the restricted token. including the Windows Shell. if consent is given (including administrator credentials if the account requesting the elevation is not a member of the administrators group). In this way. they had no concept of access privileges. since a program can potentially bypass the operating system. it allows each user of the system to have private files that the other users cannot tamper with or read. Though Windows XP did have limited accounts. When logging in as a standard user. they implemented only partial memory protection. and so were not true multi-user operating systems. When logging in as a user in the Administrators group. the first user account created during the setup process was an administrator account. a lot of the advantages of being a true multi-user operating system were nullified by the fact that.and so most home users ran as administrator all the time. two separate tokens are assigned. are true multi-user. Internal security is especially relevant for multi-user systems. Windows Vista changes this by introducing a privilege elevation system called User Account Control. but instead either emulates a processor or provides a host for a p-code based system such as Java. and the second is a restricted token similar to what a standard user would receive.57 English for Computer and IT Engineers system not running user programs as native code. They were accordingly widely criticised for lack of security. When an application requests higher privileges or "Run as administrator" is clicked. which was also the default for new accounts. and implement absolute memory protection. 5-2-1. the new logon session is incapable of making changes that would affect the entire system. UAC will prompt for confirmation and. In addition. by contrast. The Windows NT series of operating systems. prior to Windows Vista. the majority of home users did not change to an account type with fewer rights -.[4] 57 . resulting in a reduced privilege environment even under an Administrator account. Internal security is also vital if auditing is to be of any use. The first token contains all privileges typically awarded to an administrator. Example: icrosoft Windows While the Windows 9x series offered the option of having profiles for multiple users. a logon session is created and a token containing only the most basic privileges is assigned. inclusive of bypassing auditing.

OCFS. . Example: Linux/Unix Linux and UNIX both have two tier security. Should a user have to install software or make system-wide changes. a user's memory usage. programs running as a regular user are limited in where they can save files. their total disk usage or quota. which is answered with the computer's root password when prompted. and NILFS. available range of programs' priority settings. they must become the root user temporarily. hobbyists. usualy with the su command. which limits any system-wide changes to the root user. While the root user has virtually unlimited permission to affect system changes. The ext file systems. GFS2. and other functions can also be locked down. ReiserFS. JFS . Linux and UNIX Many Linux distributions support some or all of ext2. ext3. what hardware they can access. One is sometimes said to "go root" when elevating oneself to root access. using the user's own password for authentication instead of the system's root password. The user's settings are stored in an area of the computer's file system called the user's home directory. similar to My Documents on a Windows system. 5-3. or adapted from UNIX. 5-3-1. namely ext2 and ext3 are based on the original Linux file system. For more information on the differences between the Linux su/sudo approach and Vista's User Account Control./ 58 5-2-2. etc. Some systems (such as Ubuntu and its derivatives) are configured by default to allow select users to run programs as the root user via the sudo command. This provides the user with plenty of freedom to do what needs done. their selection of available programs. without being able to put any part of the system in jeopardy (barring accidental triggering of system-level bugs) or make sweeping. system-wide changes. GFS. see Comparison of privilege authorization features. File system support in modern operating systems Support for file systems is highly varied among modern operating systems although there are several common file systems which almost all operating systems include support and drivers for. which is also provided as a location where the user may store their work. a special user account on all UNIX-like systems. XFS . In many systems. Others have been developed by companies to meet their specific needs. Reiser4. OCFS2.

It is possible to install Linux on the majority of these file systems. It is derived from the Hierarchical File System of the earlier Mac OS. for example CDs must use ISO 9660 or UDF.59 English for Computer and IT Engineers Microsoft Windows. NTFS. In recent years support for Microsoft Windows NT's NTFS file system has appeared in Linux. ISO 9660 and UDF are supported which are standard file systems used on CDs. DVDs. NTFS is the only file system which the operating system can be installed on. Recently Apple Inc. 59 . and other operating systems. a file system more suitable for flash drives. 5-3-3. Mac OS X has facilities to read and write FAT. 5-3-2. and other file systems. or even contained within a file located on an another file system.5. along with network file systems shared from other computers. Under Windows each file system is usually limited in application to certain media.0 introduced ExFAT. and HFS which is the primary file system for the Macintosh. ac OS X Mac OS X supports HFS+ with journaling as its primary file system. along with FAT (the MS-DOS file system). and other optical discs such as BluRay. icrosoft Windows Microsoft Windows presently supports NTFS and FAT file systems. Due to its UNIX heritage Mac OS X now supports virtually all the file systems supported by the UNIX VFS. Windows Embedded CE 6. Unlike other operating systems. and is now comparable to the support available for other native UNIX file systems. Details of its design are not known. started work on porting Sun Microsystem's ZFS filesystem to Mac OS X and preliminary support is already available in Mac OS X 10. Linux and UNIX allow any file system to be used regardless of the media it is stored on. but cannot be installed to them. and as of Windows Vista. Linux has full support for XFS and JFS. and the ISO 9660 and UDF filesystems used for CDs. DVDs. whether it is a hard drive. UDF. and BluRay discs. CD or DVD.

A journaled file system writes some information twice: first to the journal. incorporating support for one into the operating system kernel can allow the GUI to be more responsive by reducing the number of context switches required for the ./ 60 5-3-4. In contrast. making file operations time-consuming. the system can recover to a consistent state by replaying a portion of the journal. JFS. digital cameras. which is a log of file system operations. Special purpose file systems FAT file systems are commonly found on floppy discs.6 kernels and Windows Vista that facilitates rewriting to DVDs in the same fashion as has been possible with floppy disks. flash memory cards. the GUI is integrated into the kernel. then to its proper place in the ordinary file system. non-journaled file systems typically need to be examined in their entirety by a utility such as fsck or chkdsk for any inconsistencies after an unclean shutdown. which provides safe recovery in the event of a system crash. Graphical user interfaces Most modern computer systems support graphical user interfaces (GUI). Mount Rainier is a newer extension to UDF supported by Linux 2. and makes poor use of disk space in situations where many small files are present. and many other portable devices because of their relative simplicity. Journalized file systems File systems may provide journaling. In some computer systems. Journaling is handled by the file system driver. In the event of a crash. 5-4. Performance of FAT compares poorly to most other file systems as it uses overly simplistic data structures. eschewing in-place updates. and keeps track of each operation taking place that changes the contents of the disk. and Ext3. While technically a graphical user interface is not an operating system service. such as the original implementations of Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS. Soft updates is an alternative to journaling that avoids the redundant writes by carefully ordering the update operations. ISO 9660 and Universal Disk Format are two common formats that target Compact Discs and DVDs. 5-3-5. Many UNIX file systems provide journaling including ReiserFS. and often include them. Log-structured file systems and ZFS also differ from traditional journaled file systems in that they avoid inconsistencies by always writing new copies of the data.

eventually eclipsed by the widespread adoption of GNOME and KDE. The X Window System in conjunction with GNOME or KDE is a commonly-found setup on most Unix and Unix-like (BSD. most derived from X11. scheduling. which offer alternatives to the included Windows shell. only supported one program at a time. VMS and many others had operating systems that were built this way. though an effort to standardize in the 1990s to COSE and CDE failed for the most part due to various reasons. however versions between Windows NT 4. and execution of jobs on batch processing systems. and. A number of Windows shell replacements have been released for Microsoft Windows. Motif was the prevalent toolkit/desktop combination (and was the basis upon which CDE was developed). and the Mac OS GUI changed dramatically with the introduction of Mac OS X in 2001. Competition among the various vendors of Unix (HP. Numerous Unix-based GUIs have existed over time. IBM. Linux. requiring only a very basic scheduler. separating the graphics subsystem from the kernel and the Operating System. Other operating systems are modular. amongst others.0 and Windows Server 2003's graphics drawing routines exist mostly in kernel space. Graphical user interfaces evolve over time. For example. much later. Examples were produced by UNIVAC and Control Data Corporation. The operating systems originally deployed on mainframes. Windows has modified its user interface almost every time a new major version of Windows is released. Sun) led to much fragmentation. 5-5. commercial computer vendors were supplying quite extensive tools for streamlining the development. the original microcomputer operating systems. Many computer operating systems allow the user to install or create any user interface they desire. Each program was in complete control of the 61 . but the shell itself cannot be separated from Windows. In the 1980s UNIX. Modern releases of Microsoft Windows such as Windows Vista implement a graphics subsystem that is mostly in user-space.61 English for Computer and IT Engineers GUI to perform its output functions. Linux and Mac OS X are also built this way. By the early 1960s. Windows 9x had very little distinction between the interface and the kernel. Minix) systems. istory The first computers did not have operating systems. Prior to open source-based toolkits and desktop environments.

In 1969-70. a UNIX-like operating system which provided protected mode operation for all user programs. such as disk access. Xenix was heavily marketed by Microsoft as a multiuser alternative to its single user MS-DOS operating system. The CPUs of these personal computer. Classic Mac OS. IBM PC compatibles could also run Microsoft Xenix. MS-DOS provided many operating system like features. 98. a UNIX-like operating system from the early 1980s. but ran legacy 16 bit applications using cooperative multitasking). However many DOS programs bypassed it entirely and ran directly on hardware. and MS-DOS came into widespread use on clones of these machines. UNIX first appeared on the PDP-7 and later the PDP-11. Application programs running on these operating systems must yield CPU time to the scheduler when they are not using it. could not facilitate kernel memory protection or provide dual mode operation. Windows NT's underlying operating system kernel which was a designed by essentially the same team as Digital Equipment Corporation's VMS. PC-DOS.0-3. virtual file system support. and a host of other features. . preemptive multi-tasking. IBM's version. memory protection.11 supported only cooperative multitasking (Windows 95. ran on IBM microcomputers. and Microsoft Windows 1. kernel memory protection. including the IBM PC and the IBM PC XT. The 80286-based IBM PC AT was the first computer technically capable of using dual mode operation. & ME supported preemptive multitasking only when running 32 bit applications./ 62 machine while it was running. and a host of other advanced features. either by default. and were very limited in their abilities to take advantage of protected memory. advanced memory management. It soon became capable of providing cross-platform time sharing using preemptive multitasking. and providing memory protection. or by calling a function. Multitasking (timesharing) first came to mainframes in the 1960s. so Microsoft Xenix relied on cooperative multitasking and had no protected memory. UNIX soon gained popularity as an operating system for mainframes and minicomputers alike.

all of these resources are re-claimed by the operating system. data files. in OS/360. An alternative CP-67 system started a whole line of operating systems focused on the concept of virtual machines. and multi-user graphical games. which used plasma panel displays and long-distance time sharing networks. Burroughs Corporation introduced the B5000 in 1961 with the MCP. IBM`s current mainframe operating systems are distant descendants of this original system. the MVS. its interface was an extension of the Dartmouth BASIC operating systems. The AmigaOS did have preemptive multitasking. For instance. and so on. This concept of a single OS spanning an entire product line was crucial for the success of System/360 and.63 English for Computer and IT Engineers Classic AmigaOS and Windows 1. Like many commercial timesharing systems. the KRONOS and later the NOS operating systems were developed during the 1970s. the resources might not be freed up for new programs until the machine was restarted. which supported simultaneous batch and timesharing use. applications written for the OS/360 can still be run on modern machines. Control Data Corporation developed the SCOPE operating system in the 1960s. in fact. the operating system keeps track of all of the system resources that are used including storage. When the process is terminated for any reason. Plato was remarkably innovative for its time. In the mid-70's. many major features were pioneered in the field of operating systems. featuring realtime chat. In the late 1970s. Control Data and the University of Illinois developed the PLATO operating system. (Master Control Program) operating system. If a process had to be terminated. for which a single operating system OS/360 was planned (rather than developing ad-hoc programs for every individual model). In cooperation with the University of Minnesota. OS/360 also pioneered a number of concepts that. one of the pioneering efforts in timesharing and programming languages. when a program is started. in some cases. ainframes Through the 1960s. 5-6. locks. The development of the IBM System/360 produced a family of mainframe computers available in widely differing capacities and price points. are still not seen outside of the mainframe arena. the descendant of OS/360 offered the first[citation needed ] implementation of using RAM as a transparent cache for disk resident data. for batch processing.0-Me did not properly track resources allocated by processes at runtime. The B5000 was a stack machine designed to 63 .

In the late 1960s through the late 1970s. The notable supported mainframe operating systems include: y y y y Burroughs MCP -./ 64 exclusively support high-level languages with no machine language or assembler. disks. 1967 to IBM z/VM. and in the early ARPANET community. The enormous investment in software for these systems made since 1960s caused most of the original computer manufacturers to continue to develop compatible operating systems along with the hardware. General Electric and MIT developed General Electric Comprehensive Operating Supervisor (GECOS).B5000. present. MCP is still in use today in the Unisys ClearPath/MCP line of computers. to Unisys Clearpath IX. a dialect of ALGOL. MCP also introduced many other groundbreaking innovations. present. present. present.UNIVAC 1108.IBM System/360. In the 1970s. IBM OS/360 -. which introduced the concept of ringed security privilege levels. After acquisition by Honeywell it was renamed to General Comprehensive Operating System (GCOS). UNIVAC produced the Real-Time Basic (RTB) system to support largescale time sharing. But soon other means of achieving application compatibility were proven to be more significant. In fact most 360's after the 360/40 (except the 360/165 and 360/168) were microprogrammed implementations. several hardware capabilities evolved that allowed similar or ported software to run on more than one system. . the first commercial computer manufacturer. TOPS-10 was a particularly popular system in universities. IBM CP-67 -. including TOPS-10 and TOPS-20 time sharing systems for the 36bit PDP-10 class systems. UNIVAC. UNIVAC EXEC 8 -. this was a batch-oriented system that managed magnetic drums. such as being the first commercial implementation of virtual memory. and indeed the MCP was the first OS to be written exclusively in a high-level language ± ESPOL. Early systems had utilized microprogramming to implement features on their systems in order to permit different underlying architecture to appear to be the same as others in a series. also patterned after the Dartmouth BASIC system. Prior to the widespread use of UNIX. Like all early main-frame systems. 1964. produced a series of EXEC operating systems. Digital Equipment Corporation developed many operating systems for its various computer lines. card readers and line printers. 1966 to IBM z/OS.IBM System/360.1961 to Unisys Clearpath/MCP.

65 English for Computer and IT Engineers 65 .

information indexing and retrieval. disciplined and quantifiable approaches towards successful development of high-quality. information engineering. modelling and simulation. and evaluation. Web engineering The World Wide Web has become a major delivery platform for a variety of complex and sophisticated enterprise applications in several domains. techniques. Web engineering is neither a clone. ubiquitously usable Web-based systems and applications. and guidelines to meet the unique requirements of Web-based applications. Web engineering actively promotes systematic.66 6. or computer application development. contributing to problems of usability. However. it encompasses new approaches. these Web applications exhibit complex behavior and place some unique demands on their usability. performance. testing. Web application development has certain characteristics that make it different from traditional software. Web engineering focuses on the methodologies. tools. techniques and tools that are the foundation of Web application development and which support their design. and graphic design and presentation. In addition to their inherent multifaceted functionality. hypermedia/hypertext engineering. While Web development can benefit from established practices from other related disciplines. . Web engineering is multidisciplinary and encompasses contributions from diverse areas: systems analysis and design. maintainability. project management. human-computer interaction. While Web Engineering uses software engineering principles. In particular. As an emerging discipline. evolution. software engineering. nor a subset of software engineering. there have been some developments towards addressing these problems and requirements. a vast majority of these applications continue to be developed in an adhoc way. user interface. it has certain distinguishing characteristics that demand special considerations. quality and reliability. In the recent years. methodologies. requirements engineering. although both involve programming and software development. security and ability to grow and evolve. information system. development.

etc. XHTML. Plug-ins are also embedded into web pages by using HTML or XHTML tags. animations. and execution of electronic media content delivery via Internet in the form of technologies (such as markup languages) suitable for interpretation and display by a web browser or other web-based graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Displaying more complex media (vector graphics. Improvements in the various browsers' compliance with W3C standards prompted a widespread acceptance of XHTML and XML in conjunction with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to position and manipulate web page elements. or XML tags. Web design Web page design is a process of conceptualization. modeling. Such elements as text. QuickTime. and bit-mapped images (GIFs. The latest 67 D . JPEGs. Java run-time environment. Figure 6-1: An example of a web page that uses CSS La outs The intent of web design is to create a web site (a collection of electronic files residing on one or more web servers) that presents content (including interactive features or interfaces) to the end user in the form of web pages once requested. sounds) usually requires plugins such as Flash. forms. PNGs) can be placed on the page using HTML.67 English for Computer and IT Engineers 6-1. videos. planning.

As the Web and web design progressed. the markup language changed to become more complex and flexible. database modifications. With . Perl.Web engineering 68 standards and proposals aim at leading to the various browsers' ability to deliver a wide variety of media and accessibility options to the client possibly without employing plug-ins. ASP. such as interactive CD-ROM design).). JSP. This was new and different from existing forms of communication users could easily navigate to other pages by following hyperlinks from page to page. there is a strong tendency to draw a clear line between web design specifically for web pages and web development for the overall logistics of all web-based services. etc.) to alter DOM elements (DHTML). Websites are written in a markup language called HTML. etc. Python. which were originally intended to be used to display tabular information. and early versions of HTML were very basic. istory Tim Berners-Lee published what is considered to be the first website in August 1991. media players and PDF reader plug-ins. Typically web pages are classified as static or dynamic.) Content can be changed on the client side (end-user's computer) by using client-side scripting languages (JavaScript. but limited to browsing information stored on a single computer. y Static pages don¶t change content and layout with every request unless a human (web master or programmer) manually updates the page. Actionscript. Dynamic pages adapt their content and/or appearance depending on the end-user¶s input or interaction or changes in the computing environment (user. y With growing specialization within communication design and information technology fields. were soon subverted for use as invisible layout devices. only giving websites basic structure (headings and paragraphs). Features like tables. giving the ability to add objects like images and tables to a page. Berners-Lee was the first to combine Internet communication (which had been carrying email and the Usenet for decades) with hypertext (which had also been around for decades. 6-2-1. Coldfusion. JScript. etc. time. and the ability to link using hypertext. Dynamic content is often compiled on the server utilizing server-side scripting languages (PHP. Both approaches are usually used in complex applications.

tens of thousands of web design companies have been established around the world to serve the growing demand for such work. The first page of a web site is known as the Home page or Index. The visibility: the site must also be easy to find via most. As times change. where each page of the book is a web page. major search engines and advertisement media. Splash pages might include a welcome message. many web design companies have been established in technology parks in the developing world as well as many Western design companies setting up offices in countries such as India. language or region 69 . table-based layout is increasingly regarded as outdated. For non-commercial web sites. The appearance: the graphics and text should include a single style that flows throughout. A web site typically consists of text and images. Web Site esign A Web site is a collection of information about a particular topic or subject. new aspects may emerge. There are many aspects (design concerns) in this process. and due to the rapid development of the Internet. with the interface and navigation simple and reliable. and Russia to take advantage of the relatively lower labor rates found in such countries. Romania. Database integration technologies such as server-side scripting and design standards like W3C further changed and enhanced the way the Web is made. the goals may vary depending on the desired exposure and response. A web page consists of information for which the web site is developed. 6-2-2. As with much of the information technology industry. A web site might be compared to a book. and information on the site should be relevant to the site and should target the area of the public that the website is concerned with. The style should be professional. to show consistency. websites are changing the code on the inside and visual design on the outside with ever-evolving programs and utilities. the basic aspects of design are: y y y y The content: the substance. The usability: the site should be user-friendly. appealing and relevant. Some web sites use what is commonly called a Splash Page. Designing a web site is defined as the arrangement and creation of web pages that in turn make up a web site. With the progression of the Web.69 English for Computer and IT Engineers the advent of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). For typical commercial web sites. if not all.

voice command. These design considerations are often overlooked. Once published. Many web pages are still disconnected from larger projects. After each web page is created. social networking. that the web site receives. particularly where commercial web sites are concerned. cell phone number pad. customer transactions. and less than optimal use of web pages. Each web page within a web site is an HTML file which has its own URL. they are typically linked together using a navigation menu composed of hyperlinks. intranets and extranets as there is now. it must be published or uploaded in order to be viewable to the public over the internet. or hits. including the size of the browser window. exchanging links with other web sites.Web engineering 70 selection. creating affiliations with similar web sites. E G F . 6-2-3. or lack of concern for the larger project in order to facilitate collaboration. or disclaimer. Special design considerations are necessary for use within these larger projects. Web pages were mainly static online brochures disconnected from the larger projects. This may include submitting the web site to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Once a web site is completed. especially in cases where there is a lack of leadership. there wasn't as much collaboration between web designs and larger advertising campaigns. Lack of collaboration in desi n In the early stages of the web. lack of understanding of why and technical knowledge of how to integrate. there are conflicts between differing goals and methods of web site designs. This may be done using an FTP client. This often results in unhealthy competition or compromise between departments. Issues As in collaborative designs. Faster browsing speeds have led to shorter attention spans and more demanding online visitors and this has resulted in less use of Splash Pages. the web browser used. the input devices used (mouse. These are a few of the ongoing ones.) and the size and characteristics of available fonts. the web master may use a variety of techniques to increase the traffic. text. touch screen. Li uid versus fi ed layouts On the web the designer has no control over several factors. etc. etc.

Flash Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a proprietary. Both liquid and fixed design developers must make decisions about how the design should degrade on higher and lower screen resolutions. This is a fixed layout that optimally scales the content of the page without changing the arrangement or text wrapping when the browser is resized. Proponents of liquid design prefer greater compatibility and using the screen space available. This allows the designer to avoid coding for the browser choices making up The Long Tail. or by using HTML tables (or more semantic divs) set to a percentage of the page. no matter what the size of the browser window.71 English for Computer and IT Engineers Some designers choose to control the appearance of the elements on the screen by using specific width designations. According to a study. Depending on the purpose of the content. 71 . requiring a proprietary plugin to be seen. Flash is much more restrictive than the open HTML format. This control may be achieved through the use of a HTML table-based design or a more semantic div-based design through the use of CSS. Proponents of fixed width design prefer precise control over the layout of a site and the precision placement of objects on the page. or a portion of the screen. by avoiding styling the page altogether. Flash is not a standard produced by a vendor-neutral standards organization like most of the core protocols and formats on the Internet. 98% of US Web users have the Flash Player installed. robust graphics animation or application development program used to create and deliver dynamic content. Whenever the text. A liquid design is one where the design moves to flow content into the whole screen. Liquid design can be achieved through the use of CSS. Sometimes the pragmatic choice is made to flow the design between a minimum and a maximum width. Similar to liquid layout is the optional fit to window feature with Adobe Flash content. while still using all available screen space. and it does not integrate with most web browser UI features like the "Back" button. a web designer may decide to use either fixed or liquid layouts on a case-by-case basis. and layout of a design do not change as the browser changes. media (such as sound and video). though. images. and interactive applications over the web via the browser. this is referred to as a fixed width design. Numbers vary depending on the detection scheme and research demographics. Other designers choose a liquid design.

for example) or Section 508 compliant. The most recent incarnation of Flash's scripting language (called "ActionScript". Flash detractors claim that Flash websites tend to be poorly designed. Other sites may use Flash content combined with HTML as conservatively as gifs or jpegs would be used. XML. and can result in much better visibility for the page. Flash can use embedded fonts instead of the standard fonts installed on most computers. allowing the use of CSS. such as respecting the browser's font size and allowing blind users to use screen readers. the popular solution available for designers to lay out a Web page was by using tables. There are many sites which forgo HTML entirely for Flash. Many web templates in Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG editors still use this HH versus tables for layout . search engines have been unable to index Flash objects. It is possible to specify alternate content to be displayed for browsers that do not support Flash. which has prevented sites from having their contents easily found. or it's incompatibility with common browser features such as the back button. Flash may also be used to protect content from unauthorized duplication or searching. dynamic Flash objects may be used to replace standard HTML elements (such as headers or menu links) with advanced typography not possible via regular HTML or CSS (see Scalable Inman Flash Replacement).Web engineering 72 Many graphic artists use Flash because it gives them exact control over every part of the design. and often use confusing and non-standard user-interfaces. small. the vast majority of Flash websites are not disability accessible (for screen readers. Using alternate content also helps search engines to understand the page. such as the inability to scale according to the size of the web browser. but with smaller vector file sizes and the option of faster loading animations. Actionscript 2. Up until recently. and anything can be animated and generally "jazz up". Often even simple designs for a page would require dozens of tables nested in each other. and the design of class-based web applications. Alternatively. which is an ECMA language similar to JavaScript) incorporates long-awaited usability features. This is because many search engine crawlers rely on text to index websites.0 is an Object-Oriented language. However. C When Netscape Navigator 4 dominated the browser market. Some ed application designers enjoy Flash because it lets them create applications that do not have to be refreshed or go to a new web page every time an action occurs. An additional issue is that sites which commonly use alternate content for search engines to their huma visitors are n usually judged to be spamming search engines and are automatically banned.

and fulllength footers in a design using absolute positions. However. and the dominant browsers such as Internet Explorer became more W3C compliant.1 or CSS 3 to properly structured markup. developing Web sites in CSS often becomes a matter of trying to replicate what can be done with tables. such as vertical positioning. one of the main points against CSS is that by relying on it exclusively. However. For designers who are used to table-based layouts. After the browser wars subsided.5. which. designing with reasonable adherence to standards involves little more than applying CSS 2. some people continue to use old browsers. so it simply wasn't used. the W3 Consortium has made CSS in combination with XHTML the standard for web design. are becoming the new Netscape Navigator 4 ² a block that holds the World Wide Web back from converting to CSS design. and allow for graceful degrading of pages in older browsers. Most notable among these old browsers are Internet Explorer 5 and 5. On the other side of the issue. However. Form versus Function Some web developers have a graphic arts background and may pay more attention to how a page looks than considering other issues such as how visitors are going to find the page via a search engine. though. With the abundance of CSS resources available online today. Navigator 4 didn't support CSS to a useful degree. This is especially a problem as not every browser supports the same subset of CSS rules. according to some web designers. leading some to find CSS design rather cumbersome due to lack of familiarity. which helps bots and search engines understand what's going on in a web page.73 English for Computer and IT Engineers technique today. designers started turning toward CSS as an alternate means of laying out their pages. not for layout. search engine optimization consultants (SEOs) are concerned with how well a web site works 73 . and designers need to keep this in mind. For example. Using CSS instead of tables also returns HTML to a semantic markup. CSS proponents say that tables should be used only for tabular data. These days most modern browsers have solved most of these quirks in CSS rendering and this has made many different CSS layouts possible. All modern Web browsers support CSS with different degrees of limitations. at one time it was rather difficult to produce certain design elements. Some might rely more on advertising than search engines to attract visitors to the site. control is essentially relinquished as each browser has its own quirks which result in a slightly different page display.

and the SEO wants lots of 'ugly' keyword-rich text. Another problem when using lots of graphics on a page is that download times can be greatly lengthened.) However. Because some graphics serve communication purposes in addition to aesthetics. As a result. assuming looks don't contribute to the sales.e. and text links. Accessible Web design To be accessible. bullet lists. This is an engineering challenge to increase bandwidth in addition to an artistic challenge to minimize graphics and graphic file sizes. (e. web page) Semantic markup also refers to semantically organizing the web page structure and publishing web services description accordingly so that they can be recognized by other web services on different web pages. author the page so that when the source code is read line-by-line by user agents (such as a screen readers) it remains intelligible. the designers and SEOs often end up in disputes where the designer wants more 'pretty' graphics. This is an on-going challenge as increased bandwidth invites increased amounts of content. images. multimedia) use hyperlinks that make sense when read out of context. how well a site works may depend on the graphic designer's visual communication ideas as well as the SEO considerations. and how many sales it makes.") don't use frames use CSS rather than HTML Tables for layout. (Using tables for design will often result in information that is not. Standards for semantic web are set by IEEE use a valid markup language that conforms to a published DTD or Schema provide text equivalents for any non-text components (e.g. 6-2-4. web pages and sites must conform to certain accessibility principles. These can be grouped into the following main areas: y y y y y y y y use semantic markup that provides a meaningful structure to the document (i.g. avoid "Click Here. One could argue that this is a false dichotomy due to the possibility that a web design may integrate the two disciplines for a collaborative and synergistic solution.Web engineering 74 technically and textually: how much traffic it generates via search engines. This has become less of a problem as the internet has evolved with high-speed internet and the use of vector graphics. . W3C permits an exception where tables for layout either make sense when linearized or an alternate version (perhaps linearized) is made available. often irritating the user.


English for Computer and IT Engineers

Website accessibility is also changing as it is impacted by Content Management Systems that allow changes to be made to webpages without the need of obtaining programming language knowledge.

6-2-5. Website Planning
Before creating and uploading a website, it is important to take the time to plan exactly what is needed in the website. Thoroughly considering the audience or target market, as well as defining the purpose and deciding what content will be developed are extremely important.

It is essential to define the purpose of the website as one of the first steps in the planning process. A purpose statement should show focus based on what the website will accomplish and what the users will get from it. A clearly defined purpose will help the rest of the planning process as the audience is identified and the content of the site is developed. Setting short and long term goals for the website will help make the purpose clear and plan for the future when expansion, modification, and improvement will take place. Also, goal-setting practices and measurable objectives should be identified to track the progress of the site and determine success.

Defining the audience is a key step in the website planning process. The audience is the group of people who are expected to visit your website ± the market being targeted. These people will be viewing the website for a specific reason and it is important to know exactly what they are looking for when they visit the site. A clearly defined purpose or goal of the site as well as an understanding of what visitors want to do or feel when they come to your site will help to identify the target audience. Upon considering who is most likely to need or use the content, a list of characteristics common to the users such as:
y y y y

Audience Characteristics Information Preferences Computer Specifications Web Experience

Taking into account the characteristics of the audience will allow an effective website to be created that will deliver the desired content to the target audience.


Web engineering 76

Content evaluation and organization requires that the purpose of the website be clearly defined. Collecting a list of the necessary content then organizing it according to the audience's needs is a key step in website planning. In the process of gathering the content being offered, any items that do not support the defined purpose or accomplish target audience objectives should be removed. It is a good idea to test the content and purpose on a focus group and compare the offerings to the audience needs. The next step is to organize the basic information structure by categorizing the content and organizing it according to user needs. Each category should be named with a concise and descriptive title that will become a link on the website. Planning for the site's content ensures that the wants or needs of the target audience and the purpose of the site will be fulfilled.

Compatibility and restrictions
Because of the market share of modern browsers (depending on your target market), the compatibility of your website with the viewers is restricted. For instance, a website that is designed for the majority of websurfers will be limited to the use of valid XHTML 1.0 Strict or older, Cascading Style Sheets Level 1, and 1024x768 display resolution. This is because Internet Explorer is not fully W3C standards compliant with the modularity of XHTML 1.1 and the majority of CSS beyond 1. A target market of more alternative browser (e.g. Firefox and Opera) users allow for more W3C compliance and thus a greater range of options for a web designer. Another restriction on webpage design is the use of different Image file formats. The majority of users can support GIF, JPEG, and PNG (with restrictions). Again Internet Explorer is the major restriction here, not fully supporting PNG's advanced transparency features, resulting in the GIF format still being the most widely used graphic file format for transparent images. Many website incompatibilities go unnoticed by the designer and unreported by the users. The only way to be certain a website will work on a particular platform is to test it on that platform.

Planning documentation
Documentation is used to visually plan the site while taking into account the purpose, audience and content, to design the site structure, content and interactions that are most suitable for the website. Documentation may be considered a


English for Computer and IT Engineers

prototype for the website ± a model which allows the website layout to be reviewed, resulting in suggested changes, improvements and/or enhancements. This review process increases the likelihood of success of the website. First, the content is categorized and the information structure is formulated. The information structure is used to develop a document or visual diagram called a site map. This creates a visual of how the web pages will be interconnected, which helps in deciding what content will be placed on what pages. There are three main ways of diagramming the website structure:
y y y

Linear Website Diagrams will allow the users to move in a predetermined sequence; Hierarchical structures (of Tree Design Website Diagrams) provide more than one path for users to take to their destination; Branch Design Website Diagrams allow for many interconnections between web pages such as hyperlinks within sentences.

In addition to planning the structure, the layout and interface of individual pages may be planned using a storyboard. In the process of storyboarding, a record is made of the description, purpose and title of each page in the site, and they are linked together according to the most effective and logical diagram type. Depending on the number of pages required for the website, documentation methods may include using pieces of paper and drawing lines to connect them, or creating the storyboard using computer software. Some or all of the individual pages may be designed in greater detail as a website wireframe, a mock up model or comprehensive layout of what the page will actually look like. This is often done in a graphic program, or layout design program. The wireframe has no working functionality, only planning.

6-3. Web page
A web page or webpage is a resource of information that is suitable for the World Wide Web and can be accessed through a web browser. This information is usually in HTML or XHTML format, and may provide navigation to other web pages via hypertext links.


Web engineering


Figure 6-2: A screenshot of a web page.

Web pages may be retrieved from a local computer or from a remote web server. The web server may restrict access only to a private network, e.g. a corporate intranet, or it may publish pages on the World Wide Web. Web pages are requested and served from web servers using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Web pages may consist of files of static text stored within the web server's file system (static web pages), or the web server may construct the (X)HTML for each web page when it is requested by a browser (dynamic web pages). Client-side scripting can make web pages more responsive to user input once in the client browser.

6-3-1. Color, typography, illustration and interaction
Web pages usually include instructions as to the colors of text and backgrounds and very often also contain links to images and sometimes other media to be included in the final view. Layout, typographic and color-scheme information is provided by Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) instructions, which can either be embedded in the HTML or can be provided by a separate file, which is referenced from within the HTML. The latter case is especially relevant where one lengthy stylesheet is relevant to a whole website: due to the way HTTP works, the browser will only download it once from the web server and use the cached copy for the whole site.(notepad) Images are stored on the web server as separate files, but again HTTP allows for the fact that once a web page is downloaded to a browser, it is quite likely that related files such as images and stylesheets will be requested as it is processed. An

scrolling back and forth for every line is much more inconvenient than scrolling after reading a whole screen. and many computer mice have vertical scroll wheels. linked downloads specified in the HTML (using for example . These scripts may run on the client computer. network bandwidth or merely to simplify their browsing experience. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) recommend that all web pages should be designed with all of these options in mind. if the user allows them to. like Internet Explorer. not only because those pages do not print properly. styles and color schemes selected by the web page designer and may apply their own CSS styling to their viewed version of the page. or they may use a more specialized voice browser in the first place. Users may also prefer not to use the fonts. or can be text-based. like CSS stylesheets. endering Web pages will often require more screen space than is available for a particular display resolution. but the horizontal scrolling 79 . 6-3-2. Web users with visual impairments may use a screen reader to read out the displayed text. Mozilla Firefox. like Lynx. also most computer keyboards have page up and down keys. Scrolling horizontally is less prevalent than vertical scrolling.1 web server will maintain a connection with the browser until all related resources have been requested and provided. Most modern browsers will place scrollbars (the bar at the side of the screen that allows you to move down) in the window to allow the user to see all content. but because it inconveniences the user more so than vertical scrolling would (because lines are horizontal. 6-3-3.79 English for Computer and IT Engineers HTTP 1. and can provide a degree of interactivity between the web page and the user after the page has downloaded. Such users will want to enjoy the benefit of the web page without images and other visual media. Users of fully graphical browsers may still disable the download and viewing of images and other media. as separate. font sizes. Client-sides computer code such as JavaScript or code implementing Ajax techniques can be provided either embedded in the HTML of a web page or. or Opera. Browsers usually render images along with the text and other material on the displayed web page.js file extensions for JavaScript files). Browsers A web browser can have a Graphical User Interface. to save time.

Web engineering 80 equivalents are rare).html. Frames have been known to cause problems with navigation. this index page can have many different names. printing.htm and index. to remain in one place while the main content can be scrolled as necessary. A website will typically contain a group of web pages that are linked together. display resolutions. Depending on the web server settings. the effect frames provide can be made possible using a smaller amount of code and by using only one web page to display the same amount of content. or no such file exists on the server. such as page navigation or page headers.. Frames are rendered very differently. . reating a web page To create a web page. as well as those users with audio or visual impairments. or any URL pointing to a directory rather than a specific file. CSS. In order to upload the created web page to a web server. either an error or directory listing will be served to the browser. the usage of frames is typically frowned upon in professional web page development communities. traditionally an FTP client is needed. A web page can either be a single HTML file. or have some other coherent method of navigation. Their primary usage is to allow certain content which is usually meant to be static. When a browser visits the homepage for a website. When web pages are stored in a common directory of a web server. and search engine rankings. but the most common are index. although these problems occur mostly in older-generation browsers. depending on the host browser and for this reason. it is important to ensure it conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards for HTML. they become a website. the web server will serve the index page to the requesting browser. However. The most important web page to have on a website is the index page. Another merit of using a framed web page is that only the content in the "main" frame will be reloaded. XML and other standards. The W3C standards are in place to ensure all browsers which conform to their standards can display identical content without any special consideration for proprietary rendering techniques. With design technologies such as CSS becoming more widespread in their usage. When creating a web page. 6-3-4. a text editor or a specialized HTML editor is needed. web pages may utilize page widening for various purposes. If no index page is defined in the configuration. A properly coded web page is going to be accessible to many different browsers old and new alike. or made up of several HTML files represented using frames.

as well as links being changed to absolute y Saving the HTML file including all images. like a Wiki. are rendered into print with this 81 . Depending on the browser settings. menus and other navigation items. These web publishing tools offer free page creation and hosting up to a certain size limit.All images will be saved. Mozilla Firefox and Opera. this is what is being viewed. stylesheets and scripts into a single MHTML file. like Mozilla Firefox. sometimes without the user realizing it. or Angelfire. for example by use of CSS. Some web pages are designed. Saving a web page While one is viewing a web page. Mozilla. Web Templates let web page designers edit the content of a web page without having to worry about the overall aesthetics. Many people publish their own web pages using products like Geocities from Yahoo. although some links may be broken Saving the HTML file and changing relative links to absolute ones Hyperlinks will be preserved Saving the entire web page . WordPress. give the option to not only print the currently viewed web page to a printer. which will be useless on paper. Other ways of making a web page is to download specialized software. Wikipedia. This is supported by Internet Explorer. a copy of it is saved locally. this copy may be deleted at any time. and Invision Power Board are examples of the above three web page options.Hyperlinks are not identified. or stored indefinitely. Most GUI browsers will contain all the options for saving a web page more permanently. A design can be made according to one's own preference. 6-3-5. Tripod. but are not limited to: y y y Saving the rendered text without formatting or images . but displayed as plain text Saving the HTML file as it was served . CMS. but optionally to "print" to a file which can be viewed or printed later. Internet Explorer and Opera. Mozilla and Mozilla Firefox only support this if the MAF plugin has been installed. so that hyperlinks. These options allow for quick and easy creation of a web page which is typically dynamic. These include. or a pre-made web template can be used.Overall structure will be preserved. or forum.81 English for Computer and IT Engineers The design of a web page is highly personal. An MHTML file is based upon the MHTML standard. Common web browsers.

Space-wasting menus and navigational blocks may be absent from the printed version. other hyperlinks may be shown with the link destinations made explicit. . either within the body of the page or listed at the end.Web engineering 82 in mind.

Elements have two basic properties: attributes and content. 83 . and other objects. an initialism of yperText arkup Language. Each attribute and each element's content has certain restrictions that must be followed for an HTML document to be considered valid. The Hello world program. character-based data types. surrounded by angle brackets. and markup languages is made of 10 lines of code in HTML. <element-name>) and an end tag (e. to some degree.g. paragraphs. Elements Elements are the basic structure for HTML markup. Another important component is the document type declaration. HTML can also describe. is the predominant markup language for Web pages. headings. and character references and entity references. including elements (and their attributes).g. a common computer program employed for comparing programming languages. embedded images. albeit line breaks are optional: <html> <head> <title>Hello HTML</title> </head> <body> <span>Hello World!</span> </body> </html> 7-1-1. Files and URLs containing HTML often have a . and so on ² and to supplement that text with interactive forms. 7-1. T L T L.83 English for Computer and IT Engineers 7. An element usually has a start tag (e. HTML is written in the form of tags. and can include embedded scripting language code (such as JavaScript) which can affect the behavior of Web browsers and other HTML processors.html filename extension. lists. scripting languages. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a document ² by denoting certain text as links. the appearance and semantics of a document. T L markup HTML markup consists of several key components.

1 requires the use of an anchor element to create a hyperlink in the flow of text: <a>Wikipedia</a>. separated by "=". The element's attributes are contained in the start tag and content is located between the tags (e. and written within the start tag of an element. However.g. The value may be enclosed in single or double quotes.gif" /></a> 7-1-2. HTML up through version XHTML 1. namely <strong>strong emphasis</strong> and <em>emphasis</em> respectively. which would be rendered in a browser in a manner similar to the "HTML markup" title at the start of this section. For example. Attributes Most of the attributes of an element are name-value pairs. Presentational markup describes the appearance of the text.org/">Wikipedia</a>. Text may be further styled with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). they are not equivalent to their presentational counterparts: it would be undesirable for a screenreader to emphasize the name of a book.0 specification.wikipedia. . such as <br>. For example <b>boldface</b> indicates that visual output devices should render "boldface" in bold text. <h2>Golf</h2> establishes "Golf" as a second-level heading. although values consisting of certain characters can be left unquoted in HTML (but not XHTML). but on a screen such a name would be italicized. Structural markup does not denote any specific rendering. after the element's name. Hypertext markup links parts of the document to other documents. but gives no indication what devices which are unable to do this (such as aural devices that read the text aloud) should do. Structural markup describes the purpose of text. will render the word "Wikipedia" as a hyperlink. Most presentational markup elements have become deprecated under the HTML 4. It is easier to see how an aural user agent should interpret the latter two elements. In contrast with name-value pair attributes.HTML 84 </element-name>).To link on an image. <element-name attribute="value">Content</elementname>). there are elements which usually have an equivalent visual rendering but are more semantic in nature. In the case of both <b>bold</b> and <i>italic</i>. do not have any content and must not have a closing tag. regardless of its function. in favor of CSS based style design. Listed below are several types of markup elements used in HTML. but most Web browsers have standardized on how elements should be formatted. for instance. Some elements. However. Leaving attribute values unquoted is considered unsafe. the href attribute must also be set to a valid URL so for example the HTML code. the anchor tag use the following syntax: <a href="url"><img src="image. <a href="http://en.

The title attribute is used to attach subtextual explanation to an element. It is considered better practice to use an element¶s son.0." title="Hypertext Markup Language">HTML</span> This example displays as HTML. an HTML document might use the designation class="notation" to indicate that all elements with this class value are subordinate to the main text of the document.id page and select the element with a stylesheet.050 numeric character references. y y y The generic inline element span can be used to demonstrate these various attributes: <span id="anId" class="aClass" style="color:blue." Most elements also take the language-related attributes lang and dir.114. For example. Most elements can take any of several common attributes: y The id attribute provides a document-wide unique identifier for an element.85 English for Computer and IT Engineers there are some attributes that affect the element simply by their presence in the start tag of the element (like the ismap attribute for the img element). both of which allow individual 85 . HTML defines a set of 252 character entity references and a set of 1. Such elements might be gathered together and presented as footnotes on a page instead of appearing in the place where they occur in the HTML source. In most browsers this attribute is displayed as what is often referred to as a tooltip. though sometimes this can be too cumbersome for a simple ad hoc application of styled properties. or by scripts to alter the contents or presentation of an element. by browsers to focus attention on the specific element. pointing the cursor at the abbreviation should display the title text "Hypertext Markup Language. haracter and entity references As of version 4. This can be used by stylesheets to provide presentational properties. An author may use the style non-attributal codes presentational properties to a particular element. The class attribute provides a way of classifying similar elements for presentation purposes. 7-1-3. in most browsers.

rather than markup. the letters in eacute. when used to quote an attribute value.. browsers tend to be very forgiving. or &#38. without any reference to how this . semantic HTML refers to an objective and a practice to create documents with HTML that contain only the author's intended meaning. or &#x26. 7-2. or &#39. a literal < normally indicates the start of a tag. names. and so on. can be written in any HTML document as the entity reference &eacute. Semantic HT L There is no official specification called "Semantic HTML". URIs. a character typically found only on Western European keyboards. or as the numeric references &#233. and & normally indicates the start of a character entity reference or numeric character reference. The characters comprising those references (that is. The ability to "escape" characters in this way allows for the characters < and & (when written as &lt. respectively) to be interpreted as character data.. rather than literally. and a plethora of types for attribute values. All of these data types are specializations of character data. The single-quote character ('). when it appears within the attribute value itself. though the strict flavors of HTML discussed below are a push in that direction. must also be escaped as &#x27. the acute-accented e (é). (should NOT be escaped as &apos. the &. However.HTML 86 characters to be written via simple markup. since document authors often overlook the need to escape these characters. or &#x22. and &amp. and so on) are available on all keyboards and are supported in all character encodings. including IDs. allows & to be included in the content of elements or the values of attributes. such as script data and stylesheet data. character encodings. whereas the literal é is not. The double-quote character ("). dates and times. colors. 7-1-4. writing it as &amp. media descriptors. ata types HTML defines several data types for element content. or &#xE9. the . Escaping also allows for characters that are not easily typed or that aren't even available in the document's character encoding to be represented within the element and attribute content. A literal character and its markup counterpart are considered equivalent and are rendered identically. except in XHTML documents) when it appears within the attribute value itself. treating them as markup only when subsequent text appears to confirm that intent. units of length. For example. numbers. or &#34. For example. when used to quote an attribute value.. must also be escaped as &quot. Rather. languages.

However. To avoid the use of presentational markup (elements. the development and proliferation of CSS has led to increasing support for semantic HTML. attributes. emphasizing something is different from listing the title of a book. Semantic HTML also requires complementary specifications and software compliance with these specifications. So for example. every similar element receives the same presentation properties. Often the emphasis element is displayed in italics. See separation of style and content. for example. so the presentation is typically the same. A classic example is the distinction between the emphasis element (<em>) and the italics element (<i>). a book title would use a different element than emphasized text uses (for example a <span>). 2. With the development of CSS. the need to include presentational properties in a document has virtually disappeared. In purely semantic HTML. the <cite> element is not specific enough to this task. Primarily. like HTML 4. the book title from above would need to have its own element and class specified. With the advent and refinement of CSS and the increasing support for it in Web browsers. every quotation. it ensures consistency in style across elements that have the same meaning.87 English for Computer and IT Engineers meaning is presented or conveyed. the <cite> element is used because it most closely matches the meaning of this phrase in the text. CSS provides a way to separate document semantics from the content's presentation. and lists. Every heading. because CSS provides designers with a rich language to alter the presentation of semantic-only documents. and <i> (italics). instead of using markup which is written for visual purposes only. because they are meaningfully different things. like headings. like <font>. Some of these elements are not permitted in certain varieties of HTML. quotes. which may also be displayed in italics. <b> (bold). Here. paragraphs.01 Strict. subsequent editions of HTML increasingly stress only using markup that suggests the semantic structure and phrasing of the document. such as <cite class="booktitle">The Grapes of Wrath</cite>. However. First. The goal of semantic HTML requires two things of authors: 1. Semantic HTML offers many advantages. by keeping everything relevant to presentation defined in a CSS file. and other entities). since we mean to cite specifically a book title as opposed to a newspaper article or an academic journal. To use available markup to differentiate the meanings of phrases and structure in the document. 87 .

A third advantage is device independence and repurposing of documents. elivery of HT L HTML documents can be delivered by the same means as any other computer file. using presentation in their very meaning. 7-3. (Of course. should it be written out in words ("two").) Some aspects of authoring documents make separating semantics from style (in other words. the stylesheet's selectors need to match the appropriate properties in the HTML document. On the other hand. A semantic HTML document can be paired with any number of stylesheets to provide output to computer screens (through Web browsers). For example. aural browsers or braille devices for those with visual impairments. however. For these types of elements. To accomplish this. HTTP . 7-4-1. or should it be written as a numeral (2)? A semantic markup might enter something like <number>2</number> and leave presentation details to the stylesheet designers. a table displays content in a tabular form. However. high-resolution printers. Often such content conveys the meaning only when presented in this way. they are most often delivered in one of two forms: over HTTP servers and through e-mail. and so on. Authors would simply indicate quotations when they occur in the text. Similarly.HTML 88 Second. an author might wonder where to break out quotations into separate indented blocks of text: with purely semantic HTML. for a great many of the elements used and meanings conveyed in HTML. nothing needs to be changed in a wellcoded semantic HTML document. the meaning is not so easily separated from their presentation. When writing the number two. for example. meaning from presentation) difficult. Repurposing a table for an aural device typically involves somehow presenting the table as an inherently visual element in an audible form. Readily available stylesheets make this a simple matter of pairing a semantic HTML document with the appropriate stylesheets. the translation is relatively smooth. handheld devices. we frequently present lyrical songs²something inherently meant for audible presentation²and instead present them in textual form on a Web page. such details would be left up to stylesheet designers. and not concern themselves wi h t presentation. semantic HTML frees authors from the need to concern themselves with presentation details. Some elements are hybrids.

htm. Many of these clients include both a GUI editor for composing HTML e-mail messages and a rendering engine for displaying received HTML messages. sound. like emphasized text. because it can be used in phishing/privacy attacks. 7-3-2. To allow the Web browser to know how to handle the document it received. XHTML parsed in this way is not considered either proper XHTML or HTML. A document sent with an XHTML MIME type. but so-called tag soup. it originates from older operating systems and 89 . and because the message size is larger than plain text.0 and later) and the character encoding (see Character encodings in HTML). However. application/xhtml+xml for XHTML 1. However.01 and earlier. might be displayed successfully. 7-3-3. block quotations for replies. an indication of the file format of the document must be transmitted along with the document. A common abbreviation of this is .89 English for Computer and IT Engineers The World Wide Web is composed primarily of HTML documents transmitted from a Web server to a Web browser using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). If the MIME type is not recognized as HTML. even if the document is prefaced with a correct Document Type Declaration. Naming conventions The most common filename extension for files containing HTML is . and a syntax error causes the browser to fail to render the document. is expected to be well-formed XML. or served as text/html. the Web browser should not attempt to render the document as HTML. This vital metadata includes the MIME type (text/html for HTML 4. and other content in addition to HTML. In modern browsers.1 specification. or served as application/xhtml+xml. and diagrams or mathematical formulas that could not easily be described otherwise. the MIME type that is sent with the HTML document affects how the document is interpreted. The same document sent with an HTML MIME type. HT L e-mail Most graphical e-mail clients allow the use of a subset of HTML (often ill-defined) to provide formatting and semantic markup capabilities not available with plain text. Nevertheless. Use of HTML in e-mail is controversial because of compatibility issues. HTTP can be used to serve images. despite this being forbidden by the HTTP 1. because it can confuse spam filters. some Web browsers do examine the contents or URL of the document and attempt to infer the file type. since Web browsers are more lenient with HTML.html.

and the Document Object Model. or HT L. A less common use is to create browser based action games. is a collection of technologies used together to create interactive and animated web sites by using a combination of a static markup language (such as HTML). Some disadvantages of DHTML are that it is difficult to develop and debug due to varying degrees of support among web browsers of the technologies involved. or specific variable values. DHTML allows scripting languages to change variables in a web page's definition language. ynamic HT L ynamic HT L. Those games can be played on all major browsers and they can also be ported to Widgets for Mac OS X and Gadgets for Windows Vista. a number of games were created using DHTML. and ones created by server-side scripting (such as PHP or Perl) where the web server generates content before sending it to the client. but differences between browsers made this difficult: Many techniques had to be implemented in code to enable the games to work on multiple platforms. which has made the design of DHTML games more viable. load occurrence. DHTML is often used to make rollover buttons or drop-down menus on a web page. such as the DOS versions from the 80s and early 90s and FAT. a presentation definition language (such as CSS). as DHTML scripts often tended to not work well between various web browsers. but in an accessible. The term has fallen out of use in recent years. By contrast. standards-compliant way through Progressive Enhancement. not in its ability to generate a unique page with each page load. which in turn affects the look and function of otherwise "static" HTML page content. Recently browsers have been converging towards the web standards. 7-4. which limit file extensions to three letters. Thus the dynamic characteristic of DHTML is the way it functions while a page is viewed. a client-side scripting language (such as JavaScript). a dynamic web page is a broader concept ² any web page generated differently for each user. During the late 1990s and early 2000s. such as unobtrusive JavaScript coding (DOM Scripting). after the page has been fully loaded and during the viewing process.HTML 90 file systems. allow similar effects. and that the variety of screen sizes means the end look can only be fine -tuned on a . This includes pages created by client side scripting. Newer techniques. which are based on DHTML code.

priorities or weights are calculated and assigned to rules. such as Internet Explorer 5. CSS specifies a priority scheme to determine which style rules apply if more than one rule matches against a particular element. Each declaration itself consists of a property. Mozilla Firefox 2.0. so that the results are predictable. and other aspects of document presentation.0+. Syntax CSS has a simple syntax. 7-5. but the language can be applied to any kind of XML document. CSS can also allow the same markup page to be presented in different styles for different rendering methods. In this so-called cascade. ascading Style Sheets ascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. tactile devices. by voice (when read out by a speech-based browser or screen reader) and on Braille-based. CSS can be used locally by the readers of web pages to define colors. is aided by a shared Document Object Model. and Opera 7. Each rule or rule-set consists of one or more selectors and a declaration block. 91 . Development for relatively recent browsers. in print.0+. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML. including SVG and XUL. This separation can improve content accessibility. provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics. Internet media type (MIME type) text/css is registered for use with CSS by RFC 2318 (March 1998). then a semi-colon (. A declaration-block consists of a list of semicolon-separated declarations in braces. The CSS specifications are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). and uses a number of English keywords to specify the names of various style properties. such as on-screen. although there was a basic dynamic system with Netscape Navigator 4. Basic DHTML support was introduced with Internet Explorer 4. fonts. layout. a colon (:). A style sheet consists of a list of rules. and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content (such as by allowing for tableless web design). It is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation (written in CSS). 7-5-1.91 English for Computer and IT Engineers limited number of browser and screen-size combinations.).0.0+. a value.

layout and many other typographic characteristics. Selectors may be combined in other ways too. It is appended to a selector as in a:hover or #elementid:hover. selectors are used to declare which elements a style applies to. which applies a style only when the user 'points to' the visible element. choice of font. In CSS. or only those elements which match a certain attribute. Use of C Prior to CSS. Selectors may apply to all elements of a specific type. The additional presentational markup in the HTML made documents more complex. all h2 headings had to use the HTML font and other presentational elements for each occurrence of that heading type. often repeatedly. within the HTML. whereas a pseudoelement makes a selection that may consist of partial elements. font. to achieve greater specificity and flexibility. usually by holding the mouse cursor over it. :first-line. spacing. size. In print. The W3C now considers II . sub-sub-headings (h3). such as :first-line or :first-letter. CSS allows authors to move much of that information to a separate stylesheet resulting in considerably simpler HTML markup. A pseudo-class selects entire elements. nearly all of the presentational attributes of HTML documents were contained within the HTML markup. for example. In print and on the screen. elements may be matched depending on how they are placed relative to each other in the markup code. "c". especially in CSS 2. text alignment. color and emphasis for these elements is presentational. Prior to CSS.HTML 92 In CSS. borders and sizes had to be explicitly described. etc. and generally more difficult to maintain. Probably the best-known of these is :hover.. say. are defined structurally using HTML. CSS can define color. borders. Headings (h1 elements). A special pseudoclass is :lang(c). background styles.1. It can do so independently for on -screen and printed views. CSS also defines non-visual styles such as the speed and emphasis with which text is read out by aural text readers. a set of pseudo-classes can be used to define further behavior. such as :link or :visited. size. In addition to these. or on how they are nested within the document object model. a kind of match expression. all font colors. sub-headings (h2). Other pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements are. element alignments. :visited or :before. document authors who wanted to assign such typographic characteristics to. presentation is separated from structure.

Depending on their browser and the web site. and alternative style sheets can be specified so that the user can choose between them. in the form of o external stylesheets. specified using the "style" attribute. Sources CSS information can be provided by various sources.g. CSS style information can be either attached as a separate document or embedded in the HTML document. to be applied to all documents. a user may choose from various stylesheets provided by the designers. background: orange !important. and acting as an override.e. so that authors can tailor the presentation appropriately for each medium. User agent style o the default style sheet applied by the user agent. y y y Author styles (style information provided by the web page author). the screen version can be quite different from the printed version. for example. It has therefore deprecated the use of all the original presentational HTML markup. } 93 . Multiple style sheets can be imported. One of the goals of CSS is also to allow users a greater degree of control over presentation. background: green !important. i. e. the browser's default presentation of elements. User style o a local CSS-file specified by the user using options in the web browser.93 English for Computer and IT Engineers the advantages of CSS for defining all aspects of the presentation of HTML pages to be superior to other methods.css containing: h1 { color: white. Different styles can be applied depending on the output device being used. File highlightheaders. } h2 { color: white. blocks of CSS information inside the HTML document itself o inline styles. a separate CSS-file referenced from the document o embedded style. inside the HTML document. style information on a single element. those who find the red italic headings difficult to read may apply other style sheets to the document. may remove all added style and view the site using their browser's default styling or may perhaps override just the red italic heading style without altering other attributes.

Of the nine proposals. History Style sheets have existed in one form or another since the beginnings of SGML in the 1970s. CSS was . Lie and Bos worked together to develop the CSS standard (the 'H' was removed from the name because these style sheets could be applied to other markup languages besides HTML). "!important" means that it prevails over the author specifications. and again with Bert Bos in 1995. and users had less control over how web content was displayed. As HTML grew. By the end of 1996. 7-5-2. nine different style sheet languages were proposed to the W3C's www-style mailing list. CSS allowed a document's style to be influenced by multiple style sheets. the W3C took an interest in the development of CSS. and it organized a workshop toward that end chaired by Steven Pemberton. including Thomas Reardon of Microsoft. Håkon's proposal was presented at the "Mosaic and the Web" conference in Chicago. Illinois in 1994.HTML 94 Such a file is stored locally and is applicable if that has been specified in the browser options. Around this time. with additional members. participating as well. To improve the capabilities of web presentation. the World Wide Web Consortium was being established. it came to encompass a wider variety of stylistic capabilities to meet the demands of web developers. One style sheet could inherit or "cascade" from another. Unlike existing style languages like DSSSL and FOSI. First. permitting a mixture of stylistic preferences controlled equally by the site designer and user. two were chosen as the foundation for what became CSS: Cascading HTML Style Sheets (CHSS) and Stream-based Style Sheet Proposal (SSP). Håkon Wium Lie (now the CTO of Opera Software) proposed Cascading HTML Style Sheets (CHSS) in October 1994. This evolution gave the designer more control over site appearance but at the cost of HTML becoming more complex to write and maintain. Variations in web browser implementations made consistent site appearance difficult. Stream-based Style Sheet Proposal (SSP). a language which has some resemblance to today's CSS. Bert Bos was working on a browser called Argo which used its own style sheet language. This resulted in W3C adding work on CSS to the deliverables of the HTML editorial review board (ERB). Cascading Style Sheets were developed as a means for creating a consistent approach to providing style information for web documents. Håkon and Bert were the primary technical staff on this aspect of the project.

chaired by Lauren Wood of SoftQuad. the ERB was split into three working groups: HTML Working group. chaired by Dan Connolly of W3C. As of July 2008. it was typically incomplete and afflicted with serious bugs. Other browsers followed soon afterwards. DOM Working group. was the first browser to have full (better than 99 percent) CSS1 support. no (finished) browser has fully implemented CSS2. chaired by Chris Lilley of W3C. surpassing Opera. 1997. and Netscape 4.95 English for Computer and IT Engineers ready to become official. with implementation levels varying (see Comparison of layout engines (CSS)). CSS. they were still incorrect in certain areas and were fraught with inconsistencies. Even though early browsers such as Internet Explorer 3 and 4. Early in 1997. the HTML Editorial Review Board (ERB). is still under development as of 2008. which was started in 1998. and the CSS level 1 Recommendation was published in December. and CSS Working group. 1998. It was published as a W3C Recommendation on May 12. The CSS Working Group began tackling issues that had not been addressed with CSS level 1. which had been the leader since its introduction of CSS support 15 months earlier. Difficulty with adoption Although the CSS1 specification was completed in 1996 and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3 was released in that year featuring some limited support for CSS. resulting in the creation of CSS level 2 on November 4. Development of HTML. and the DOM had all been taking place in one group. This meant that already published standards like CSS 2.0 for the Macintosh.x had support for CSS. shipped in March 2000. This was a serious obstacle for the adoption of CSS. The proliferation of such CSS-related inconsistencies and even the variation in feature support has made it difficult for designers to achieve a consistent appearance across platforms. In 2005 the CSS Working Groups decided to enforce the requirements for standards more strictly. CSS level 3. Some authors commonly resort to using 95 .1. When later 'version 5' browsers began to offer a fairly full implementation of CSS. Internet Explorer 5. and many of them additionally implemented parts of CSS2. CSS 3 Selectors and CSS 3 Text were pulled back from Candidate Recommendation to Working Draft level. bugs and other quirks. it would be more than three years before any web browser achieved near-full implementation of the specification.

In the past. images. the Net-Scene company was selling PointPlus Maker to convert PowerPoint files into Compact Slide Show files (using a .css extension). Among its capabilities are support for: y y y y y y Font properties such as typeface and emphasis Color of text. 2004. At the time. and lines of text Alignment of text. border. published in December 1996. and in a few cases.1 became a Candidate Recommendation on February 25. typically adding new features and typically denoted as CSS1. 2005. Currently there are profiles for mobile devices. CSS2. Some CSS2 properties which no browser had successfully implemented were dropped. letters. Variations CSS has various levels and profiles. but css-21 was pulled back to Working Draft status on June 13. and other elements Text attributes such as spacing between words. CSS2. Each level of CSS builds upon the last. padding. and television sets. and positioning for most elements Unique identification and generic classification of groups of attributes The W3C maintains the CSS1 Recommendation. backgrounds. 2007.[3] and only returned to Candidate Recommendation status on July 19.css as mime type application/x-pointplus rather than text/css. some web servers were configured to serve all documents with the filename extension . Profiles are typically a subset of one or more levels of CSS built for a particular device or user interface. CSS 1 The first CSS specification to become an official W3C Recommendation is CSS level 1. Problems with browsers' patchy adoption of CSS along with errata in the original specification led the W3C to revise the CSS2 standard into CSS2. defined behaviours were changed to bring the standard into line with the predominant existing implementations. printers. and CSS3. Profiles should not be confused with media types which were added in CSS2. which may be regarded as something nearer to a working snapshot of current CS support in S HTML browsers. tables and other elements Margin. .HTML 96 some workarounds such as CSS hacks and CSS filters in order to obtain consistent results across web browsers and platforms.1.

designers today often routinely use CSS filters that completely prevent these browsers from accessing any of the CSS. 2005 it was reverted to a working draft for further review. and fixed positioning of elements. Using CSS filters. It was returned to Candidate Recommendation status on 19 July 2007. The W3C CSS3 Roadmap provides a summary and introduction. The W3C maintains the CSS2 Recommendation. An example of a well-known CSS browser bug is the Internet Explorer box model bug. CSS 3 CSS level 3 is currently under development. removes poorly-supported features and adds already-implemented browser extensions to the specification.1 fixes errors in CSS2. CSS level 2 revision 1 or CSS 2. the concept of media types. relative. support for aural style sheets and bidirectional text. CSS2 includes a number of new capabilities like absolute. some designers have gone as far as delivering entirely different CSS to certain browsers in order to ensure that designs are rendered as expected. 7-5-3. the first Beta of Internet Explorer 8 offered support for CSS 2. By 2008. on June 15. resulting in blocks which are too narrow when viewed in Internet Explorer. A superset of CSS1. where box widths are interpreted incorrectly in several versions of the browser. The bug can be avoided in Internet Explorer 6 by using the correct doctype in (X)HTML documents. CSS3 is modularized and will consist of several separate Recommendations. or by taking advantage of lack of support for parts of the CSS specifications. The W3C maintains a CSS3 progress report. Internet Explorer support for CSS began with IE 3. but correct in standards-compliant browsers. just one of 97 . or render CSS very poorly. Because very early web browsers were either completely incapable of handling CSS. Browser support A CSS filter is a coding technique that aims to effectively hide or show parts of the CSS to different browsers. While it was a Candidate Recommendation for several months.1 in its best web standards mode.97 English for Computer and IT Engineers CSS 2 CSS level 2 was developed by the W3C and published as a Recommendation in May 1998.0 and increased progressively with each version. CSS hacks and CSS filters are used to compensate for bugs such as this. and new font properties such as shadows. either by exploiting CSS-handling quirks or bugs in the browser.

and float.0.1. (Discuss) Some noted disadvantages of using "pure" CSS include: Inconsistent browser support Different browsers will render CSS layout differently as a result of browser bugs or lack of support for CSS features. As of 2007. For example Microsoft Internet Explorer. The IEBlog claims that it passes some versions of the ACID2 test. 7-5-4.HTML 98 hundreds of CSS bugs that have been documented in various versions of Netscape. and cross-browser testing remains a necessity. authors' lack of familiarity with CSS syntax and required techniques. such as width. poor support from authoring tools. misinterpreted a significant number of important properties. Currently there is strong competition between Mozilla's Gecko layout engine. Even today. Pixel precise layouts can sometimes be impossible to achieve across browsers. implemented many CSS 2. and Opera's Presto layout engine . the adoption of CSS was still held back by designers' struggles with browsers' incorrect CSS implementation and patchy CSS support. Selectors are unable to ascend . Limitations It has been suggested that some of the information in this article's Criticism or Controversy section(s) be merged into other sections to achieve a more neutral presentation. whose older versions. height. In April 2008 Internet Explorer 8 beta fixes many of these shortcomings and renders CSS 2. such as IE 6. and Internet Explorer (including Internet Explorer 7). the similar KHTML engine used in KDE's Konqueror browser.0 properties in its own. Internet Explorer's Trident engine remains the worst at rendering CSS as judged by World Wide Web Consortium standards. the WebKit layout engine used in Apple's Safari. the risks posed by inconsistency between browsers and the increased costs of testing. Even when the availability of CSS-capable browsers made CSS a viable technology. Mozilla Firefox. Opera.each of them is leading in different aspects of CSS. incompatible way. Numerous so-called CSS "hacks" must be implemented to achieve consistent layout among the most popular or commonly used browsers. these problems continue to make the business of CSS design more complex and costly than it should be. Other reasons for continuing non-adoption of CSS are: its perceived complexity.


English for Computer and IT Engineers

CSS offers no way to select a parent or ancestor of element that satisfies certain criteria. A more advanced selector scheme (such as XPath) would enable more sophisticated stylesheets. However, the major reasons for the CSS Working Group rejecting proposals for parent selectors are related to browser performance and incremental rendering issues. One block declaration cannot explicitly inherit from another Inheritance of styles is performed by the browser based on the containment hierarchy of DOM elements and the specificity of the rule selectors, as suggested by the section 6.4.1 of the CSS2 specification. Only the user of the blocks can refer to them by including class names into the class attribute of a DOM element. Vertical control limitations While horizontal placement of elements is generally easy to control, vertical placement is frequently unintuitive, convoluted, or impossible. Simple tasks, such as centering an element vertically or getting a footer to be placed no higher than bottom of viewport, either require complicated and unintuitive style rules, or simple but widely unsupported rules. Absence of expressions There is currently no ability to specify property values as simple expressions (such as margin-left: 10% - 3em + 4px;). This is useful in a variety of cases, such as calculating the size of columns subject to a constraint on the sum of all columns. However, a working draft with a calc() value to address this limitation has been published by the CSS WG, and Internet Explorer 5 and all later versions support a proprietary expression() statement, with similar functionality. Lack of orthogonality Multiple properties often end up doing the same job. For instance, position, display and float specify the placement model, and most of the time they cannot be combined meaningfully. A display: table-cell element cannot be floated or given position: relative, and an element with float: left should not react to changes of display. In addition, some properties are not defined in a flexible way that avoids creation of new properties. For example, you should use the "border-spacing" property on table element instead of the "margin-*" property on table cell elements. This is because according to the CSS specification, internal table elements do not have margins. Margin collapsing Margin collapsing is, while well-documented and useful, also complicated and is frequently not expected by authors, and no simple side-effect-free way is available to control it. Float containment




CSS does not explicitly offer any property that would force an element to contain floats. Multiple properties offer this functionality as a side effect, but none of them are completely appropriate in all situations. As there will be an overflow when the elements, which is contained in a container, use float property. Generally, either "position: relative" or "overflow: hidden" solves this. Floats will be different according to the web browser size and resolution, but positions can not. Lack of multiple backgrounds per element Highly graphical designs require several background images for every element, and CSS can support only one. Therefore, developers have to choose between adding redundant wrappers around document elements, or dropping the visual effect. This is partially addressed in the working draft of the CSS3 backgrounds module, which is already supported in Safari and Konqueror. Control of Element Shapes CSS currently only offers rectangular shapes. Rounded corners or other shapes may require non-semantic markup. However, this is addressed in the working draft of the CSS3 backgrounds module. Lack of Variables CSS contains no variables. This makes it necessary to do a "replace-all" when one desires to change a fundamental constant, such as the color scheme or various heights and widths. This may not even be possible to do in a reasonable way (consider the case where one wants to replace certain heights which are 50px, but not others which are also 50px; this would require very complicated regular expressions). In turn, many developers are now using PHP to control and output the CSS file by either CSS @import/PHP require, or by declaring a different header in the PHP/CSS document for the correct parsing mode. The main disadvantage to this is the lack of CSS caching, but can be very useful in many situations. Lack of column declaration While possible in current CSS, layouts with multiple columns can be complex to implement. With the current CSS, the process is often done using floating elements which are often rendered differently by different browsers, different computer screen shapes, and different screen ratios set on standard monitors. Cannot explicitly declare new scope independently of position Scoping rules for properties such as z-height look for the closest parent element with a position:absolute or position:relative attribute. This odd coupling has two undesired effects: 1) it is impossible to avoid declaring a new scope when one is forced to adjust an element's position, preventing one from using the desired scope of a parent element and 2) users are often


English for Computer and IT Engineers not aware that they must declare position:relative or position:absolute on any element they want to act as "the new scope". Additionally, a bug in the Firefox browser prevents one from declaring table elements as a new css scope using position:relative (one can technically do so, but numerous graphical glitches result).

7-5-5. Advantages
By combining CSS with the functionality of a Content Management System, a considerable amount of flexibility can be programmed into content submission forms. This allows a contributor, who may not be familiar or able to understand or edit CSS or HTML code to select the layout of an article or other page they are submitting on-the-fly, in the same form. For instance, a contributor, editor or author of an article or page might be able to select the number of columns and whether or not the page or article will carry an image. This information is then passed to the Content Management System, and the program logic will evaluate the information and determine, based on a certain number of combinations, how to apply classes and IDs to the HTML elements, therefore styling and positioning them according to the pre-defined CSS for that particular layout type. When working with large-scale, complex sites, with many contributors such as news and informational sites, this advantage weighs heavily on the feasibility and maintenance of the project. When CSS is used effectively, in terms of inheritance and "cascading," a global stylesheet can be used to affect and style elements site-wide. If the situation arises that the styling of the elements should need to be changed or adjusted, these changes can be made easily, simply by editing a few rules in the global stylesheet. Before CSS, this sort of maintenance was more difficult, expensive and time consuming.


Web Scripting languages. 102

8. Web Scripting languages.
8-1. PHP
PHP is a computer scripting language. Originally designed for producing dynamic web pages, it has evolved to include a command line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications. While PHP was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995, the main implementation of PHP is now produced by The PHP Group and serves as the de facto standard for PHP as there is no formal specification. Released under the PHP License, the Free Software Foundation considers it to be free software. PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. It generally runs on a web server, taking PHP code as its input and creating web pages as output. It can be deployed on most web servers and on almost every operating system and platform free of charge. PHP is installed on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers. The most recent major release of PHP was version 5.2.6 on May 1, 2008.

8-1-1. History
PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page. It began in 1994 as a set of Common Gateway Interface binaries written in the C programming language by the Danish/Greenlandic programmer Rasmus Lerdorf. Lerdorf initially created these Personal Home Page Tools to replace a small set of Perl scripts he had been using to maintain his personal homepage. The tools were used to perform tasks such as displaying his résumé and recording how much traffic his page was receiving. He combined these binaries with his Form Interpreter to create PHP/FI, which had more functionality. PHP/FI included a larger implementation for the C programming language and could communicate with databases, enabling the building of simple, dynamic web applications. Lerdorf released PHP publicly on June 8, 1995 to accelerate bug location and improve the code. This release was named PHP version 2 and already had the basic functionality that PHP has today. This included Perl-like variables, form handling, and the ability to embed HTML. The syntax was similar to Perl but was more limited, simpler, and less consistent.

magic quotes. PHP 5 became the only stable version under development. PHP 4. and safe mode. public testing of PHP 3 began. due to the GoPHP5 initiative. Israel. 103 P . and numerous performance enhancements. In 2008. 2004. rewrote the parser in 1997 and formed the base of PHP 3. Major changes include the removal of register_globals. who wrote the original Common Gatewa Interface binaries. PHP 5 included new features such as improved support for object-oriented programming. Late static binding has been missing from PHP and will be added in version 5. They also founded Zend Technologies in Ramat Gan. 2008 this branch is up to version 4. and Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski. PHP 6 is under development alongside PHP 5. two Israeli developers at the Technion IIT.9. On July 13. Afterwards. PHP 4 is no longer under development nor will any security updates be released.103 English for Computer and IT Engineers Figure 8-1: Rasmus Lerdorf. PHP 5 was released. the PHP Data Objects extension (which defines a lightweight and consistent interface for accessing databases). powered by the new Zend Engine II. provided by a consortium of PHP developers promoting the transition from PHP 4 to PHP 5. 2008. and the official launch came in June 1998. The development team officially released PHP/FI 2 in November 1997 after months of beta testing. powered by the Zend Engine 1. As of August. unicode support will be included in PHP 6. 2000. On May 22. Suraski and Gutmans then started a new rewrite of PHP's core.0. The most recent update released by The PHP Group is for the older PHP version 4 code branch.3. Many high profile open source projects ceased to support PHP 4 in new code as of February 5. producing the Zend Engine in 1999. was released. who rewrote the parser that formed PHP 3 Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans. changing the language's name to the recursive initialism PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP does not have complete native support for Unicode or multibyte strings.4.

From PHP 4. many operating systems and platforms. Sun Microsystems' JavaServer Pages. requiring Windows 32-bit compatibility mode to be enabled while using IIS in a 64-bit Windows environment. and can be used with many relational database management systems. 104 It runs in both 32-bit and 64-bit environments. and mod_perl. It is available free of charge.NET system. PHP's principal focus is serverside scripting. There is a third-party distribution available for 64-bit Windows. Symfony and Zend Framework. most commonly the output will be HTML. Yahoo!. and the PHP Group provides the complete source code for users to build. the PHP parser compiles input to produce bytecode for processing by the Zend Engine.MyYearbook and Tagged .. Usage PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development. PHP has also attracted the development of many frameworks that provide building blocks and a design structure to promote rapid application development (RAD).Wikipedia (Mediawiki). Some of these include CakePHP. giving improved performance over its interpreter predecessor. It can automatically detect the language of the user. Apache and MySQL. PHP primarily acts as a filter. but on Windows the only official distribution is 32-bit. As of April 2007. customize and extend for their own use. It can also be used for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. and it is similar to other server-side scripting languages that provide dynamic content from a web server to a client. PHP can be deployed on most web servers. offering features similar to other web application frameworks. PHP generally runs on a web server. Originally designed to create dynamic web pages. and PHP was recorded as the most popular Apache module. PHP is commonly used as the P in this bundle alongside Linux. taking input from a file or stream containing text and/or PHP instructions and outputs another stream of data.Web Scripting languages. Significant websites are written in PHP including the user-facing portion of Facebook. taking PHP code as its input and creating web pages as output. 8-1-2. PRADO. over 20 million Internet domains were hosted on servers with PHP installed. . such as Microsoft's ASP. although the P may also refer to Python or Perl. The LAMP architecture has become popular in the web industry as a way of deploying web applications.

One very common security concern is register_globals which was disabled by default since 2002 in PHP 4. 8-1-4. Most of these software vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely. PHP scripts can be compiled before runtime using PHP compilers just like other programming languages such as C (the programming language PHP is programmed in and used to program PHP extensions). and 33. Therefore. Speed optimization As with many scripting languages.2 and was removed in PHP6. especially designed for web hosting environments. There are advanced protection patches such as Suhosin and Hardening-Patch. 28% in 2005. Compiling at runtime increases the execution time of the script because it adds an extra step in runtime. The nature of the PHP compiler is such that there are often opportunities for code optimization. 36% in 2007. PHP scripts are normally kept as humanreadable source code. 43% in 2006. that is without being logged on the computer hosting the vulnerable application. amounted to: 12% in 2003.105 English for Computer and IT Engineers 8-1-3.8% for the first quarter of 2008. The most common vulnerabilities are caused by not following best practice programming rules and vulnerabilities related to software written in old PHP versions. More than a third of these PHP software vulnerabilities are listed recently. Code optimizers improve the quality of the compiled code by reducing its size and making changes that can reduce the execution time and improve performance. Security The proportion of insecure software written in PHP. these PHP scripts will be compiled at runtime by the PHP engine. 20% in 2004. PHP accelerators can offer significant performance gains by caching the compiled form of a PHP script in shared memory to avoid the overhead of parsing and compiling the code every time the script runs. 105 . even on production web servers. Installing PHP as a CGI binary rather than as an Apache module is the preferred method for added security. and an example of a code optimizer is the Zend Optimizer PHP extension. out of the total of all common software vulnerabilities.

Short tags (<? or <?= and ?>) are also commonly used. Java and Perl. the use of short tags and ASP-style tags is discouraged. they are less portable as they can be disabled in the PHP configuration. This range is typically that of 32-bit signed integers. for and while loops. Everything outside the delimiters is ignored by the parser and is passed through as output. Both double-quoted ("") and heredoc strings allow the ability to embed a variable's value into the string. Syntax PHP only parses code within its delimiters. C++. and function returns are similar in syntax to languages such as C. Unsigned integers are converted to signed values in R Q . PHP treats newlines as whitespace in the manner of a free-form language (except when inside string quotes).Web Scripting languages. but like ASP-style tags (<% or <%= and %>). The purpose of these delimiters is to separate PHP code from non-PHP code. If conditions. Figure 8-2: S ntax-highlighted PHP code embedded within HTML Variables are prefixed with a dollar symbol and a type does not need to be specified in advance. Unlike function and class names. PHP has three types of comment syntax: /* */ serves as block comments. For this reason. including HTML. The most common delimiters are <?php and ?>. variable names are case sensitive.g. to a web browser). Data t pes PHP stores whole numbers in a platform-dependent range. which are open and close delimiters respectively. PHP is similar to most high level languages that follow the C style syntax. The echo statement is one of several facilities PHP provides to output text (e. In terms of keywords and language syntax. and // as well as # are used for inline comments. 106 8-1-5. and statements are terminated by a semicolon. <script language="php"> and </script> delimiters are also available. Anything outside its delimiters is sent directly to the output and is not parsed by PHP.


English for Computer and IT Engineers

certain situations; this behavior is different from other programming languages. Integer variables can be assigned using decimal (positive and negative), octal, and hexadecimal notations. Real numbers are also stored in a platform-specific range. They can be specified using floating point notation, or two forms of scientific notation. PHP has a native Boolean type that is similar to the native Boolean types in Java and C++.Using the Boolean type conversion rules, non-zero values are interpreted as true and zero as false, as in Perl and C++. The null data type represents a variable that has no value. The only value in the null data type is NULL. Variables of the "resource" type represent references to resources from external sources. These are typically created by functions from a particular extension, and can only be processed by functions from the same extension; examples include file, image, and database resources. Arrays can contain elements of any type that PHP can handle, including resources, objects, and even other arrays. Order is preserved in lists of values and in hashes with both keys and values, and the two can be intermingled. PHP also supports strings, which can be used with single quotes, double quotes, or heredoc syntax. The Standard PHP Library (SPL) attempts to solve standard problems and implements efficient data access interfaces and classes.

PHP has hundreds of base functions and thousands more from extensions.

5.2 and earlier
Functions are not first-class functions and can only be referenced by their name. User-defined functions can be created at any time without being prototyped. Functions can be defined inside code blocks, permitting a run-time decision as to whether or not a function should be defined. Function calls must use parentheses, with the exception of zero argument class constructor functions called with the PHP new operator, where parentheses are optional. PHP supports quasi-anonymous functions through the create_function() function, although they are not true anonymous functions because anonymous functions are nameless, but functions can only be referenced by name, or indirectly through a variable $function_name();, in PHP.

5.3 and newer
PHP gained support for first-class functions and closures. True anonymous functions are supported using the following syntax:


Web Scripting languages. 108
function getAdder($x) { return function ($y) use ($x) { // or: lexical $x; return $x + $y; }; }

Here, getAdder() function creates a closure using parameter $x (keyword "use" forces getting variable from context), which takes additional argument $y and returns it to the caller. Such function can be stored, given as the parameter to another functions, etc. For more details see Lambda functions and closures RFC.

Basic object-oriented programming functionality was added in PHP 3. Object handling was completely rewritten for PHP 5, expanding the feature set and enhancing performance. In previous versions of PHP, objects were handle like d primitive types. The drawback of this method was that the whole object was copied when a variable was assigned or passed as a parameter to a method. In the new approach, objects are referenced by handle, and not by value. PHP 5 introduced private and protected member variables and methods, along with abstract classes and final classes as well as abstract methods and final methods. It also introduced a standard way of declaring constructors and destructors, similar to that of other object-oriented languages such as C++, and a standard exception handling model. Furthermore, PHP 5 added interfaces and allowed for multiple interfaces to be implemented. There are special interfaces that allow objects to interact with the runtime system. Objects implementing ArrayAccess can be used with array syntax and objects implementing Iterator or IteratorAggregate can be used with the foreach language construct. There is no virtual table feature in the engine, so static variables are bound with a name instead of a reference at compile time. If the developer creates a copy of an object using the reserved word clone, the Zend engine will check if a __clone() method has been defined or not. If not, it will call a default __clone() which will copy the object's properties. If a __clone() method is defined, then it will be responsible for setting the necessary properties in the created object. For convenience, the engine will supply a function that imports the properties of the source object, so that the programmer can start with a by-value replica of the source object and only override properties that need to be changed.




English for Computer and IT Engineers

PHP includes free and open source libraries with the core build. PHP is a fundamentally Internet-aware system with modules built in for accessing FTP servers, many database servers, embedded SQL libraries such as embedded MySQL and SQLite, LDAP servers, and others. Many functions familiar to C programmers such as those in the stdio family are available in the standard PHP build. PHP has traditionally used features such as "magic_quotes_gpc" and "magic_quotes_runtime" which attempt to escape apostrophes (') and quotes (") in strings in the assumption that they will be used in databases, to prevent SQL injection attacks. This leads to confusion over which data is escaped and which is not, and to problems when data is not in fact used as input to a database and when the escaping used is not completely correct. To make code portable between servers which do and do not use magic quotes, developers can preface their code with a script to reverse the effect of magic quotes when it is applied. PHP allows developers to write extensions in C to add functionality to the PHP language. These can then be compiled into PHP or loaded dynamically at runtime. Extensions have been written to add support for the Windows API, process management on Unix-like operating systems, multibyte strings (Unicode), cURL, and several popular compression formats. Some more unusual features include integration with Internet relay chat, dynamic generation of images and Adobe Flash content, and even speech synthesis. The PHP Extension Community Library (PECL) project is a repository for extensions to the PHP language. Zend provides a certification program for programmers to become certified PHP developers.

8-2. Active Server Pages
Active Server Pages (ASP) is Microsoft's first server-side script engine for dynamically-generated web pages. It was initially marketed as an add-on to Internet Information Services (IIS) via the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, but has been included as a free component of Windows Server since the initial release of Windows 2000 Server.
Programming ASP websites is made easier by various built-in objects. Each object corresponds to a group of frequently-used functions useful for creating dynamic web pages. In ASP 2.0 there are six such built-in objects: Application, ASPError, Request, Response, Server, and Session. Session, for example, is a cookie-based session object that maintains variables from page to page. Web pages with the ".asp" file extension use ASP, although some Web sites disguise their choice of


Web Scripting languages. 110 scripting language for security purposes. The ".aspx" extension is not an ASP page, but an ASP.NET page, another server-side scripting language from Microsoft, based on a mixture of traditional ASP, and Microsoft's .NET technology. Most ASP pages are written in VBScript, but any other Active Scripting engine can be selected instead by using the @Language directive or the <script language="language" runat="server"> syntax. JScript (Microsoft's implementation of ECMAScript) is the other language that is usually available. PerlScript (a derivative of Perl) and others are available as third-party installable Active Scripting engines.

8-3. JavaScript
JavaScript is a scripting language most often used for client-side web development. It was the originating dialect of the ECMAScript standard. It is a dynamic, weakly typed, prototype-based language with first-class functions. JavaScript was influenced by many languages and was designed to look like Java, but be easier for non-programmers to work with.
Although best known for its use in websites (as client-side JavaScript), JavaScript is also used to enable scripting access to objects embedded in other applications (see below). JavaScript, despite the name, is essentially unrelated to the Java programming language, although both have the common C syntax, and JavaScript copies many Java names and naming conventions. The language was originally named "LiveScript" but was renamed in a co-marketing deal between Netscape and Sun, in exchange for Netscape bundling Sun's Java runtime with their then -dominant browser. The key design principles within JavaScript are inherited from the Self and Scheme programming languages. "JavaScript" is a trademark of Sun Microsystems. It was used under license for technology invented and implemented by Netscape Communications and current entities such as the Mozilla Foundation.

8-3-1. History and naming
JavaScript was originally developed by Brendan Eich of Netscape under the name Mocha, which was later renamed to LiveScript, and finally to JavaScript. The change of name from LiveScript to JavaScript roughly coincided with Netscape

). however. Dynamic programming dynamic typing As in most scripting languages. and it included Y2K-compliant date functions. or deleted at run-time. types are associated with values. JScript was first supported in Internet Explorer version 3. the dot notation being merely syntactic sugar. Netscape submitted JavaScript to Ecma International for standardization resulting in the standardized version named ECMAScript. JavaScript makes a distinction between expressions and statements.7. Features Structured programming JavaScript supports all the structured programming syntax in C (e. JavaScript was first introduced and deployed in the Netscape browser version 2.0. changed. supports block-level scoping with the let keyword. The dialects are perceived to be so similar that the terms "JavaScript" and "JScript" are often used interchangeably (including in this article). giving the impression that the language is a spin-off of Java.Date in JavaScript at the time. then later rebound to a string. notes dozens of ways in which JScript is not ECMA compliant. released in August 1996. objects as associative arrays JavaScript is heavily object-based. however. JavaScript supports various ways to test the type of an object.. while loops. unlike those based on java.0B3 in December 1995. The naming has caused confusion.111 English for Computer and IT Engineers adding support for Java technology in its Netscape Navigator web browser. not variables. For example. and it has been characterized by many as a marketing ploy by Netscape to give JavaScript the cachet of what was then the hot new web-programming language. a variable x could be bound to a number. JavaScript 1. Objects are associative arrays. augmented with prototypes (see below).in loop. if statements. Properties and their values can be added. 8-3-2.util. 111 . Object property names are associative array keys: obj.. Microsoft named its dialect of the language JScript to avoid trademark issues. including duck typing.. The properties of an object can also be enumerated via a for.g. switch statements. Like C. Microsoft. etc.x = 10 and obj["x"] = 10 are equivalent. One partial exception is scoping: C-style block-level scoping is not supported.

) variadic functions . even after that invocation is finished (e. Rather. in a web browser) to provide objects and methods by which scripts can interact with "the outside world". Prefixing a function call with new creates a new object and calls that function with its local this keyword bound to that object for that invocation. it still has access to the outer function's variables) ² this is the mechanism behind closures within JavaScript. Prototype-based prototypes JavaScript uses prototypes instead of classes for defining object properties. there is no distinction between a function definition and a method definition. It is possible to simulate many classbased features with prototypes in JavaScript.g. and variables of the outer functions for that invocation continue to exist as long as the inner functions still exist. As such. Function-level programming first-class functions Functions are first-class. (This is not a language feature per se. The function's prototype property determines the new object's prototype.g.Web Scripting languages. but it is common in most JavaScript implementations. a function can be called as a method. Others run-time environment JavaScript typically relies on a run-time environment (e. inner functions and closures Inner functions (functions defined within other functions) are created each time the outer function is invoked. functions as methods Unlike many object-oriented languages. functions as object constructors Functions double as object constructors along with their typical role. keyword is bound to that object for that invocation. if the inner function was returned. they are objects themselves. When a function is invoked as a method of an object the function's local this . 112 run-time evaluation JavaScript includes an eval function that can execute statements provided as strings at run-time. the distinction occurs during function calling. they have properties and can be passed around and interacted with like any other object. and inheritance. including methods.

Because JavaScript code can run locally in a user's browser (rather than on a remote server) it can respond to user actions quickly. JavaScript code can detect user actions which HTML alone cannot. The first ever JavaScript engine was created by Brendan Eich at Netscape Communications Corporation. Use in web pages The primary use of JavaScript is to write functions that are embedded in or included from HTML pages and interact with the Document Object Model (DOM) of the page. which provide a concise and powerful syntax for text manipulation that is more sophisticated than the built-in string functions. for the Netscape Navigator web browser. such as individual keystrokes. The wider trend of Ajax programming similarly exploits this strength. Furthermore. making an application feel more responsive. array and object literals Like many scripting languages. The function can both access them through formal parameters and the local arguments object.e. The object literal in particular is the basis of the JSON data format. A JavaScript engine (also known as JavaScript interpreter or JavaScript implementation) is an interpreter that interprets JavaScript source code and executes the script accordingly. Applications such as Gmail take advantage of this: much of the user-interface logic is written in JavaScript. code-named SpiderMonkey. 8-3-3. and JavaScript dispatches requests for information (such as the content of an e -mail message) to the server. position. are visible). The engine. Some simple examples of this usage are: y y y Opening or popping up a new window with programmatic control over the size. and attributes of the new window (i. whether the menus. arrays and objects (associative arrays in other languages) can be created with a succinct shortcut syntax. toolbars. Changing images as the mouse cursor moves over them: This effect is often used to draw the user's attention to important links displayed as graphical elements. regular expressions JavaScript also supports regular expressions in a manner similar to Perl. Validation of web form input values to make sure that they will be accepted before they are submitted to the server. is implemented 113 . etc.113 English for Computer and IT Engineers An indefinite number of parameters can be passed to a function.

or of JavaScript itself.01 syntax) would be: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4. </script> <noscript> <p>Your browser either does not support JavaScript. The most common host environment for JavaScript is by far a web browser.w3. JavaScript authors can attempt to write standardscompliant code which will also be executed correctly by most browsers. or you have JavaScript turned off. and authors may find it . they are defined by a separate standardization effort by the W3C. The Rhino engine. 114 in C. It has since been updated (in JavaScript 1. browser implementations differ from the standards and from each other.01//EN" "http://www. is ECMA-262 Edition 3 compliant. which a JavaScript program could then manipulate to dynamically generate web pages. To deal with these differences.write('Hello World!'). A minimal example of a web page containing JavaScript (using HTML 4.</p> </noscript> </body> </html> Compatibility considerations The DOM interfaces for manipulating web pages are not part of the ECMAScript standard. A JavaScript webserver would expose host objects representing an HTTP request and response objects. In some cases. Rhino. two browsers may both implement a feature but with different behavior. like SpiderMonkey. Officially. in practice. and not all browsers execute JavaScript. created primarily by Norris Boyd (also at Netscape) is a JavaScript implementation in Java.5) to conform to ECMA-262 Edition 3. failing that. Web browsers typically use the public API to create "host objects" responsible for reflecting the DOM into JavaScript. they can write code that checks for the presence of certain browser features and behaves differently if they are not available.dtd"> <html> <head><title>simple page</title></head> <body> <script type="text/javascript"> document. The web server is another common application of the engine.Web Scripting languages.org/TR/html4/strict.

to include a malicious script in the webpage presented to a victim. passwords. not general-purpose programming tasks like creating files. Programmers may also use libraries or toolkits which take browser differences into account. scripts will not work for all users. First. a violation of the same-origin policy. Most JavaScript-related security bugs are breaches of either the same origin policy or the sandbox. have JavaScript execution disabled as a security precaution. use a PDA or mobile phone browser which cannot execute JavaScript. or be visually or otherwise disabled and use a speech browser To support these users. or XSS. potentially disclosing secret information or transferring money without the victim's authorization. Browser authors contain this risk using two restrictions. XSS vulnerabilities occur when an attacker is able to cause a trusted web site. Furthermore. The script in this example can then access the banking application with the privileges of the victim. XSS is related to cross-site request forgery or XSRF. In XSRF one website causes a victim's browser to generate fraudulent requests to another site with the victim's legitimate HTTP cookies attached to the request. a user may: y y y y use an old or rare browser with incomplete or unusual DOM support. Second. scripts are constrained by the same origin policy: scripts from one web site do not have access to information such as usernames. web authors can try to create pages which degrade gracefully on user agents (browsers) which do not support the page's JavaScript. Cross-site vulnerabilities A common JavaScript-related security problem is cross-site scripting. Security JavaScript and the DOM provide the potential for malicious authors to deliver scripts to run on a client computer via the web. such as an online banking website. or cookies sent to another site. scripts run in a sandbox in which they can only perform web-related actions. 115 .115 English for Computer and IT Engineers practical to detect what browser is running and change their script's behavior to match. XSS vulnerabilities can also occur because of implementation mistakes by browser authors. For example.

. Plugins. such as video players. some of which may have flaws such as buffer overflows. Macromedia Flash. not security. or filters invalid characters out of fields that should only contain numbers.Web Scripting languages. Internet Explorer. Microsoft has attempted to contain the risks of bugs such as buffer overflows by running the Internet Explorer process with limited privileges. whether they involve JavaScript or not. Browser and plugin coding errors JavaScript provides an interface to a wide range of browser capabilities. and obfuscated code can be reverse engineered. These flaws can allow attackers to write scripts which would run any code they wish on the user's system. output of JavaScript operations should not be trusted by the server. must assume that untrusted clients may be under the control of attackers. Some implications: y y y Web site authors cannot perfectly conceal how their JavaScript operates. and such flaws have been exploited in the past. not only the client. then have JavaScript verify a user's password and pass "password_ok=1" back to the server (since the "password_ok=1" response is easy to forge). may also have flaws exploitable via JavaScript. because the code is sent to the client. and Safari. It would be extremely bad practice to embed a password in JavaScript (where it can be extracted by an attacker). JavaScript form validation only provides convenience for users. In Windows Vista. If a site verifies that the user agreed to its terms of service. it must do so on the server. Thus any secret embedded in JavaScript could be extracted by a determined adversa and the ry. 116 Misunderstanding the client-server boundary Client-server applications. It also does not make sense to rely on JavaScript to prevent user interface operations (such as "view source" or "save image"). and the wide range of ActiveX controls enabled by default in Microsoft Internet Explorer. These flaws have affected major browsers including Firefox. This is because a client could simply ignore such scripting.

which underlies Firefox and some other web browsers.6). with the privileges necessary to. Yahoo! Widgets. Tools in the Adobe Creative Suite. Illustrator. The Java programming language. non-sandboxed program. uses JavaScript to implement the graphical user interface (GUI) of its various products.117 English for Computer and IT Engineers Sandbox implementation errors Web browsers are capable of running JavaScript outside of the sandbox. Adobe's Acrobat and Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) support JavaScript in PDF files. Some versions of Microsoft Windows allow JavaScript stored on a computer's hard drive to run as a general-purpose. 117 . much like web browsers host scripts that access the browser's Document Object Model (DOM) for a webpage. Uses outside web pages Outside the web. create or delete files. y y y y y y y ActionScript. Incorrectly granting privileges to JavaScript from the web has played a role in vulnerabilities in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. in version SE 6 (JDK 1. The Mozilla platform. is another implementation of the ECMAScript standard. the programming language used in Adobe Flash. Of course. Microsoft's Active Scripting technology supports the JavaScriptcompatible JScript as an operating system scripting language. JavaScript interpreters are embedded in a number of tools. introduced the javax. Java applications can host scripts that access the application's variables and objects. Microsoft's Gadgets. Each of these applications provides its own object model which provides access to the host environment. for example. although JavaScript Trojan horses are uncommon in practice. allow scripting through JavaScript. Dreamweaver and InDesign.script package. with the core JavaScript language remaining mostly the same in each application. In Windows XP Service Pack 2. (See Windows Script Host. This makes JavaScript (like VBScript) a theoretically viable vector for a Trojan horse. Thus. including Photoshop. Microsoft demoted JScript's privileges in Internet Explorer. such privileges aren't meant to be granted to code from the web. Google Desktop Gadgets are implemented using JavaScript. Apple's Dashboard Widgets. including a JavaScript implementation based on Mozilla Rhino.) 8-3-4.

ebugging Within JavaScript. Safari. analogous to javax. Newer versions of the Qt C++ toolkit include a QtScript module to interpret JavaScript. 8-3-5. The interactive music signal processing software Max/MSP released by Cycling '74. Adobe Integrated Runtime is a JavaScript runtime that allows developers to create desktop applications. 118 y y y y y y y y y Applications on the social network platform OpenSocial are implemented in JavaScript. The free Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express . Internet Explorer.Web Scripting languages. It allows much more precise control than the default GUI centric programming model. is a freeware alternative to AppleScript for Mac OS X. closely followed by Microsoft Script Editor (a component of Microsoft Office). can be scripted using JavaScript. GeoJavaScript enables access to the geospatial extensions in PDF files using TerraGo Technologies GeoPDF Toolbar and Adobe Acrobat and Reader. non-trivial programs. Internet Explorer has three debuggers available for it: Microsoft Visual Studio is the richest of the three. Some high-end Philips universal remote panels.script. Sphere is an open source and cross platform computer program designed primarily to make role-playing games that uses JavaScript as scripting language. ECMAScript was included in the VRML97 standard for scripting nodes of VRML scene description files. Because there can be implementation differences between the various browsers (particularly within the Document Object Model) it is useful to have access to a debugger for each of the browsers a web application is being targeted at. and Opera all have third-party script debuggers available for them. Currently. It is based on the Mozilla 1. Firefox. and finally the free Microsoft Script Debugger which is far more basic than the other two. offers a JavaScript model of its environment for use by developers. access to a debugger becomes invaluable when developing large.5 JavaScript implementation. including TSU9600 and TSU9400. with the addition of a MacOS object for interaction with the operating system and third-party applications. Late Night Software's JavaScript OSA (aka JavaScript for OSA. or JSOSA).

all data is statically typed. Since JavaScript is interpreted. so the ECMA 262 standard calls the language ECMAScript. 2. Drosera is a debugger for the WebKit engine on Macintosh and Windows powering Apple's Safari. their similarities are mostly in basic syntax because both are ultimately derived from C. loosely-typed. will conform to ECMA-262 4th edition. each with their own compatibility differences. can be run client-side in web pages. whereas JavaScript variables. There are also some free tools such as JSLint. The standardization effort for JavaScript also needed to avoid trademark issues. 119 . Microsoft's VBScript.0.119 English for Computer and IT Engineers provides a limited version of the JavaScript debugging functionality in Microsoft Visual Studio. which also works with the Mozilla browser. Web applications within Firefox can be debugged using the Firebug plug-in. properties. elated languages There is not a particularly close genealogical relationship between Java and JavaScript. as in C and C++. The next major version of JavaScript. or the older Venkman debugger. which logs JavaScript and CSS errors and warnings. three editions of which have been published since the work started in November 1996. and array elements may hold values of any type. as well as a non-free tool called SplineTech JavaScript HTML Debugger. and may be hosted in varying environments. a programmer has to take extra care to make sure the code executes as expected in as wide a range of circumstances as possible. a code quality tool that will scan JavaScript code looking for problems. like JavaScript. 8-3-6. Their semantics are quite different and their object models are unrelated and largely incompatible. Firefox also has a simpler built-in Error Console. VBScript has syntax derived from Visual Basic and is only supported by Microsoft's Internet Explorer. In Java. and that functionality degrades gracefully when it does not.

or JavaScript Object Notation. . 120 JSON. a feature that allows JavaScript and Java to intercommunicate on the web. Mozilla browsers currently support LiveConnect.Web Scripting languages. support for LiveConnect is scheduled to be phased out in the future. JavaScript is also considered a functional programming language like Scheme and OCaml because it has closures and supports higher-order functions. is a general-purpose data interchange format that is defined as a subset of JavaScript. However.

respectively the XMLHttpRequest object for asynchronous communication JavaScript to bring these technologies together 121 . when Internet Explorer introduced the IFrame element. 8-4-1. In the article that coined the term Ajax. acted as a more elegant replacement for these techniques. Despite the name.121 English for Computer and IT Engineers 8-4. 8-4-2. is a group of interrelated web development techniques used for creating interactive web applications or rich Internet applications. 2006 the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the first draft specification for the object in an attempt to create an official web standard. or its asynchronous use is not required. XML. With Ajax. with data being pulled in by a Java applet with which the client side could communicate using JavaScript. On April 5. Jesse James Garrett explained that it refers specifically to these technologies: y y y y y XHTML and CSS for presentation the Document Object Model for dynamic display of and interaction with data XML and XSLT for the interchange and manipulation of data. History While the term Ajax was coined in 2005. In 1999. techniques for the asynchronous loading of content date back to 1996. Microsoft's Remote Scripting. the use of JavaScript. Ajax (programming) Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). web applications can retrieve data from the server asynchronously in the background without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page. without interfering with the current state of the page. Microsoft created the XMLHttpRequest object as an ActiveX control in Internet Explorer 5. introduced in 1998. and developers of Mozilla and Safari followed soon after with native versions of the object. Technologies The term Ajax has come to represent a broad group of web technologies that can be used to implement a web application that communicates with a server in the background. or AJAX. Data is retrieved using the XMLHttpRequest object or through the use of Remote Scripting in browsers that do not support it.

However. the XMLHttpRequest object is not necessary for asynchronous communication. Workarounds include the use of invisible IFrames to trigger changes in the browser's history and changing the anchor portion of the URL (following a #) when AJAX is run and monitoring it for changes. Critique Advantages y y y In many cases. that content would have to be reloaded on every request. using Ajax. so clicking the browser's "back" button would not return the user to an earlier state of the Ajax-enabled page. Disadvantages y Dynamically created pages do not register themselves with the browser's history engine. thus drastically reducing bandwidth usage. the pages on a website consist of much content that is common between them. Other languages such as VBScript are also capable of the required functionality. since scripts and style sheets only have to be requested once. In particular. . Using traditional methods. a web application can request only the content that needs to be updated. there have been a number of developments in the technologies used in an Ajax application. 122 Since then.Web Scripting languages. 8-4-3. and sections of pages can also be reloaded individually. Users may perceive the application to be faster or more responsive. and the definition of the term Ajax. although other formats such as preformatted HTML or plain text can also be used. JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is often used as an alternative format for data interchange. XML is not required for data interchange and therefore XSLT is not required for the manipulation of data. it has been noted that: y y y JavaScript is not the only client-side scripting language that can be used for implementing an Ajax application. The use of Ajax can reduce connections to the server. but would instead return them to the last page visited before it. however. It has been noted that IFrames are capable of the same effect. The use of asynchronous requests allows the client's Web browser UI to be more interactive and to respond quickly to inputs. even if the application has not changed on the server side.

although the W3C has a draft that would enable this functionality. Any user whose browser does not support Ajax or JavaScript. will not be able to use its functionality. or simply has JavaScript disabled. the application in a given state. Similarly. Also. Because most web crawlers do not execute JavaScript code.123 y English for Computer and IT Engineers Dynamic web page updates also make it difficult for a user to bookmark a particular state of the application. The same origin policy prevents Ajax from being used across domains. y y y 123 . web applications should provide an alternative means of accessing the content that would normally be retrieved with Ajax. screen readers that are able to use Ajax may still not be able to properly read the dynamically generated content. many of which use the URL fragment identifier (the portion of a URL after the '#') to keep track of. PDAs. and screen readers may not have support for JavaScript or the XMLHttpRequest object. to allow search engines to index it. and allow users to return to. Solutions to this problem exist. devices such as mobile phones.

since many of the technology components of "Web 2. notably Tim Berners-Lee. collaboration and functionality of the web.0 Web 2. 9-1.0 conference in 2004. and folksonomies. Definition T S ´ .0. but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web. it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications. have questioned whether one can use the term in any meaningful way. wikis. The term became notable after the first O'Reilly Media Web 2. such as social-networking sites. Web 2.0 124 9.[2][3] Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web.Web 2. blogs.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform.0" have existed since the early days of the Web. information sharing. and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.0 is a living term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity. According to Tim O'Reilly: Web 2. Figure 9-1: A tag cloud (constructed b Markus Angermeier presenting some of the themes of Web 2. ³ Some technology experts.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web -based communities and hosted services. Web 2. video sharing sites.

del. O'Reilly gave eBay.125 English for Computer and IT Engineers Web 2.0 as business embracing the web as a platform and using its strengths. O'Reilly cited Flickr. Level-2 applications can operate offline but gain advantages from going online. independent developers. which benefits from its shared photo-database and from its community-generated tag database.0 makes possible. (This could be seen as a kind of "open source" or possible "Agile" development process. Basically. Craigslist. an architecture of participation where users can contribute website content creates network effects.0 has numerous definitions. exist only on the Internet. Level-0 applications work as well offline as online. and growing in effectiveness in proportion as people make more use of them. According to O'Reilly and Battelle.0 ² building applications and services around the unique features of the Internet.) Web 2. with software above the level of a single device.0"-oriented. dodgeball. O'Reilly considers that Eric Schmidt's abridged slogan. and Google Maps (mapping- 125 . leveraging the power of the "Long Tail". Web 2. as opposed to expecting the Internet to suit as a platform (effectively "fighting the Internet"). Yahoo! Local. deriving their effectiveness from the inter-human connections and from the network effects that Web 2. the term encapsulates the idea of the proliferation of interconnectivity and interactivity of web-delivered content. Wikipedia. for example global audiences. Level-1 applications operate offline but gain features online. O'Reilly pointed to Writely (now Google Docs & Spreadsheets) and iTunes (because of its music-store portion). O'Reilly gave the examples of MapQuest.0 technologies tend to foster innovation in the assembly of systems and sites composed by pulling together features from distributed.0 conference. encompasses the essence of Web 2. O'Reilly provided examples of companies or products that embody these principles in his description of his four levels in the hierarchy of Web 2. and with data as a driving force.0 sites: y y y y Level-3 applications. don't fight the Internet. the most "Web 2. Tim O'Reilly regards Web 2. They argued that the web had become a platform. and AdSense as examples. Skype.0. In the opening talk of a first Web 2.0 technology encourages lightweight business models enabled by syndication of content and of service and by ease of picking-up by early adopters. consistent with an end to the traditional software adoption cycle. O'Reilly and John Battelle summarized what they saw as the themes of Web 2.icio. typified by the so-called "perpetual beta".us.

Web 2. This can result in a rise in the economic value of the web to businesses. often with freedom to share and re-use. Technologies such as weblogs (blogs).0: «the philosophy of mutually maximizing collective intelligence and added value for each participant by formalized and dynamic information sharing and creation.0" hints at an improved form of the World Wide Web. «all those Internet utilities and services sustained in a data base which can be modified by users whether in its content (adding.0" can also relate to a transition of some websites from isolated information silos to interlinked computing platforms that function like locallyavailable software in the perception of the user. if you like. podcasts.0 also includes a social element where users generate and distribute content. who writes a column about technology in the British Guardian newspaper. ³ ´ The idea of "Web 2. RSS feeds (and other forms of many-to-many publishing). Here are additional definitions of Web 2. It¶s actually an idea that the reciprocity between the user and the provider is what's emphasised. describes Web 1. as users can perform more activities online. In alluding to the version-numbers that commonly designate software upgrades. genuine interactivity.0 as: «an idea in people's heads rather than a reality. Stephen Fry. instant-messaging clients. and web application programming interfaces (APIs) provide enhancements over read-only websites. the phrase "Web 2.Web 2. In other words. ³ ³ ´ ´ .0 126 applications using contributions from users to advantage could rank as "level 2"). social software. and the telephone fall outside the above hierarchy. wikis. simply because people can upload as well as download. Non-web applications like email.

0 site and exercise control over that data. Web 2. Users can own the data on a Web 2. allowing users to run software-applications entirely through a browser.0 came into use after an evolution of the term Web 2. the sort which limited visitors to viewing and whose content only the site's owner could modify. Bart Decrem. OpenLaszlo.information or associating metadata with the existing information). Flex or similar rich media. Figure 9-2: Flickr. These sites may have an "Architecture of participation" that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it.5. 9-2. 127 .0" to provide "Network as platform" computing. calls Web 2.0. user-friendly interface based on Ajax. a founder and former CEO of Flock. This stands in contrast to very old traditional websites. how play them. in tent and external aspect simultaneously The term Web 1. Characteristics Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. The impossibility of excluding group-members who don¶t contribute to the provision of goods from sharing profits gives rise to the possibility that rational members will prefer to withhold their contribution of effort and free-ride on the contribution of others.127 English for Computer and IT Engineers changing or deleting.0 the "participatory Web" and regards the Web-as-information-source as Web 1. Web 2.0 web site that allows users to upload and share photos The concept of Web-as-participation-platform captures many of these characteristics. They can build on the interactive facilities of "Web 1.0 sites often feature a rich.

Associated innovations It is a common misconception that "Web 2. 9-4. yet complementary approaches of such elements provide Web 2. aggregation and notification of data in RSS or Atom feeds mashups. etc. While such design elements have commonly been found on popular Web 2.0". creation.. and various clientapplications.and server-side Weblog-publishing tools wiki or forum software. client. and social tagging) Microformats extending pages with additional semantics REST and/or XML.0 sites with information-storage.0 includes server-software.0 are: rich user experience.0. Technology overview The sometimes complex and continually evolving technology infrastructure of Web 2. merging content from different sources. social classification. freedom and collective intelligence by way of user participation. can also be viewed as essential attributes of Web 2. web standards and scalability. to support user-generated content Internet privacy. Further characteristics. Web 2.0 128 According to Best.0 sites. 9-3. social indexing. user participation. often Ajax and/or Flex/Flash-based Semantically valid XHTML and HTML markup Syndication.and/or JSON-based APIs Rich Internet application techniques. and dissemination challenges and capabilities that go beyond what the public formerly expected in the environment of the so-called "Web 1. the association is more one . the characteristics of Web 2. The differing. content-syndication. such as openness.0" refers to various visual design elements such as rounded corners or drop shadows. metadata. messaging-protocols. the extended power of users to manage their own privacy in cloaking or deleting their own user content or profiles. dynamic content. standards-oriented browsers with plugins and extensions.Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following features/techniques: y y y y y y y y y y y Cascading Style Sheets to aid in the separation of presentation and content Folksonomies (collaborative tagging.

WebEx acquired one of the better-known of these. including EyeOS and YouOS.0 is AJAX. for USD45 million. Adobe Flash. many of these services function less like a traditional operating system and more as an application platform. Numerous web-based application services appeared during the dot-com bubble of 1997±2001 and then vanished. Java.0 sites. Still other sites perform collaboration and project management functions. in order to build a large user base by word-of-mouth marketing. Web-based applications and desktops Ajax has prompted the development of websites that mimic desktop applications. 9-5-1. the spreadsheet. Another common misassociation with Web 2. offering features and applications similar to a PC environment. and to alter that part in the browser. such as word processing. acquired one of the best-known sites of this broad class. a designer preference which became popular around the same time that "Web 2. and slide-show presentation. with the idea that core basic services are given away for free. So while AJAX is often required for Web 2. The technologies allow a web-page to request an update for some part of its content. Flex. Premium service would then be offered for a price. 129 . Internet applications Rich-Internet application techniques such as AJAX. Several browser-based "operating systems" have emerged.129 English for Computer and IT Engineers of fashion. They mimic the user experience of desktop operating-systems.com. having failed to gain a critical mass of customers. Inc. Intranets. as well as the added ability of being able to run within any modern browser.0 sites to function well. This error probably comes about because many Web 2. In 2006 Google. Silverlight and Curl have evolved that have the potential to improve the userexperience in browser-based applications. In 2005. WYSIWYG wiki sites replicate many features of PC authoring applications.0 sites rely heavily on AJAX or associated DHTML effects. 9-5. without needing to refresh the whole page at the same time. Although coined as such. it is (usually) not required for them to function. Writely. The Freemium business model is also characteristic of many Web 2.0" became a buzz word.

Web 2. Observers have started to refer to these technologies as "Web feed" as the usability of Web 2. Protocols which permit syn dication include RSS (Really Simple Syndication ² also known as "web syndication"). This can come about through forms in an HTML page. Specialized protocols Specialized protocols such as FOAF and XFN (both for social networking) extend the functionality of sites or permit end-users to interact without centralized websites. a browser plugin.0" may regard syndication of s content as a Web 2. Syndication differs only nominally from the methods of publishing using dynamic content management. which allow web-based access to data and functions: REST and SOAP. and become very similar to the traditional intranet functionality of an application server.0 depends on the ability of users to work with the data stored on servers.0 ite feature.0 130 Server-side software Functionally. These methods all make use of the client computer to reduce server workloads and to increase the responsiveness of the application. or a separate desktop application).0 sites. all of them XML-based formats.Web 2. which permit end -users to make use of a site's data in another context (such as another website.1). uses two main approaches to Web APIs. 9-5-3. and Atom. through a scripting-language such as Javascript / Ajax. RDF (as in RSS 1. but web services typically require much more robust database and workflow support. but rely much more heavily on back-end software. XML and SS Advocates of "Web 2. Curl Applets or Java Applets. Client-side software The extra functionality provided by Web 2. or through Flash. involving as it does standardized protocols. a common feature of Web 2.0 evolves and the more user-friendly Feeds icon supplants the RSS icon. 9-5-2. Web APIs Machine-based interaction. .0 applications build on the existing Web server architecture.

social-networking.0 business-models (peer pioneers. REST (Representational State Transfer) Web ]] alone to interact. This area of research investigates the implications Web 2. sharing. Cass Sunstein's book "Infotopia" discussed the Hayekian nature of collaborative production. has also gained scientific attention. "In each instance the traditionally passive buyers of editorial and advertising take active.131 English for Computer and IT Engineers 1. See also Web Services Description Language (WSDL) (the standard way of publishing a SOAP API) and this list of Web Service specifications. etc. Most communications through APIs involve XML or JSON payloads.0. Williams argue in their book Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (2006) that the economy of "the new web" depends on mass collaboration. prosumers. platforms for participation. Don Tapscott and Anthony D. global plantfloor. and acting globally. ideagoras. characterized by decentralized decision-making.0-like applications: "Companies can design and assemble products with their customers. blogs. with XML (eXtensible Markup Language) or JSON payloads. The prospective Internet-based economy that they term "Wikinomics" would depend on the principles of openness. They identify seven Web 2. wiki workplace). 2. but pre-defined. Tapscott and Williams regard it as important for new media companies to find ways of how to make profit with the help of Web 2. directed by (often non-monetary) prices rather than central planners in business or government. SOAP involves POSTing more elaborate XML messages and requests to a server that may contain quite complex.0 has for an economy and the principles underlying the economy of Web 2. peer-production. for posting to a blog or notifying a blog update) have also come into wide use. 131 .0" applications and looselyassociated technologies such as wikis.0. participatory roles in value creation. 9-6. Economics The analysis of the economic implications of "Web 2. but standard APIs (for example. open-source. file-sharing. new Alexandrians. Organizations could make use of these principles and models in order to prosper with the help of Web 2. peering. and in some cases customers can do the majority of the value creation". instructions for the server to follow." Tapscott and Williams suggest business strategies as "models where masses of consumers. open-content. Often servers use proprietary APIs.

Amazon also opened its API to outside developers in 2002. Social commerce involves user-generated marketplaces where individuals can set up online shops and link their shops in a networked marketplace. but disagree that this will result in an economic democracy. in which Internet-based global outsourcing reduces labour-costs by transferring jobs from workers in wealthy nations to workers in poor nations. typically online.0" does not represent a new version of the World Wide Web at all. Tapscott and Williams see the outcome as an economic democracy. Amazon.0" emerged.0" technologies and concepts. for instance.0 132 employees. business partners. Criticism The argument exists that "Web 2. Social shopping involves customers interacting with each other while shopping.com. and often in a social network environment. Some examples of Web 2.Web 2. predicting a subtle form and deepening of exploitation. in a form of self-publishing. Previous developments also came from research in computer-supported . Techniques such as AJAX do not replace underlying protocols like HTTP. sharing. suppliers. and peering. has allowed users to write reviews and consumer guides since its launch in 1995. and even competitors cocreate value in the absence of direct managerial control". whereas on the other hand non-commercial online platforms could undermine profit-making and anticipate a co-operative economy. but add an additional layer of abstraction on top of them. the economic implications of a new web might include on the one hand the emergence of new business-models based on global outsourcing. In such a view. Academic research on the economic value implications of social commerce and having sellers in online marketplaces link to each others' shops has been conducted by researcher in the s business school at Columbia University. Tiziana Terranova speaks of "free labor" (performed without payment) in the case where prosumers produce surplus value in the circulation-sphere of the cultural industries. networking. 9-7.0 had already been featured in implementations on networked systems well before the term "Web 2. but merely continues to use so-called "Web 1. For example. Some other views in the scientific debate agree with Tapscott and Williams that value-creation increasingly depends on harnessing open source/content. Many of the ideas of Web 2. drawing on concepts of electronic commerce and social networking.0 business models that attempt to generate revenues in online shopping and online marketplaces are referred to as social commerce and social shopping.

a Weblog covering Web 2. Robert J. Trademark 133 .0 jargon.0. Indeed.0 had excited only 530. hyper-inflated sense of the value of technology and its impact on culture. and went on to say that "if Web 2. was released detailing the overly optimistic euphoria of the dot com industry. too few users to make them an economically viable target for consumer applications." "Nobody really knows what it means. 9-8.0 companies attempt to develop the same product with a lack of business models.0. In a podcast interview Tim Berners-Lee described the term "Web 2. A few critics cite the language used to describe the hype cycle of Web 2. Web 2. Although Bruce Sterling reports he's a fan of Web 2. Shortly before the crash of 2000 a book by Shiller. According to these critics." Venture capitalist Josh Kopelman noted that Web 2. suggesting that too many Web 2. NJ: Princeton University Press.0 is really different. The book Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (2006) even goes as far as to quote critics of the value of Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis. The dot com boom and subsequent bust in 2000 was a culmination of rhetoric of the technological sublime in terms that would later make their way into Web 2.0 as an example of Techno-utopianist rhetoric. several years before the dot com stock market crash the then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan equated the run up of stock values as irrational exuberance." Other criticism has included the term ³a second bubble´ (referring to the Dot-com bubble of circa 1995±2001).0" as a "piece of jargon. Communication as culture: essays on media and society (1989) and the technologies worth as represented in the stock market. Irrational Exuberance. 2000.133 English for Computer and IT Engineers collaborative learning and computer-supported cooperative work and from established products like Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino.0 is not the first example of communication creating a false. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along. The Economist has written of "Bubble 2.0 matters).651 people (the number of subscribers at that time to TechCrunch. Princeton.0 in an attempt to acknowledge that hyper inflated expectations exist but that Web 2. then that is people to people. he thinks it is now dead as a rallying concept." he said.

2006 the PTO had not published the mark for opposition. but as of June 12. 2006. 2006.0" service mark registration passed final PTO Examining Attorney review on May 10.134 In November 2004. 2006. CMP Media applied to the USPTO for a service mark on the use of the term "WEB 2. The "WEB 2. . CMP Media sent a cease-and-desist demand to the Irish non-profit organization IT@Cork on May 24. but retracted it two days later. which would confer unambiguous status in Ireland) remains currently pending after its filing on March 23. The European Union application (application number 004972212.0" for live events. On the basis of this application.

135 . Figure 10-1: W3C's Semantic Web logo At its core. Purpose Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for "cat". sharing and combining information on the web. and knowledge exchange. Some of these include Resource Description Framework (RDF). and notations such as RDF Schema (RDFS) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL). The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers. N3. A µSemantic Web¶. It derives from World Wide Web Consortium director Sir Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the Web as a universal medium for data. and searching for a low price on a DVD. 10-1. and transactions between people and computers. which should make this possible. and a variety of enabling technologies. information. reserving a library book. collaborative working groups. all of which are intended to provide a formal description of concepts. a variety of data interchange formats (e. terms. NTriples). Turtle. has yet to emerge. and relationships within a given knowledge domain.g. not machines. making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content. so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding. RDF/XML. Semantic Web The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which the semantics of information and services on the web is defined. the semantic web comprises a set of design principles. Other elements of the semantic web are expressed in formal specifications. Some elements of the semantic web are expressed as prospective future possibilities that are yet to be implemented or realized. However.135 English for Computer and IT Engineers 10. links. a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people. Tim Berners-Lee originally expressed the vision of the semantic web as follows: I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web ± the content.

addressbooks. and brochures are read by humans. The µintelligent agents¶ people have touted for ages will finally materialize. bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines.0 is. playlists.everything rippling and folding and looking misty .0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data.Semantic Web 136 but when it does. the day-to-day mechanisms of trade. This simple but radical idea is now being explored by W3C HCLS group's Scientific Publishing Task Force. Tim Berners-Lee has further stated: People keep asking what Web 3. Data. a markup convention that is used for coding a body of text interspersed with multimedia objects such as images and interactive forms. Markup Many files on a typical computer can be loosely divided into documents and data. like calendars. 1999 Semantic publishing will benefit greatly from the semantic web. Metadata tags. Documents like mail messages. A 'more revolutionary' Web 10-2. for example <meta name="keywords" content="computing. searched and combined in many ways. elationship to the Hypertext Web 10-2-1. I think maybe when you've got an overlay of scalable vector graphics . and spreadsheets are presented using an application program which lets them be viewed. such as real-time publishing and sharing of experimental data on the Internet. reports. the World Wide Web is based mainly on documents written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). In particular. ± Tim Berners-Lee. ± Tim Berners-Lee. computer studies. the semantic web is expected to revolutionize scientific publishing.on Web 2. you'll have access to an unbelievable data resource. Currently. computer"> <meta name="description" content="Cheap widgets for sale"> <meta name="author" content="Billy Bob McThreeteeth"> .

a machine can process knowledge itself. etc. item number X586172 is an Acme Gizmo with a retail price of ¼199. specifically for data. and the data-centric. or. customizable Extensible Markup Language (XML). There is also no way to express that these pieces of information are bound together in describing a discrete item. meetings. it involves publishing the data in a language. describes arbitrary things such as people. Thus. In this way. i. The HTML of this catalog page can make simple. instead of text. for example. thereby obtaining more meaningful results and facilitating automated information gathering and research by computers. one can create and present a page that lists items for sale. HTML can only say that the span of text "X586172" is something that should be positioned near "Acme Gizmo" and "¼ 199".e. distinct from other items perhaps listed on the page. content may manifest as descriptive data stored in Web-accessible databases. but filed and well handled. by contrast. The Semantic Web takes the concept further. There is no way to say "this is a catalog" or even to establish that "Acme Gizmo" is a kind of title or that "¼ 199" is a price. more often. But there is no capability within the HTML itself to assert unambiguously that. or that it is a consumer product. so that it can be categorized as human perception and be "understood" by computers. Rather. perhaps another user agent). using the descriptive technologies Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL). or as markup within documents (particularly. The machinereadable descriptions enable content managers to add meaning to the content. HTML describes documents and the links between them. with layout/rendering cues stored separately). with HTML and a tool to render it (perhaps Web browser software. to describe the structure of the knowledge we have about that content. Resource Description Framework (RDF).137 English for Computer and IT Engineers provide a method by which computers can categorise the content of web pages. or airplane parts. So all data is not only stored. Semantic vs. RDF. purely in XML. in Extensible HTML (XHTML) interspersed with XML. document-level assertions such as "this document's title is 'Widget Superstore'". 10-2-2. For example. These technologies are combined in order to provide descriptions that supplement or replace the content of Web documents. escriptive and extensible The semantic web addresses this shortcoming. 10-2-3. using processes similar to human deductive reasoning and inference. non-Semantic Web 137 .

10-4. the first was the development of the very knowledge-centric "Hyperdocument" systems by Douglas Engelbart.0): <item rdf:about="http://dbpedia. in the mid1990s this development practise was furthered with the announcement of the Enterprise Objects Framework.0 and Web 2. Practical feasibility . Skeptical reactions 10-4-1. and the second comes from the usage and development of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Smalltalk and CORBA. which you can find in every programming language in the form of Pointers (known as "Object Identifiers" in Object Oriented Programming Languages and Object Databases). The idea that the Semantic Web is Object Oriented is quite obvious when you understand that when hypertext and the web was first being created in the late 1980s and early 1990s it was done so using Object Oriented Programming languages such as Objective-C. elationship to Object Orientation A number of authors highlight the similarities which the Semantic Web shares with Object Orientation.0): <item>cat</item> A tag that would be used by Semantic web 'page'(part of Web 3. Similarity to Object Orientation also came from two other routes. and RDF a year after in 1999. Plus with Linked Data there are also Dereferenceable Unified Resource Identifiers which provides Data-by-reference.Semantic Web 138 Example tags that would be used in Non-semantic web page (Web 1. both the Semantic Web and Object Oriented Programming have classes. attributes (relationships) and instances. The object orientation in the Semantic Web is clear. Portable Distributed Objects and WebObjects all by NeXT . XML was then released in 1998. in addition to the Component Object Model released by Microsoft.org/resource/Cat">Cat</item> 10-3. Therefore the Unified Modeling Language can be a useful tool for Semantic Web development and Semantic Web integration with Object Oriented Software Development.

" 10-4-3. metaphors for instance.g. Such an evolution has yet to occur. many web applications in development are addressing this issue by creating a machine-readable format upon the publishing of data or the request of a 139 .139 English for Computer and IT Engineers Critics question the basic feasibility of a complete or even partial fulfillment of the semantic web. which ostensibly diminish the likelihood of its fulfillment (see e. oubling output formats Another criticism of the semantic web is that it would be much more timeconsuming to create and publish content because there would need to be two formats for one piece of data: one for human viewing and one for machines. it has tended to be among core specialized communities and organizations for intra-company projects. For instance. 10-4-2. An advanced implementation of the semantic web would make it much easier for governments to control the viewing and creation of online information.. Where semantic web technologies have found a greater degree of practical adoption. 10-4-4. the issue has also been raised that. Some develop their critique from the perspective of human behavior and personal preferences. Leaky abstraction). as this information would be much easier for an automated content-blocking machine to understand.. with the use of FOAF files and geo location meta-data. a more recent article from Berners-Lee and colleagues stated that: "This simple idea. In addition. The practical constraints toward adoption have appeared less challenging where domain and scope is more limited than that of the general public and the World-Wide Web. However. metacrap). An unrealized idea The original 2001 Scientific American article by Berners-Lee described an expected evolution of the existing Web to a Semantic Web. Censorship and privacy Enthusiasm about the semantic web could be tempered by concerns regardi g n censorship and privacy. text-analyzing techniques can now be easily bypassed by using other words. Indeed. Other commentators object that there are limitations that stem from the current state of software engineering itself (see e. or by using images in place of words. there would be very little anonymity associated with the authorship of articles on things such as a personal blog.g. however. remains largely unrealized.

See for example latent semantic analysis. If this is not true. The development of microformats has been one reaction to this kind of criticism. such as HTML. Need The idea of a 'semantic web' necessarily coming from some marking code other than simple HTML is built on the assumption that it is not possible for a machine to appropriately interpret code based on nothing but the order relationships of letters and words. The OWL Web Ontology Language Overview describes the function and relationship of each of these components of the semantic web: y y y XML provides an elemental syntax for content structure within documents. be 'trained' to appropriately 'learn' meaning based on order data. under certain conditions. RDF is a simple language for expressing data models. There are latent dynamic network models that can.Semantic Web 140 machine for such data. in the process 'learning' relationships with order (a kind of rudimentary working grammar). Specifications such as eRDF and RDFa allow arbitrary RDF data to be embedded in HTML pages. 10-5. XML Schema is a language for providing and restricting the structure and content of elements contained within XML documents. yet associates no semantics with the meaning of the content contained within. then a 'semantic web' may be possible to be built on HTML alone. making a specially built 'semantic web' coding system unnecessary. The GRDDL (Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Language) mechanism allows existing material (including microformats) to be automatically interpreted as RDF. which refer to objects ("resources") and their relationships. 10-4-5. RDF. so publishers only need to use a single format. . Components The semantic web comprises the standards and tools of XML. An RDF-based model can be represented in XML syntax. XML Schema. RDF Schema and OWL that are organized in the Semantic Web Stack.

etc.) Semantic markup is often generated automatically. of the document) or it could be purely metadata representing a set of facts (such as resources and services elsewhere in the site). This could be machineunderstandable information about the human-understandable content of the document (such as the creator. Many converters to RDF exist from different applications. common metadata vocabularies (ontologies) and maps between vocabularies that allow document creators to know how to mark up their documents so that agents can use the information in the supplied metadata (so that Author in the sense of 'the Author of the page' won't be confused with Author in the sense of a book that is the subject of a book review). disjointness). with semantics for generalized-hierarchies of such properties and classes. title.g.141 y English for Computer and IT Engineers RDF Schema is a vocabulary for describing properties and classes of RDFbased resources. cardinality (e. equality. The semantic web server attaches to the existing system without affecting its operation. etc. richer typing of properties. 141 . symmetry). (Note that anything that can be identified with a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) can be described. people. OWL adds more vocabulary for describing properties and classes: among others.g. and enumerated classes. automated agents to perform tasks for users of the semantic web using this data web-based services (often with agents of their own) to supply information specifically to agents (for example. description. y y Current ongoing standardizations include: y Rule Interchange Format (RIF) as the Rule Layer of the Semantic Web Stack The intent is to enhance the usability and usefulness of the Web and its interconnected resources through: y y y y y servers which expose existing data systems using the RDF and SPARQL standards. SPARQL is a protocol and query language for semantic web data sources.. characteristics of properties (e. a Trust service that an agent could ask if some online store has a history of poor service or spamming). documents "marked up" with semantic information (an extension of the HTML <meta> tags used in today's Web pages to supply information for Web search engines using web crawlers). Relational databases are an important source. rather than manually. places.g. ideas. "exactly one"). relations between classes (e. so the semantic web can reason about animals.

mainly Internet or computer-based. Properly trained staff must also be hired to work with students on-line. based on a poll of academic leaders.Electronic learning 142 11. No in-person interaction may take place in some instances. e-learning is used to define a specific mode to attend a course or programmes of study where the students rarely. Electronic learning Electronic learning (or e-Learning or eLearning) is a type of education where the medium of instruction is computer technology. The Sloan report. Developments in internet and multimedia technologies are the basic enabler of elearning. Lately in most Universities. attend face-to-face for oncampus access to educational facilities.5 million students were participating in on-line learning at institutions of higher education in the United States. Growth of e-learning By 2006. These staff members must be able to not only understand the content area. but also be highly trained in the use of the computer and Internet. 11-1. Online education is rapidly increasing. In the USA. it is defined as a planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies. now offer on-line classes. forprofit institutions. Many higher education. Market The worldwide e-learning industry is estimated to be worth over 38 billion euros according to conservative estimates. if ever. 11-2. it refers to the strategies that use the company network to deliver training courses to employees. In companies. technologies and services being identified as the three key sectors of the e-learning industry. and online doctoral programs have even developed at leading research universities. nearly 3. says that students generally appear to be at least as satisfied with their online classes as they are with traditional ones. non-profit schools offer them. Private Institutions may become more involved with on-line presentations as the cost of instituting such a system decreases. because they study online. E-learning is used interchangeably in a wide variety of contexts. only about half of private. to reach learners at a distance. although in the European Union only about 20% of e-learning products are produced within the common market. By contrast. . with content.

however. W. portable. Service & Teaching (REST). In 1997 Graziadei. Most eLearning situations use combinations of the these techniques. Luskin says that the "e" should be interpreted to mean exciting. E-Learning pioneer Bernard Luskin argues that the "E" must be understood to have broad meaning if e -Learning is to be effective. two VAX Notes conferences and Gopher/Lynx together with several software programs that allowed students and instructor to create a Virtual Instructional Classroom Environment in Science (VICES) in Research. described an online computer-delivered lecture. Graziadi. et al. Technology As early as 1993.. scalable. It is also broader than the terms Online Learning or Online Education which generally refer to purely web-based learning. In cases where mobile technologies are used. replicable. and Educational Technology. published an article entitled "Building Asynchronous and Synchronous Teaching-Learning Environments: Exploring a Course/Classroom Management System Solution". D.D. instructional technology. from blogs to collaborative software. Education. Along with the terms learning technology. The product(s) had to be easy to use and maintain. enthusiastic. and immediately affordable. tutorial and assessment project using electronic Mail. in which case the term Blended learning is commonly used. the term is generally used to refer to the use of technology in learning in a much broader sense than the computer-based training or Computer Aided Instruction of the 1980s. excellent. In higher education especially. energetic..143 English for Computer and IT Engineers 11-3. and virtual classrooms. E-learning is naturally suited to distance learning and flexible learning. W. but can also be used in conjunction with face-to-face teaching. the term M-learning has become more common. and they had to have a high probability of success with long-term cost-effectiveness. the increasing tendency is to create a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) (which is sometimes combined with a Management Information System (MIS) to create a Managed Learning Environment) in which 143 . ePortfolios. Today many technologies can be. This broader interpretation allows for 21st century applications and brings learning and media psychology into the equation. emotional. used in e-Learning. and educational in addition to "electronic" that is a traditional national interpretation. and are. They described a process at the State University of New York (SUNY) of evaluating products and developing an overall strategy for technology-based course development and management in teaching -learning. extended. also has implications beyond just the technology and refers to the actual learning that takes place using these systems. E-learning.

There is a trend to move toward blended learning services. In performance-based content. In addition. Computer-based learning Computer Based Learning. Services E-learning services have evolved since computers were first used in education. Goals of e-learning E-Learning lessons are generally designed to guide students through information or to help students perform in specific tasks. the lessons build off of a procedural skill in which the student is expected to increase proficiency.Electronic learning 144 all aspects of a course are handled through a consistent user interface standard throughout the institution. 11-5-1. student governments and student newspapers. such as online advising and registration. worksheets and interactive exercises for children. The term is also used extensively in the business sector where it generally refers to cost-effective online training. While some programs require students to attend some campus classes or orientations. A growing number of physical universities. there is no specific skill to be learned. Information based e-Learning content communicates information to the student. 11-5. where computer-based activities are integrated with practical or classroom-based situations. refers to the use of computers as a key component of the educational environment. While this can refer to the use of computers in a classroom. e-counseling. have begun to offer a select set of academic degree and certificate programs via the Internet at a wide range of levels and in a wide range of disciplines. In information-based content. 11-4. or product. as well as newer online-only colleges. the term more broadly refers to a structured environment in which computers are used for teaching purposes. many are delivered completely online. online textbook purchase. several universities offer online student support services. The concept is . company. Examples include content that distributes the history or facts related to a service. sometimes abbreviated to CBL. e-Learning can also refer to educational web sites such as those offering learning scenarios.

CBT is especially effective for training people to use computer applications because the CBT program can be integrated with the applications so that students can practice using the application as they learn. complex pedagogical approaches can be difficult to set up and slow to develop. Web based training is usually a self-paced learning medium though some systems allow for online testing and evaluation at specific times. it is delivered over the Internet using a web browser. the increase in PC computing power. is making CBT a more viable option for corporations and individuals alike. so although it may be implemented in any of the following methods. These units should be format independent. Historically. instant messaging. 11-6. computer games and web browsing). a video conference or an iPod video. the pedagogical approaches need to be evaluated. an assignment. however. this could be a lesson. often called a tutorial.145 English for Computer and IT Engineers generally seen as being distinct from the use of computers in ways where learning is at least a peripheral element of the experience (e. richness and downstream functionality. such as bulletin boards. Pedagogical elements Pedagogical elements are an attempt to define structures or units of educational material. Simple pedagogical approaches make it easy to create content. For example. Web-based training frequently includes interactive methods. a multiple choice question. but lack flexibility. CBTs growth has been hampered by the enormous resources required: human resources to create a CBT program.g. chat rooms. and hardware resources needed to run it. 11-5-2. and especially the growing prevalence of computers equipped with CDROMs. a web page. 145 . Many PC applications now come with some modest form of CBT. Computer-based training Computer-based training (CBT) services are where a student learns by executing special training programs on a computer relating to their occupation. a discussion group or a case study. pedagogical structures would not include a textbook. On the other hand. Somewhere between these extremes is an ideal pedagogy that allows a particular educator to effectively create educational materials while simultaneously providing the most engaging educational experiences for students. However. a quiz. Web-based training (WBT) is a type of training that is similar to CBT. and discussion threads. though they have the potential to provide more engaging learning experiences for students. videoconferencing. When beginning to create e-Learning content.

collaborative discovery and the importance of peer support as well as pressure. Laurillard's Conversational Model is also particularly relevant to eLearning. Interaction with other people. like motivation. Creating a course requires putting together a sequence of learning objects. wiki and on-line collaborative activities. engagement. Contextual perspective focuses on the environmental and social aspects which can stimulate learning. and Gilly Salmon's Five-Stage Model is a pedagogical approach to the use of discussion boards. There are both proprietary and open. Cognitive perspective focuses on the cognitive processes involved in learning as well as how the brain works. Emotional perspective focuses on the emotional aspects of learning. Role-playing and application to on-the-job settings. etc. social-constructivist . blogs.this pedagogy is particularly well afforded by the use of discussion forums. fun. objects Much effort has been put into the technical reuse of electronically-based teaching materials and in particular creating or re-using Learning Objects.Electronic learning 146 11-7. and often stored in an XML file format. and is developed by a centralized educating group or a single teacher. It is a collaborative approach that opens educational content creation to a wider group including the students themselves. Behavioural perspective focuses on the skills and behavioural outcomes of the learning process. non-commercial . standards and learning 11-8. or other metadata. y y y y y y eusability.the traditional pedagogy of instruction which is curriculum focused. Pedagogical approaches or perspectives It is possible to use various pedagogical approaches for eLearning which include: y instructional design . These are self contained units that are properly tagged with keywords.

Synchronous activities involve the exchange of ideas and information with one or more participants during the same period of time. Military and Higher Ed. Each state government's content standards and achievement benchmarks are critical metadata for linking e-learning objects in that space. 11-9. LOM is primarily Corp. Virtual classrooms and meetings can often use a mix of communication technologies. A common standard format for e-learning content is SCORM whilst other specifications allow for the transporting of "learning objects" (Schools Interoperability Framework) or categorizing meta-data (LOM). These standards themselves are early in the maturity process with the oldest being 8 years old. peer-reviewed repositories of learning objects such as the Merlot repository. as with an online chat session or a virtual classroom or meeting. wikis. while SIF is beginning to seriously turn towards Instructional and Curriculum learning objects. and SCORM is primarily Military and Corp with some Higher Ed. 147 .147 English for Computer and IT Engineers and commercial. Communication technologies used in elearning Communication technologies are generally categorized as asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous activities use technologies such as blogs. PESC.is also making headway in developing standards and learning objects for the Higher Ed space. In the US pK12 space there are a host of content standards that are critical as wellthe NCES data standards are a prime example. A face to face discussion is an example of synchronous communications. They are also relatively vertical specific: SIF is primarily pK-12. Synchronous activities occur with all participants joining in at once. and discussion boards. The idea here is that participants may engage in the exchange of ideas or information without the dependency of other participants involvement at the same time.the Post-Secondary Education Standards Council. Electronic mail (Email) is also asynchronous in that mail can be sent or received without having both the participants¶ involvement at the same time.

0. Content was designed to lead a learner through the content. the new e-learning places increased emphasis on social learning and use of social software such as blogs. E-Learning 2. essential for the learners in these environments.0) was focused on using the internet to replicate the instructor-led experience.0.0 perspective. by contrast (patterned after Web 2. experiences. and simulations. 11-10.0 is used to refer to new ways of thinking about e-learning inspired by the emergence of Web 2. assessments.Electronic learning 148 In many models. e-learning 2. From an e-Learning 2.0 The term e-Learning 2. In contrast. Learning takes place through conversations about content and grounded interaction about problems and actions.0) is built around collaboration. the writing community and the communication channels relate with the E-learning and the M-learning communities. providing a wide and ever-increasing set of interactions. Both the communities provide a general overview of the basic learning models and the activities required for the participants to join the learning sessions across the virtual classroom or even across standard classrooms enabled by technology. require frequent chat sessions in the form of virtual classrooms and/or blog meetings. Advocates of social learning claim that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to others. conventional e-learning systems were based on instructional packets that were delivered to students using Internet technologies. The role of the student consisted in learning from the readings and preparing assignments. podcasts and virtual worlds such as Second Life. wikis. This phenomenon has also been referred to as Long Tail Learning The first 10 years of e-learning (e-learning 1. . Many activities.0 assumes that knowledge (as meaning and understanding) is socially constructed. E-learning 2. Assignments were evaluated by the teacher.

B2B can be open to all interested parties (e. ISBN 0312063598. 12-1. Almost all big retailers have electronic commerce presence on the World Wide Web. spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of the business transactions. and automated data collection systems. commodity exchange) or limited to specific. Internet marketing. History Timeline y y 1990: Tim Berners-Lee writes the first web browser. 1992: J. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction's lifecycle.H. but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well. consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. supply chain management. electronic data interchange (EDI). Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses is referred to as Business-to-business or B2B. A large percentage of electronic commerce is conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content on a website. using a NeXT computer. pre-qualified participants (private electronic market). Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. online transaction processing. 149 . WorldWideWeb. commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce. Martin's Press. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. St. inventory management systems.g. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily since the spread of the Internet. Electronic commerce Electronic commerce . A wide variety of commerce is conducted in this way. Snider and Terra Ziporyn publish Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change the Way We Shop and What We Buy.149 English for Computer and IT Engineers 12.

internet-only radio stations. 2000: The dot-com bust. 1998: Electronic postal stamps can be purchased and downloaded for printing from the Web.Electronic commerce 150 y y y y y y y y y 1994: Netscape releases the Navigator browser in October under the code name Mozilla. database Accounting and finance systems Orders and shipment information Enterprise and client information reporting Domestic and international payment systems Newsgroup On-line Shopping Messaging Conferencing . Radio HK and NetRadio start broadcasting.5 billion. spreadsheets. 1999: Business. Pizza Hut offers pizza ordering on its Web page. The peer-to-peer filesharing software Napster launches. which was purchased in 1997 for US $150. 2003: Amazon. as do cars and bikes.0 is introduced in late 1994 SSL encryption that made transactions secure.000. 2008: US eCommerce and Online Retail sales projected to reach $204 billion. 2002: eBay acquires PayPal for $1. The first online bank opens. 12-2. rather than a central portal.5 million to eCompanies. an increase of 17 percent over 2007. 1995: Jeff Bezos launches Amazon. Netscape 1. Dell and Cisco begin to aggressively use Internet for commercial transactions. eBay is founded by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb. Business applications Some common applications related to electronic commerce are the following: y y y y y y y y y y y E-mail and messaging Content Management Systems Documents. Donnelley for $345 million. Attempts to offer flower delivery and magazine subscriptions online.com and the first commercial-free 24 hour. Adult materials also becomes commercially available.com acquired by R.H.com posts first yearly profit. 2007: Business. Niche retail companies CSN Stores and NetShops are founded with the concept of selling products through several targeted domains.com sold for US $7.

online advertising and consumer privacy. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce these days. 12-4. to ordering conventional goods and services. Government regulations In the United States. to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce. which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices. and states that advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 establishes national standards for direct marketing over e-mail. grocery to expensive items like real estate.151 English for Computer and IT Engineers 12-3. The Federal Trade Commission Act regulates all forms of advertising. As result. Forms Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption. electronic commerce is mostly conducted on the World Wide Web. transferring funds from one account to another. These activities include the use of commercial e-mails. All these activities can be done with a few keystrokes on the keyboard. big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. An individual can go online to purchase anything from books. including online advertising. Using its authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act. including promises about the security of consumers¶ personal information. and initiating wire payment to another country. 151 . Another example will be online banking like online bill payments. On the institutional level. some electronic commerce activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). the FTC has brought a number of cases to enforce the promises in corporate privacy statements. On the consumer level. buying stocks. any corporate privacy policy related to e-commerce activity may be subject to enforcement by the FTC.

" many non-Internet "electronic government" technologies can be used in this context. also known as e-gov. digital government. or administration. TV and radiobased delivery of government services.g: regulatory services. identity cards. email. MMS. and campaigning. or another government agency. In this model. PDA. and instant messaging technologies. newsgroups and electronic mailing lists. u-government (ubiquitous government). RFID. judiciary. fax. voting. four kind of activities take place y y y y pushing information over the Internet. online community facilities. tracking systems. general holidays. e. governance.g: online polling. businesses. e. issue briefs. the delivery of public services. CCTV. or requests to the agency. The most important anticipated benefits of e-government include improved efficiency. e. polling station technology (where non-online e-voting is being considered).g: lodging tax returns. public hearing schedules. comments. The primary delivery models are Government-to-Citizen or Government-to-Customer (G2C). wireless networks and services. Some non-internet forms include telephone. SMS text messaging. such as m-government (mobile government). conducting transactions. and other arms of government. users can engage in dialogue with agencies and post problems. and better accessibility of public services. . Government-toBusiness (G2B) and Government-to-Government (G2G) & Government-toEmployees (G2E). etc. smart cards and other NFC applications. a business. two-way communications between the agency and the citizen. providing services and transacting with citizens. While e-government is often thought of as "online government" or "Internet-based government. online chat. applying for services and grants. road traffic management and regulatory enforcement.e-Government 152 13. notifications. biometric identification. convenience. and g-government (GIS/GPS applications for egovernment). e-Government may be applied by the legislature. in order to improve internal efficiency. e-Government e-Government (from electronic government. Within each of these interaction domains. online government or in a certain context transformational government) refers to the use of internet technology as a platform for exchanging information. or processes of democratic governance. Bluetooth. There are also some technology-specific sub-categories of egovernment.

which ordered the top 500 forms used by citizens to be placed online by December 2000. though concern has been expressed about the potential for fraud with some electronic voting methods. including disintermediation of the government and its citizens. business partners. this has taken the form of experiments with electronic voting. 13-1. 2007) and on the 153 . and those working in the public sector. Canada and Singapore. History of E-Government E-government is the use of information technology to provide citizen and organizations with more convenient access to government information and services and to provide delivery of public services to citizen. Memorandum on E-Government. The UK Electoral Commission has undertaken several pilots.153 English for Computer and IT Engineers There are many considerations and potential implications of implementing and designing e-government. and disturbances to the status quo in these areas. The countries with remarkable e-governance initiatives are New Zealand. In countries such as the United Kingdom. The initial part of implementation of e-governance is "computerization" of public offices enabling them by building their capacity for better service delivery and brining in good governance using technology as a catalyst and the second part is provision of citizen centric services through digital media like developing interactive government portals. evelopment and implementation issues The development and implementation of e-government involves consideration of its effects on the organisation of the public sector (Cordella. In particular. and political factors. aiming to increase voter turnout by making voting easy. there is interest in using electronic government to re-engage citizens with the political process. impacts on economic. social. 1999. 13-2. The memorandum also directed agencies to construct a secure e-government infrastructure. E-government in the United States was especially driven by the 1998 Government Paperwork Elimination Act and by President Clinton's December 17.

The phrase "e-government" has been a rallying cry for public sector modernization since the 90's. cultural. upon the structure of society. This trend has various drivers. and implications for software choices (between open source and proprietary software. many administrations recognise the importance of linking e-government to wider public sector change programmes. there is a wish to mainstream e-government so that best use of technology is integrated into all public sector activity rather than seen as a special interest or add-on. local egovernment. social. Economic and revenue-related concerns include e-government's effect on taxation. or of other digital resources. such as the cost of implementation / effect on existing budgets. industry and trade. Governments may need to consider the impact by gender. especially Internet Service Providers and Internet infrastructure. education standards and IT literacy. effect on government procurement. there is the issue of the implications for the public sector of Web 2.e-Government 154 nature of the services provided by the state including environmental. and funding. Economic concerns include the "Digital divide. interoperability (e.0. From a technological standpoint. among others. the implementation of e-government has effects on e-enablement. and financial considerations. Thirdly. as well as the effect on literacy. There are also management issues related to service integration. and its effect on non-e-government business practices. corporate governance." or the effect of non-use. and cultural diversity. and Internet governance including ICANN. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). commerce and trade. and between programming languages) as well as political blogging especially by legislators. ..g. numeracy. and consumer issues. age. the phrase e-government is itself not particularly useful in motivating a change programme. IETF and W3C. Finally. non-availability or inaccessibility of e-government. debt. All these considerations suggest that e-government is entering a new phase and one in which the term "e-government" is itself becoming less popular. Firstly. but for many it is now losing its appeal as a slogan or concept. "legacy technology" (making "pre-eGovernment IT" work together with or be replaced by e-government systems). e-GIF) and semantic web issues. and the potential impact on income and economics. educational. These sorts of considerations have led countries such as the UK to talk of transformational government rather than e-government. Secondly. language skills.

155 English for Computer and IT Engineers 155 .

For secure elections and other secure citizen-to-government transactions. but has a much wider span than this single aspect of the democratic process. The term is both descriptive and prescriptive." comprises the use of electronic communications technologies such as the Internet in enhancing democratic processes within a democratic republic or representative democracy. E-democracy is also sometimes referred to as cyberdemocracy or digital democracy. Practical issues with e-democracy One major obstacle to the success of e-democracy is that of citizen identification. adjustments must be made in reference to how recognition is to be sought and the floor obtained. E-democracy includes within its scope electronic voting. It is a political development still in its infancy. Another obstacle is that there are many vested interests that would be harmed by a more direct democracy. increasing transparency and accountability.e-Government 156 13-3." Even in a teleconference or videoconference. These organizations may be expected to oppose meaningful application of e-democracy concepts. media moguls and some interests in big business and trade unions. thereby increasing its political legitimacy. civic-oriented groups and societies around the world. Robert's Rules of Order notes that a deliberative assembly requires an environment of simultaneous aural communication. a combination of the words "electronic" and "democracy. The need to allow anonymous posting while at the same time giving certain contributors extra status can be solved using certain cryptographic methods. and keeping the government closer to the consent of the governed. the kinds of enhancements sought by proponents of e-democracy are framed in terms of making processes more accessible. as well as the subject of much debate and activity within government. Typically. making citizen participation in public policy decision-making more expansive and direct so as to enable broader influence in policy outcomes as more individuals involved could yield smarter policies. The common . 13-3-1. citizens must have some form of identification that preserves privacy and maybe also one which could be used in internet forums. Amongst these are politicians. E-democracy E-democracy. otherwise "situations unprecedented in parliamentary law may arise.

the Internet has the potential to take over certain traditional media of political communication such as the telephone. as well as the high-level of reach that the content potentially has makes the Internet an attractive medium for political information. 13-3-3. Another example is OpenForum. senior public servants. 13-3-2. Technical media for e-democracy can be expected to extend to mobile technologies such as cellphones. Equally. which require heavy financial investment. people use the Internet to collaborate or meet in an asynchronous manner ² that is.157 English for Computer and IT Engineers parliamentary law has not yet developed standardized procedures for conducting business electronically. Internet forums and blogs are clues to and early potential solutions for some aspects of e-democracy. wikis. an Australian non-for-profit eDemocracy project which invites politicians. Most importantly the Internet is a many-to-many communication medium where radio and television. Due to all these factors. environmental or social issue groups may find the Internet an easier mechanism to increase awareness of their issues compared to traditional media outlets. newspapers and the radio. the Internet has a much greater computational capacity allowing strong encryption and database management. they do not have to be physically gathered at the same moment to get things accomplished. such as television or newspapers. For example. Also. Further. academics. The lower cost of information-exchange on the Internet. collaborative software.com. and telephones broadcast few-to-few. Benefits and disadvantages Contemporary technologies such as electronic mailing lists. business people and other key stakeholders to engage in high-level policy debate. which is important in community information access and sharing. deliberative democracy and electoral fraud prevention. are not. particularly amongst social interest groups and parties with lower budgets. peer-to-peer networks. the television.au. There are important differences between previous communication media and the Internet that are relevant to the Internet as a political medium. which broadcast few-to-many. these technologies 157 . Internet as political medium The Internet is viewed as a platform and delivery medium for tools that help to eliminate some of the distance constraints in direct democracy.

such as the potential for governance to tend towards populism and demagoguery. information overload and vandalism. the United States and the United Kingdom. garner more participation by youths who would otherwise find it inconvenient to vote using the more traditional methods. Youth. reduce civic illiteracy and voter apathy and become a useful asset for political discussion. The use of electronic political participation mechanism may appear more familiar to youth. debate and participation. More practical objections exist. in particular. With the consistent decline of voter turnout e-democracy and electronic voting mechanisms can help revert that trend. not least in terms of the digital divide between those with access to the media of e-democracy (mobile phones and Internet connections) and those without. Electronic democracy can help improve democratic participation. such as the inability to sustain new initiatives or protect against identity theft. Electronic democracy can also carry the benefit of reaching out to youth. including Canada. have seen a significant drop in turnout in most industrialized nations. as a mechanism to increase youth voter turnout in elections and raising awareness amongst youth. Some traditional objections to direct democracy are argued to apply to edemocracy. as well as the opportunity cost of expenditure on e-democracy innovations. and as a result. .e-Government 158 are bellwethers of some of the issues associated with the territory. education.

Electronic direct democracy Electronic direct democracy is a form of direct democracy in which the Internet and other electronic communications technologies are used to ameliorate the bureaucracy involved with referendums. The voting and the appointment of proxies cou be done ld electronically. in which if A appoints B and B appoints C. or direct democracy with delegable proxy. Electronic voting Electronic voting (also known as `) is a term encompassing several different types of voting. most notably the Metagovernment project. author new legislation. The topology of this system would mirror the structure of the Internet itself. EDD requires electronic voting or some way to register votes on issues electronically. As in any direct democracy. 13-4. Liquid democracy. 159 . and neither A and B vote on a proposed bill but C does. in an EDD citizens would have the right to vote on legislation. and recall representatives (if any representatives are preserved). in which routers may have a primary and alternate server from which to request information. Switzerland. an Australian political party running for the Senate in the 2007 federal elections proposes to institute an EDD system so that Australians decide which way the senators vote on each and every bill. C's vote will count for all three of them. Citizens could also rank their proxies in order of preference. their vote can be cast by their second-choice proxy.159 English for Computer and IT Engineers 13-3-4. Ross Perot was for a time a prominent advocate of EDD when he advocated "electronic town halls" during his 1992 and 1996 Presidential campaigns in the United States. EDD as a system is not fully implemented anywhere in the world although several initiatives are currently forming. Electronic direct democracy is sometimes referred to as EDD (many other names are used for what is essentially the same concept). is making progress towards such a system. so that if their first choice proxy fails to vote. Senator On-Line. embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes. The proxies could even form proxy chains. Several attempts at open source governance are in nascent stages. would allow citizens to choose a proxy to vote on their behalf while retaining the right to cast their own vote on legislation. Many advocates think that also important to this notion are technological enhancements to the deliberative process. already partially governed by direct democracy.

and the United States. With the advent of electronic tabulation came systems where paper cards or sheets could be marked by hand. the Netherlands. marksense and later digital pen voting systems. that allow voters to make their selections using an electronic input device. usually a touch screen system similar to a DRE. there has been controversy. DRE voting machines which collect and tabulate votes in a single machine. Electronic voting systems for electorates have been in use since the 1960s when punch card systems debuted. and also on a large scale in India. Systems including a ballot marking device can incorporate different forms of assistive technology. The newer optical scan voting systems allow a computer to count a voter's mark on a ballot. or the Internet. Internet voting systems have gained popularity and have been used for government elections and referendums in the United Kingdom. Venezuela. These systems included punch card voting. It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephones. then use a separate machine for electronic tabulation. especially DRE voting. Paper-based electronic voting system Sometimes called a "document ballot voting system. can facilitate electoral fraud. that electronic voting. There are also hybrid systems that include an electronic ballot marking device (usually a touch screen system similar to a DRE) or other assistive technology to print a voter-verifiable paper ballot. using paper ballots." paper-based voting systems originated as a system where votes are cast and counted by hand. Electronic voting technology can speed the counting of ballots and can provide improved accessibility for disabled voters. . but counted electronically.e-Government 160 Electronic voting technology can include punch cards. these systems can include an Electronic Ballot Marker (EBM). especially in the United States. private computer networks. optical scan voting systems and specialized voting kiosks (including self-contained Direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting systems). are used by all voters in all elections in Brazil. Estonia and Switzerland as well as municipal elections in Canada and party primary elections in the United States and France. However. Most recently.

which most jurisdictions have chosen to satisfy with the use of DRE voting machines. They typically tabulate ballots as they are cast and print the results after the close of polling. Figure 13-1: Electronic voting machine b Premier Election Solutions (formerl Diebold Election S stems used in all Brazilian elections and plebiscites. and that records voting data and ballot images in memory components. the Help America Vote Act mandated that one handicapped accessible voting system be provided per polling place.9% of the registered voters in the United States used some type of direct recording electronic voting system. These systems use a precinct count method that tabulates ballots at the polling place . V 161 W W W X W . Vote data may be transmitted as individual ballots as they are cast. Photo b Agência Brasil In 2002. that processes data with computer software. up from 7. in the United States. Public network DRE voting s stem A public network DRE voting system is an election system that uses electronic ballots and transmits vote data from the polling place to another location over a public network. some switching entirely over to DRE.161 English for Computer and IT Engineers V U Direct-recording electronic (DRE voting s stem A direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machine records votes by means of a ballot display provided with mechanical or electro-optical components that can be activated by the voter (typically buttons or a touchscreen). This includes Internet voting as well as telephone voting. In 2004. After the election it produces a tabulation of the voting data stored in a removable memory component and as printed copy.7% in 1996. 28. or as one batch at the close of voting. The system may also provide a means for transmitting individual ballots or vote totals to a central location for consolidating and reporting results from precincts at the central location. periodically as batches of ballots throughout the election day. Public network DRE voting system can utilize either precinct count or central count method. The central count method tabulates ballots from multiple precincts at a central location.

Switzerland and Estonia. voters get their passwords to access the ballot through the postal service. . where it is already an established part of local referendums. Most voters in Estonia can cast their vote in local and parliamentary elections. their ID card and its PIN. All a voter needs is a computer. an electronic card reader. It has been made possible because most Estonians carry a national identity card equipped with a computer-readable microchip and it is these cards which they use to get access to the online ballot. the largest run by any European Union country. On election day itself people have to go to polling stations and fill in a paper ballot. Internet voting systems have been used privately in many modern nations and publicly in the United States.e-Government 162 Internet voting can use remote locations (voting from any Internet capable computer) or can use traditional polling locations with voting booths consisting of Internet connected voting systems. the UK. and they can vote from anywhere in the world. Ireland. Corporations and organizations routinely use Internet voting to elect officers and Board members and for other proxy elections. Estonian e-votes can only be cast during the days of advance voting. as most of those on the electoral roll have access to an e-voting system. In Switzerland. if they want to. via the Internet.

State of the art The field of computer vision can be characterized as immature and diverse. Computer vision. The image data can take many forms. Computer vision Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. 14-1. resulting in models of how these systems operate in terms of physiological processes. computer vision is concerned with the theory for building artificial systems that obtain information from images.g. learning. Examples of applications of computer vision systems include systems for: y y y y y Controlling processes (e. Even though earlier work exists. studies and describes artificial vision system that are implemented in software and/or hardware. object recognition. computer vision seeks to apply the theories and models of computer vision to the construction of computer vision systems.g. indexing. tracking. Interdisciplinary exchange between biological and computer vision has proven increasingly fruitful for both fields. an industrial robot or an autonomous vehicle). or multidimensional data from a medical scanner. As a scientific discipline. the visual perception of humans and various animals are studied.g. for visual surveillance or people counting). In biological vision. on the other hand. Interaction (e. it was not until the late 1970s that a more focused study of the field started when computers could manage the processing of large data sets 163 . industrial inspection. medical image analysis or topographical modeling). ego-motion and image restoration. Sub-domains of computer vision include scene reconstruction. views from multiple cameras. As a technological discipline. event detection. such as a video sequence. Computer vision can also be described as a complement (but not necessarily the opposite) of biological vision.163 English for Computer and IT Engineers 14.g. Detecting events (e. as the input to a device for computer-human interaction). Modeling objects or environments (e. for indexing databases of images and image sequences).g. Organizing information (e.

but more and more methods have found their way into commercial products. or quality control and measurements in industrial processes). and consequently there is no standard formulation of "the computer vision problem. these studies usually originated from various other fields. As a consequence.Computer vision 164 such as images. However." Also. where they often constitute a part of a larger system which can solve complex tasks (e. computer vision is sometimes seen as a part of the artificial intelligence field or the computer science field in general. where the methods often are very task specific and seldom can be generalized over a wide range of applications. Instead. Other parts which sometimes are described as belonging to artificial intelligence and which are used in relation to computer vision is pattern recognition and learning techniques. In most practical computer vision applications. This type of processing typically needs input data provided by a computer vision system. elated fields A significant part of artificial intelligence deals with autonomous planning or deliberation for systems which can perform mechanical actions such as moving a robot through some environment. . This finally had a huge impact on the Industrial field 14-2.. but methods based on learning are now becoming increasingly common. and to an even larger extent. there is no standard formulation of how computer vision problems should be solved.g. Many of the methods and applications are still in the state of basic research. acting as a vision sensor and providing high-level information about the environment and the robot. the computers are pre-programmed to solve a particular task. there exists an abundance of methods for solving various well-defined computer vision tasks. in the area of medical images.

These results have led to a subfield within computer vision where artificial systems are designed to mimic the processing and behaviour 165 . various measurement problems in physics can be addressed using computer vision. and the brain structures devoted to processing o visual f stimuli in both humans and various animals. This process is based on optics and solid-state physics. Over the last century. Also. specifically the study of the biological vision system. yet complicated. computer vision can also be seen as an extension of physics. is reflected by the surfaces of objects and finally is measured by the image sensor to produce the image data.165 English for Computer and IT Engineers Figure 14-1: Relation between computer vision and various other fields Physics is another field that is strongly related to computer vision. Consequently. neurons. A significant part of computer vision deals with methods which require a thorough understanding of the process in which electromagnetic radiation. More sophisticated image sensors even require quantum mechanics to provide a complete comprehension of the image formation process. for example motion in fluids. description of how "real" vision systems operate in order to solve certain vision related tasks. A third field which plays an important role is neurobiology. there has been an extensive study of eyes. typically in the visible or the infra-red range. This has led to a coarse.

Computer vision tends to focus on the 3D scene projected onto one or several images. how to reconstruct structure or other information about the 3D scene from one or several images. many methods in computer vision are based on statistics. This implies that the basic techniques that are used and developed in these fields are more or less identical. For example. many of the related research topics can also be studied from a purely mathematical point of view. some of the learningbased methods developed within computer vision have their background in biology. A distinct character of these methods is the fact that they are non-linear which. can be extended in a natural way to processing of two-variable signals or multi-variable signals in computer vision. local operations such as edge extraction or noise removal. at different levels of complexity. most closely related to computer vision.g. together with the multi-dimensionality of the signal. or how these methods can be modified in order to gain processing speed without losing too much performance. various characterizations which distinguish each of the fields from the others have been presented. Yet another field related to computer vision is signal processing. optimization or geometry. This characterization implies that image processing/analysis neither require assumptions nor produce interpretations about the image content. e. conferences and companies to present or market themselves as belonging specifically to one of these fields and. Beside the above mentioned views on computer vision. Image processing and image analysis tend to focus on 2D images.Computer vision 166 of biological systems. On the other hand. how existing methods can be realized in various combinations of software and hardware. by pixel-wise operations such as contrast enhancement. it appears to be necessary for research groups. how to transform one image to another. Finally. The fields.. Also. or geometrical transformations such as rotating the image. because of the specific nature of images there are many methods developed within computer vision which have no counterpart in the processing of one-variable signals. hence. There is a significant overlap in terms of what techniques and applications they cover.. defines a subfield in signal processing as a part of computer vision. typically temporal signals. scientific journals. something which can be interpreted as there is only one field with different names. a significant part of the field is devoted to the implementation aspect of computer vision. However. are image processing.g. image analysis. e. robot vision and machine vision. Computer vision often relies on more or less complex assumptions about the scene depicted in an . Many methods for processing of one-variable signals. The following characterizations appear relevant but should not be taken as universally accepted.

. Military applications are probably one of the largest areas for computer vision. and tomography images. ultrasonic images.g. This application area also supports medical research by providing new information. A consequence of this state of affairs is that you can be working in a lab related to one of these fields. mainly in industry. This area is characterized by the extraction of information from image data for the purpose of making a medical diagnosis of a patient. An example of information which can be extracted from such image data is detection of tumours. X-ray images. There is also a field called imaging which primarily focus on the process of producing images. One example is quality control where details or final products are being automatically inspected in order to find defects. A significant part of this field is devoted to applying these methods to image data. It can also be measurements of organ dimensions. Finally.167 English for Computer and IT Engineers image. information is extracted for the purpose of supporting a manufacturing process. mainly based on statistical approaches. The obvious examples are detection of enemy soldiers or vehicles and missile guidance. Generally. apply methods from a second field to solve a problem in a third field and present the result at a conference related to a fourth field! 14-3. Another example is measurement of position and orientation of details to be picked up by a robot arm. about the structure of the brain. vision based autonomous robots and systems for vision based inspection or measurement. For example. A second application area in computer vision is in industry. Machine vision tends to focus on applications. but sometimes also deals with processing and analysis of images. This implies that image sensor technologies and control theory often are integrated with the processing of image data to control a robot and that realtime processing is emphasized by means of efficient implementations in hardware and software. pattern recognition is a field which uses various methods to extract information from signals in general. etc. e. medical imaging contains lots of work on the analysis of image data in medical applications. e.g.. image data is in the form of microscopy images. Here. blood flow. arteriosclerosis or other malign changes. or about the quality of medical treatments. More advanced systems for missile guidance send the missile to an area rather than 167 . angiography images. Applications for computer vision One of the most prominent application fields is medical computer vision or medical image processing.

land-based vehicles (small robots with wheels. g. NASA's Mars Exploration Rover. or for producing a map of its environment (SLAM) and for detecting obstacles. to UAVs for recon missions or missile guidance.Computer vision 168 a specific target. (credit: Maas Digital LLC One of the newer application areas is autonomous vehicles. i. The level of autonomy ranges from fully autonomous (unmanned) vehicles to vehicles where computer vision based systems support a driver or a pilot in various situations. an example of an unmanned land-based vehicle. Modern military concepts. Space exploration is already being made with autonomous vehicles using computer vision. Examples of supporting systems are obstacle warning systems in cars. and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Other application areas include: Y . which include submersibles. imply that various sensors. Several car manufacturers have demonstrated systems for autonomous driving of cars. and target selection is made when the missile reaches the area based on locally acquired image data. There are ample examples of military autonomous vehicles ranging from advanced missiles. and systems for autonomous landing of aircraft. for knowing where it is. It can also be used for detecting certain task specific events. Fully autonomous vehicles typically use computer vision for navigation. e. Notice the stereo cameras mounted on top of the Rover. but this technology has still not reached a level where it can be put on the market.e. e. automatic processing of the data is used to reduce complexity and to fuse information from multiple sensors to increase reliability. provide a rich set of information about a combat scene which can be used to support strategic decisions. In this case. aerial vehicles. g. a UAV looking for forest fires. Figure 14-2: Artist's Concept of Rover on Mars. including image sensors... cars or trucks). such as "battlefield awareness".

Some examples of typical computer vision tasks are presented below. 14-4-1. Surveillance.g. or identification of a specific vehicle. feature. usually together with their 2D positions in the image or 3D poses in the scene. The existing methods for dealing with this problem can at best solve it only for specific objects. and pose of the object relative to the camera.g. Examples: detection of possible abnormal cells or tissues in medical images or detection of a vehicle in an automatic road toll system. This task can normally be solved robustly and without effort by a human. but is still not satisfactorily solved in computer vision for the general case: arbitrary objects in arbitrary situations.169 y y English for Computer and IT Engineers Support of visual effects creation for cinema and broadcast. such as: 169 .. Identification: An individual instance of an object is recognized. which can be solved using a variety of methods. more or less well-defined measurement problems or processing problems. or vehicles. polyhedrons). Detection based on relatively simple and fast computations is sometimes used for finding smaller regions of interesting image data which can be further analyzed by more computationally demanding techniques to produce a correct interpretation. typically described in terms of well-defined illumination. Detection: the image data is scanned for a specific condition. e. ecognition The classical problem in computer vision. Several specialized tasks based on recognition exist. image processing and machine vision is that of determining whether or not the image data contains some specific object. 14-4. Different varieties of the recognition problem are described in the literature: y y y Recognition: one or several pre-specified or learned objects or object classes can be recognized. Examples: identification of a specific person's face or fingerprint. background.. such as simple geometric objects (e. human faces. Typical tasks of computer vision Each of the application areas described above employ a range of computer vision tasks. or activity. and in specific situations. camera tracking (matchmoving). printed or hand-written characters.

Image restoration The aim of image restoration is the removal of noise (sensor noise.g. 14-4-4. and have no cars in them). Tracking: following the movements of objects (e. scene reconstruction aims at computing a 3D model of the scene. such as lines or edges. or a video. usually with a view to encoding the text in a format more amenable to editing or indexing (e. vehicles or humans). in which an image sequence is processed to produce an estimate of the velocity either at each points in the image or in the 3D scene. Examples of such tasks are: y y Egomotion: determining the 3D rigid motion of the camera. In the simplest case the model can be a set of 3D points. ASCII).g. motion blur. and then controlling the filtering based on local information from the analysis step. The simplest possible approach for noise removal is various types of filters such as low-pass filters or median filters. More sophisticated methods produce a complete 3D surface model. Pose estimation: estimating the position or orientation of a specific object relative to the camera. for example in terms of similarity relative a target image (give me all images similar to image X). By first analysing the image data in terms of the local image structures. The content can be specified in different ways. Scene reconstruction Given one or (typically) more images of a scene. Optical character recognition (or OCR): identifying characters in images of printed or handwritten text. 14-4-3.Computer vision 170 y y y Content-based image retrieval: finding all images in a larger set of images which have a specific content.) from images. are taken during winter. a better level of noise removal is usually obtained compared to the simpler approaches. . or in terms of high-level search criteria given as text input (give me all images which contains many houses. 14-4-2. a model which distinguishes them from the noise. etc. More sophisticated methods assume a model of how the local image structures look like. Motion Several tasks relate to motion estimation. An example application for this technique would be assisting a robot arm in retrieving objects from a conveyor belt in an assembly line situation.

absorption or reflectance of sonic or electromagnetic waves. Depending on the type of sensor. for example. also contains sub-systems for control of mechanical actuators. edges and ridges. o Noise reduction in order to assure that sensor noise does not introduce false information.171 English for Computer and IT Engineers 14-5. The pixel values typically correspond to light intensity in one or several spectral bands (gray images or colour images). besides various types of light-sensitive cameras. however. o Scale-space representation to enhance image structures at locally appropriate scales. typical functions which are found in many computer vision systems. 171 . information databases. etc. Computer vision systems The organization of a computer vision system is highly application dependent. Examples are o Re-sampling in order to assure that the image coordinate system is correct. o Localized interest points such as corners. man-machine interfaces. or an image sequence. There are. ultra-sonic cameras. Pre-processing: Before a computer vision method can be applied to image data in order to extract some specific piece of information. The specific implementation of a computer vision system also depends on if its functionality is pre-specified or if some part of it can be learned or modified during operation. it is usually necessary to process the data in order to assure that it satisfies certain assumptions implied by the method. etc. radar. Some systems are stand-alone applications which solve a specific measurement or detection problem. Typical examples of such features are o Lines. planning. tomography devices. but can also be related to various physical measures. the resulting image data is an ordinary 2D image. a 3D volume. or nuclear magnetic resonance. blobs or points. includes range sensors. More complex features may be related to texture. y y y Image acquisition: A digital image is produced by one or several image sensor which. Feature extraction: Image features at various levels of complexity are extracted from the image data. while other constitute a sub-system of a larger design which. o Contrast enhancement to assure that relevant information can be detected. shape or motion. such as depth.

High-level processing: At this step the input is typically a small set of data. Examples are o Selection of a specific set of interest points o Segmentation of one or multiple image regions which contain a specific object of interest. o Classifying a detected object into different categories. for example: o Verification that the data satisfy model-based and application specific assumptions. The remaining processing deals with. . for example a set of points or an image region which is assumed to contain a specific object. such as object pose or object size.Computer vision 172 y y Detection/Segmentation: At some point in the processing a decision is made about which image points or regions of the image are relevant for further processing. o Estimation of application specific parameters.

Other names for the field have been proposed. economics. General intelligence (or "strong AI") has not yet been achieved and is a long-term goal of some AI research. intelligent systems. ontology. Figure 15-1: Garr Kasparov pla ing against Deep Blue. AI research also overlaps with tasks such as robotics. scheduling. neuroscience." where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximize its chances of success. see GOFAI) which is often associated with the term ³AI´ itself. control theory. Artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science which aims to create it. or computational rationality. synthetic intelligence. learning. such as computational intelligence. data mining. ` ` 173 . operations research. logistics. knowledge. optimization and logic. who coined the term in 1956." Among the traits that researchers hope machines will exhibit are reasoning. John McCarthy. communication. These alternative names are sometimes used to set oneself apart from the part of AI dealing with symbols (considered outdated by many. planning. linguistics. facial recognition and many others. control systems. speech recognition.173 English for Computer and IT Engineers 15. the first machine to win a chess match against a world champion. defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines. including computer science. psychology. probability. philosophy. AI research uses tools and insights from many fields. Major AI textbooks define artificial intelligence as "the study and design of intelligent agents. cognitive science. perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.

However.Artificial intelligence 174 15-1. Simon: "Machines will be capable. By 1985 the market for AI had reached more than a billion dollars and governments around the world poured money back into the field. to most people. beginning with the collapse of the Lisp Machine market in 1987. the problem of creating 'artificial intelligence' will substantially be solved. a machine based on the abstract essence of mathematical reasoning. would not come true. The field of modern AI research was founded at conference on the campus of Dartmouth College in the summer of 1956. Artificial intelligence was adopted throughout the technology industry. an understanding of control and stability called cybernetics. who founded AI laboratories at MIT. Marvin Minsky. A. and British governments cut off all undirected. more lasting AI Winter began. By the middle 60s their research was heavily funded by the U. and many like them.. In 1974. They had failed to recognize the difficulty of some of the problems they faced. H.. a new mathematical theory of information. In the early 80s.S. AI once again fell into disrepute. and a second." These predictions. medical . albeit somewhat behind the scenes. in response to the criticism of England's Sir James Lighthill and ongoing pressure from Congress to fund more productive projects. data mining. the U. This was the first AI Winter. Marvin Minsky: "Within a generation . just a few years later. simply astonishing: computers were solving word problems in algebra. of doing any work a man can do" 1967. within twenty years. They and their students wrote programs that were. In the 90s and early 21st century AI achieved its greatest successes. and above all. Allen Newell and Herbert Simon. especially John McCarthy. proving logical theorems and speaking English.S. CMU and Stanford. exploratory research in AI. based on recent discoveries in neurology. Those who attended would become the leaders of AI research for many decades. providing the heavy lifting for logistics. by the invention of the digital computer. AI research was revived by the commercial success of expert systems (a form of AI program that simulated the knowledge and analytical skills of one or more human experts). History of AI research In the middle of the 20th century. a handful of scientists began a new approach to building intelligent machines. Department of Defense and they were optimistic about the future of the new field: y y 1965.

Are there limits to how intelligent machines can be? Is there an essential difference between human intelligence and artificial intelligence? Can a machine have a mind and consciousness? A few of the most influential answers to these questions are given below. Alan Turing theorized that. y Turing's "polite convention": If a machine acts as intelligently as a human being. Newell and Simon's physical symbol system hypothesis: "A physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means of general intelligent action." This assertion was printed in the proposal for the Dartmouth Conference of 1956.175 English for Computer and IT Engineers diagnosis and many other areas. by claiming to be able to recreate the capabilities of the human mind. the creation of new ties between AI and other fields working on similar problems. Gödel's incompleteness theorem: A formal system (such as a computer program) can not prove all true statements." This statement claims that the essence of intelligence is symbol manipulation. Roger Penrose is among those who claim that Gödel's theorem limits what machines can do. then it is as intelligent as a human being. Hubert Dreyfus argued that. Philosophy of AI Artificial intelligence. human expertise depends on unconscious instinct rather than conscious symbol manipulation and on having a "feel" for the situation rather than explicit symbolic knowledge. and represents the position of most working AI researchers. The success was due to several factors: the incredible power of computers today (see Moore's law). This theory forms the basis of the Turing test. ultimately. The Dartmouth proposal: "Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. and above all a new commitment by researchers to solid mathematical methods and rigorous scientific standards. 15-2. Searle's strong AI hypothesis: "The appropriately programmed computer with the right inputs and outputs would thereby have a mind in exactly the y y y y 175 . is a both challenge and an insipiration for philosophy. we can only judge the intelligence of machine based on its behavior. on the contrary. a greater emphasis on solving specific subproblems.

and that such a simulation will be essentially identical to the original. most of these algorithms can require enormous computational resources ² most experience a "combinatorial explosion": the amount of memory or computer time required becomes astronomical when the problem goes beyond a certain size. Embodied cognitive science argues that unconscious sensorimotor skills are essential to our problem solving abilities. 15-3. This argument combines the idea that a suitably powerful machine can simulate any process. AI research 15-3-1. Deduction. that conscious human reasoning is any more efficient when faced with a difficult abstract problem. y The artificial brain argument: The brain can be simulated. will be able to model these . For difficult problems. AI research had also developed highly successful methods for dealing with uncertain or incomplete information. It is not clear. step-by-step reasoning that human beings use when they solve puzzles. reasoning. Ray Kurzweil and others have argued that it is technologically feasible to copy the brain directly into hardware and software. By the late 80s and 90s. It is hoped that sub-symbolic methods. employing concepts from probability and economics. or make logical deductions. AI researchers have studied several traits that are considered essential. which asks us to look inside the computer and try to find where the "mind" might be. play board games. Problems of AI While there is no universally accepted definition of intelligence. Hans Moravec. however.Artificial intelligence 176 same sense human beings have minds. problem solving Early AI researchers developed algorithms that imitated the process of conscious. with the materialist idea that the mind is the result of physical processes in the brain." Searle counters this assertion with his Chinese room argument. The search for more efficient problem solving algorithms is a high priority for AI research. step-by-step deduction that early AI research was able to model. Cognitive scientists have demonstrated that human beings solve most of their problems using unconscious reasoning. like computational intelligence and situated AI. rather than the conscious.

knowledge about knowledge (what we know about what other people know). such as Cyc. 177 . states and time. it is hoped that situated AI or computational intelligence will provide ways to represent this kind of knowledge. is largely unsolved. of which the most general are called upper ontologies. 15-3-2. They take the form of intuitions or tendencies and are represented in the brain unconsciously and sub-symbolically. Unconscious knowledge: Much of what people know isn't represented as "facts" or "statements" that they could actually say out loud. The breadth of common sense knowledge: The number of atomic facts that the average person knows is astronomical. A complete representation of "what exists" is an ontology (borrowing a word from traditional philosophy). The problem of unconscious problem solving. Among the most difficult problems in knowledge representation are: y y y Default reasoning and the qualification problem: Many of the things people know take the form of "working assumptions. people typically picture an animal that is fist sized. AI research has explored a number of solutions to this problem. This unconscious knowledge informs. nowledge representation Knowledge representation and knowledge engineering are central to AI research. if a bird comes up in conversation. Research projects that attempt to build a complete knowledge base of commonsense knowledge. supports and provides a context for our conscious knowledge." For example. and many other. Almost nothing is simply true or false in the way that abstract logic requires. sings. which forms part of our commonsense reasoning. Among the things that AI needs to represent are: objects. situations. by hand. require enormous amounts of tedious step-by-step ontological engineering ² they must be built. events. categories and relations between objects. there tend to be a huge number of exceptions. As with the related problem of unconscious reasoning. less well researched domains. causes and effects. properties. None of these things are true about birds in general. one complicated concept at a time. and flies. John McCarthy identified this problem in 1969 as the qualification problem: for any commonsense rule that AI researchers care to represent.177 English for Computer and IT Engineers instinctive skills. Many of the problems machines are expected to solve will require extensive knowledge about the world.

after seeing a number of examples of things from each category). (These can be analyzed in terms decision theory. requiring the agent to reason under uncertainty. 15-3-5. Many researchers hope that a sufficiently powerful natural language processing system would be able to acquire knowledge on its . Planning Intelligent agents must be able to set goals and achieve them. 15-3-4. such as classification (be able to determine what category something belongs in. However. Natural language processing Natural language processing gives machines the ability to read and understand the languages human beings speak. The mathematical analysis of machine learning algorithms and their performance is a branch of theoretical computer science known as computational learning theory. In some planning problems. and be able to predict what new "experiences" to expect. the agent can assume that it is the only thing acting on the world and it can be certain what the consequences of its actions may be. Multi-agent planning uses the cooperation and competition of many agents to achieve a given goal. or regression (given a set of numerical input/output examples. Supervised learning. Learning Important machine learning problems are: y y y Unsupervised learning: find a model that matches a stream of input "experiences". discover a continuous function that would generate the outputs from the inputs). They need a way to visualize the future (they must have a representation of the state of the world and be able to make predictions about how their actions will change it) and be able to make choices that maximize the utility (or "value") of the available choices. Reinforcement learning: the agent is rewarded for good responses and punished for bad ones. if this is not true. Emergent behavior such as this is used by evolutionary algorithms and swarm intelligence.Artificial intelligence 178 15-3-3. using concepts like utility). it must periodically check if the world matches its predictions and it must change its plan as this becomes necessary.

Some straightforward applications of natural language processing include information retrieval (or text mining) and machine translation. by reading the existing text available over the internet. such as W. 179 . Cybernetics and brain simulation In the 40s and 50s. Figure 15-2: ASIMO uses sensors and intelligent algorithms to avoid obstacles and navigate stairs. with subproblems of localization (knowing where you are). Intelligence is required for robots to be able to handle such tasks as object manipulation and navigation. Many of these researchers gathered for meetings of the Teleological Society at Princeton and the Ratio Club in England.179 English for Computer and IT Engineers own. Some of them built machines that used electronic networks to exhibit rudimentary intelligence. Motion and manipulation The field of robotics is closely related to AI. and cybernetics. a number of researchers explored the connection between neurology. 15-3-6. mapping (learning what is around you) and motion planning (figuring out how to get there). information theory. Grey Walter's turtles and the Johns Hopkins Beast.

This tradition. John Haugeland named these approaches to AI "good old fashioned AI" or "GOFAI". centered at Carnegie Mellon University would eventually culminate in the development of the Soar architecture in the middle 80s. John McCarthy felt that machines did not need to simulate human thought. Their research team performed psychological experiments to demonstrate the similarities between human problem solving and the programs (such as their "General Problem Solver") they were developing. His laboratory at Stanford (SAIL) focused on using formal logic to solve a wide variety of problems. and each one developed its own style of research. The research was centered in three institutions: CMU. however there is no consensus on how closel it should be simulated. 15-3-7. Stanford and MIT. as well as cognitive science. Cognitive simulation Economist Herbert Simon and Alan Newell studied human problem solving skills and attempted to formalize them. including knowledge a . and their work laid the foundations of the field of artificial intelligence.Artificial intelligence 180 Figure 15-4: The human brain provides inspiration for artificial intelligence researchers. AI research began to explore the possibility that human intelligence could be reduced to symbol manipulation. Traditional symbolic AI When access to digital computers became possible in the middle 1950s. Logical AI Unlike Newell and Simon. regardless of whether people used the same algorithms. operations research and management science. but should instead try to find the essence of abstract reasoning and problem solving.

The result is a search that is too slow or never completes. This "knowledge revolution" led to the development and deployment of expert systems (introduced by Edward Feigenbaum). 181 . Heuristics supply the program with a "best guess" for what path the solution lies on. Knowledge based AI When computers with large memories became available around 1970. "Scruffy" symbolic AI Researchers at MIT (such as Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert) found that solving difficult problems in vision and natural language processing required ad-hoc solutions ± they argued that there was no simple and general principle (like logic) that would capture all the aspects of intelligent behavior.181 English for Computer and IT Engineers representation. researchers from all three traditions began to build knowledge into AI applications. 15-2-17. The solution. for many problems. planning and learning. Roger Schank described their "anti-logic" approaches as "scruffy" (as opposed to the "neat" paradigms at CMU and Stanford). Planning algorithms search through trees of goals and subgoals. where each step is the application of an inference rule. Search and optimization Many problems in AI can be solved in theory by intelligently searching through many possible solutions: Reasoning can be reduced to performing a search. Many learning algorithms use search algorithms based on optimization. Logic was also focus of the work at the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere in Europe which led to the development of the programming language Prolog and the science of logic programming. For example. Robotics algorithms for moving limbs and grasping objects use local searches in configuration space. and this still forms the basis of research into commonsense knowledge bases (such as Doug Lenat's Cyc) which must be built one complicated concept at a time. is to use "heuristics" or "rules of thumb" that eliminate choices that are unlikely to lead to the goal (called "pruning the search tree"). the first truly successful form of AI software. a process called means-ends analysis. The knowledge revolution was also driven by the realization that truly enormous amounts of knowledge would be required by many simple AI applications. logical proof can be viewed as searching for a path that leads from premises to conclusions. Simple exhaustive searches are rarely sufficient for most real world problems: the search space (the number of places to search) quickly grows to astronomical numbers. attempting to find a path to a target goal.

Robert Kowalski suggested representing logical expressions as Horn clauses (statements in the form of rules: "if p then q"). y y y Propositional or sentential logic is the logic of statements which can be true or false. it is possible to begin the search with some form of a guess and then refine the guess incrementally until no more refinements can be made. However. First-order logic also allows the use of quantifiers and predicates. Other optimization algorithms are simulated annealing. rather than simply . This procedure is simple. until we reach the top. by jumps or steps. bu it can be t applied to other problems as well. These algorithms can be visualized as blind hill climbing: we begin the search at a random point on the landscape. a version of first-order logic which allows the truth of a statement to be represented as a value between 0 and 1. and then. For example. we keep moving our guess uphill. selecting only the fittest to survive each generation (refining the guesses). In 1974. their properties. and can express facts about objects. the satplan algorithm uses logic for planning. Evolutionary computation uses a form of optimization search. complete and entirely algorithmic. Fuzzy logic. a naive implementation of the algorithm quickly leads to a combinatorial explosion or an infinite loop. Logic Logic was introduced into AI research by John McCarthy in his 1958 Advice Taker proposal. they may begin with a population of organisms (the guesses) and then allow them to mutate and recombine. There are several different forms of logic used in AI research. based on the mathematical theory of optimization. Forms of evolutionary computation include swarm intelligence algorithms (such as ant colony or particle swarm optimization) and evolutionary algorithms (such as genetic algorithms and genetic programming). The most important technical development was J. and inductive logic programming is a method for learning. This greatly alleviated (but did not eliminate) the problem. Logic is used for knowledge representation and problem solving. and their relations with each other. 15-3-8. beam search and random optimization. For many problems. which reduced logical deduction to backward chaining or forward chaining. Alan Robinson's discovery of the resolution and unification algorithm for logical deduction in 1963. For example. and can easily be performed by digital computers.Artificial intelligence 182 A very different kind of search came to prominence in the 1990s.

There is no single classifier that works best on all given problems. Controllers do however also classify conditions before inferring actions. this is also referred to as the "no free lunch" theorem. A classifier can be trained in various ways. each pattern belongs to a certain predefined class.183 English for Computer and IT Engineers True (1) or False (0). Default logics. and therefore classification forms a central part of many AI systems. non-monotonic logics and circumscription are forms of logic designed to help with default reasoning and the qualification problem. causal calculus. Determining a suitable classifier for a given problem is however still more an art than science. Several extensions of logic have been designed to handle specific domains of knowledge.[144] and decision tree. there are many statistical and machine learning approaches. event calculus and fluent calculus (for representing events and time). each with its strengths and weaknesses. situation calculus.[143] naive Bayes classifier. In supervised learning. Various empirical tests have been performed to compare classifier performance and to find the characteristics of data that determine classifier performance. that observation is classified based on previous experience. They can be tuned according to examples. A wide range of classifiers are available. When a new observation is received. such as: description logics. belief calculus.[142] Gaussian mixture model. A class can be seen as a decision that has to be made. These examples are known as observations or patterns. Classifiers and statistical learning methods The simplest AI applications can be divided into two types: classifiers ("if shiny then diamond") and controllers ("if shiny then pick up").[140] kernel methods such as the support vector machine.[145] The performance of 183 . The most widely used classifiers are the neural network. Classifier performance depends greatly on the characteristics of the data to be classified. y y 15-3-9. Classifiers are functions that use pattern matching to determine a closest match.[141] k-nearest neighbor algorithm. All the observations combined with their class labels are known as a data set. Fuzzy systems can be used for uncertain reasoning and have been widely used in modern industrial and consumer product control systems. making them very attractive for use in AI. and modal logics.

a form of attractor network. robot control. the perceptron. Frequently. akin to the vast network of neurons in the human brain. the radial basis network. . 15-4. sometimes described as the AI effect. when a technique reaches mainstream use it is no longer considered artificial intelligence. Figure 15-5: A neural network is an interconnected group of nodes. competitive learning and the relatively new field of Hierarchical Temporal Memory which simulates the architecture of the neocortex. was first described by John Hopfield in 1982. Neural networks The study of artificial neural networks began in the decade before the field AI research was founded. Neural networks are applied to the problem of learning. 15-3-10. the Kohonen self-organizing map and various recurrent neural networks. using such techniques as Hebbian learning. which led to a renaissance in neural network research and connectionism in general in the middle 1980s. In the 1960s Frank Rosenblatt developed an important early version.Artificial intelligence 184 these classifiers have been compared over a wide range of classification tasks[146] in order to find data characteristics that determine classifier performance. scientific discovery and toys. law. Paul Werbos developed the backpropagation algorithm for multilayer perceptrons in 1974. It may also become integrated into artificial life. Common network architectures which have been developed include the feedforward neural network. stock trading. Applications of artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence has successfully been used in a wide range of fields including medical diagnosis. The Hopfield net.

techniques in computer graphics. the collaboration can be challenging. and development environments are relevant. please see Brain-computer interface. It is often regarded as the intersection of computer science. For the direct communication between brain cells and computers. 16-1. operating systems. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of HCI. which includes both software and hardware. communication theory. However. linguistics. cognitive psychology. it draws from supporting knowledge on both the machine and the human side. due to the different value systems of its diverse members. On the human side. Engineering and design methods are also relevant. social sciences. Interaction between users and computers occurs at the user interface (or simply interface). Human-computer interaction This article is about the interaction between users and computers. The following definition is given by the Association for Computing Machinery: "Human-computer interaction is a discipline concerned with the design.HCI is also sometimes referred to as man± machine interaction (MMI) or computer±human interaction (CHI). general-purpose computer peripherals and large-scale mechanical systems. evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them.185 English for Computer and IT Engineers 16. design and several other fields of study. programming languages." Because human-computer interaction studies a human and a machine in conjunction. Specifically. behavioral sciences. Human±computer interaction or HCI is the study of interaction between people (users) and computers. On the machine side. graphic and industrial design disciplines. for example. HCI is concerned with: 185 . Goals A basic goal of HCI is to improve the interactions between users and computers by making computers more usable and receptive to the user's needs. and human performance are relevant. such as aircraft and power plants. people with different backgrounds contribute to its success.

e. Design principles When evaluating a current user interface.. and an additional focus on how to implement the (software and hardware) mechanisms behind computers to support human-computer interaction.g. 16-3. experimenting with new hardware devices. and developing models and theories of interaction. Researchers in HCI are interested in developing new design methodologies. prototyping new software systems. software toolkits and libraries. efficient algorithms) techniques for evaluating and comparing interfaces developing new interfaces and interaction techniques developing descriptive and predictive models and theories of interaction A long term goal of HCI is to design systems that minimize the barrier between the human's cognitive model of what they want to accomplish and the computer's understanding of the user's task. . given a task and a class of users. HCI also differs with ergonomics in that there is less of a focus on repetitive work-oriented tasks and procedures. design the best possible interface within given constraints. such as the physical form of keyboards and mice. it is important to keep in mind the following experimental design principles: y Early focus on user(s) and task(s): Establish how many users are needed to perform the task(s) and determine who the appropriate users should be. or designing a new user interface. Differences with related fields HCI differs with human factors in that there is more of a focus on users working with computers rather than other kinds of machines or designed artifacts.Human-computer interaction 186 y y y y y methodologies and processes for designing interfaces (i. optimizing for a desired property such as learnability or efficiency of use) methods for implementing interfaces (e. exploring new paradigms for interaction. Their work often revolves around designing graphical user interfaces and web interfaces. 16-2. and much less emphasis on physical stress and the physical form or industrial design of physical aspects of the user interface. Professional practitioners in HCI are usually designers concerned with the practical application of design methodologies to real-world problems.

and the number of errors made during the task(s). Design methodologies A number of diverse methodologies outlining techniques for human ±computer interaction design have emerged since the rise of the field in the 1980s. Iterative design: After determining the users. Keep in mind that results may be altered if the performance level of the user is not an accurate depiction of the real human-computer interaction. Most design methodologies stem from a model for how users. user-friendly interface is created.187 English for Computer and IT Engineers someone that has never used the interface. is most likely not a valid user. 2. usercentered design projects are informed by ethnographic studies of the 187 . Establish quantitative usability specifics such as: the number of users performing the task(s). perform the following iterative design steps: Design the user interface Test Analyze results Repeat y y 1. Empirical measurement: Test the interface early on with real users who come in contact with the interface on an everyday basis. and empirical measurements to include. and engineers and push for technical systems to be wrapped around the types of experiences users want to have. designers. Repeat the iterative design process until a sensible. needs and limitations of the user and create a system that addresses these elements. designers. In addition. tasks. and technical systems interact. y User-centered design: user-centered design (UCD) is a modern. 16-4. Users. the time to complete the task(s). define the task(s) the users will be performing and how often the task(s) need to be performed. Often. for example. rather than wrapping user experience around a completed system. respectively. and will not use the interface in the future. designers and technical practitioners work together to articulate the wants. Early methodologies. Modern models tend to focus on a constant feedback and conversation between users. 4. treated users' cognitive processes as predictable and quantifiable and encouraged design practitioners to look to cognitive science results in areas such as memory and attention when designing user interfaces. 3. widely practiced design philosophy rooted in the idea that users must take centerstage in the design of any computer system.

controlling. A reduction in errors. and there is no simple solution to say that one principle is more important than another. situation awareness. Before a display is designed. Consistency. The principles may be tailored to a specific design or situation. Visibility. Simplicity. A user or operator must be able to process whatever information that a system generates and displays. y Principles of User Interface Design: these are seven principles that may be considered at any time during the design of a user interface in any order. therefore. which emphasizes the possibility for end-users to contribute actively through shared design sessions and workshops. This practice is similar. and understanding.g. namely Tolerance.). entertaining. a reduction in required training time. Some principles may seem to be conflicting. Perceptual Principles 1. THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES OF DISPLAY DESIGN These principles of human perception and information processing can be utilized to create an effective display design. learning. Display design Displays are human-made artifacts designed to support the perception of relevant system variables and to facilitate further processing of that information. navigating. Make displays legible (or audible) . Striking a functional balance among the principles is critical for an effective design. Structure and Feedback. Certain principles may not be applicable to different displays or situations. but not identical to Participatory Design. the information must be displayed according to principles in a manner that will support perception. See List of human-computer interaction topics#Interface design methods for more y 16-5. etc. and an increase in user satisfaction are a few of the many potential benefits that can be achieved through utilization of these principles. decision making. an increase in efficiency.Human-computer interaction 188 environments in which users will be interacting with the system. the task that the display is intended to support must be defined (e. Affordance.

4. as redundancy does not imply repetition. Top-down processing Signals are likely perceived and interpreted in accordance with what is expected based on a user¶s past experience. Principle of pictorial realism A display should look like the variable that it represents (e. 189 . as color and position are redundant. size. it is more likely that it will be understood correctly. Unnecessary similar features should be removed and dissimilar features should be highlighted.). then the operator cannot effectively make use of them. Avoid absolute judgment limits Do not ask the user to determine the level of a variable on the basis of a single sensory variable (e. If there are multiple elements. A423B9 is more similar to A423B8 than 92 is to 93. These sensory variables can contain many possible levels. 5. For example. Similarity causes confusion: Use discriminable elements Signals that appear to be similar will likely be confused. If a signal is presented contrary to the user¶s expectation. If the characters or objects being displayed cannot be discernible.g. voice and print. Redundancy gain If a signal is presented more than once. etc. Mental Model Principles 6. more physical evidence of that signal may need to be presented to assure that it is understood correctly. 3.189 English for Computer and IT Engineers A display¶s legibility is critical and necessary for designing a usable display.g. A traffic light is a good example of redundancy. color and shape. 2.g. loudness). high temperature on a thermometer shown as a higher vertical level). they can be configured in a manner that looks like it would in the represented environment. The ratio of similar features to different features causes signals to be similar. This can be done by presenting the signal in alternative physical forms (e. color.

the moving element on an altimeter should move upward with increasing altitude. which can be achieved in many ways (e. A display design should minimize this cost by allowing for frequently accessed sources to be located at the nearest possible position. linkage by common colors. However. close proximity. Memory Principles 11.). Proximity compatibility principle Divided attention between two information sources may be necessary for the completion of one task. Principle of the moving part Moving elements should move in a pattern and direction compatible with the user¶s mental model of how it actually moves in the system. shapes. 9. Replace memory with visual information: knowledge in the world A user should not need to retain important information solely in working memory or to retrieve it from long-term memory. etc. a expert computer operator would rather use direct commands from their memory rather than referring to a manual). A menu. These sources must be mentally integrated and are defined to have close mental proximity. The use of . For example. Information access costs should be low. Minimizing information access cost When the user¶s attention is averted from one location to another to access necessary information. the use of memory may sometimes benefit the user rather than the need for reference to some type of knowledge in the world (e. However.Human-computer interaction 190 7. adequate legibility should not be sacrificed to reduce this cost. Principles Based on Attention 8. there is an associated cost in time or effort. However. patterns.g. visual and auditory information can be presented simultaneously rather than presenting all visual or all auditory information. For example.g. or another display can aid the user by easing the use of their memory. close display proximity can be harmful by causing too much clutter. 10. checklist. Principle of multiple resources A user can more easily process information across different resources.

but also think about possible future conditions. 12. 16-6. Principle of consistency Old habits from other displays will easily transfer to support processing of new displays if they are designed in a consistent manner. A display should attempt to eliminate resource-demanding cognitive tasks and replace them with simpler perceptual tasks to reduce the use of the user¶s mental resources. These forces include: y y y y y y y Decreasing hardware costs leading to larger memories and faster systems Miniaturization of hardware leading to portability Reduction in power requirements leading to portability New display technologies leading to the packaging of computational devices in new forms Specialized hardware leading to new functions Increased development of network communication and distributed computing Increasingly widespread use of computers. A user¶s long-term memory will trigger actions that are expected to be appropriate. Principle of predictive aiding Proactive actions are usually more effective than reactive actions. A design must accept this fact and utilize consistency among different displays. especially by people who are outside of the computing profession 191 . Future developments in HCI The means by which humans interact with computers continues to evolve rapidly. 13. An example of a predictive aid is a road sign displaying the distance from a certain destination. Human-computer interaction is affected by the forces shaping the nature of future computing.191 English for Computer and IT Engineers knowledge in a user¶s head and knowledge in the world must be balanced for an effective design. This will allow the user to not only focus on current conditions.

formatted data. Mass availability of computer graphics Computer graphics capabilities such as image processing. ultrasonic. leading to rapid computerization by people previously left out of the "computer revolution.g. This will have large effects on portability and will enable the development of paper-like. video. These will be exchangeable over communication links among users. combined with lowering cost. High-bandwidth interaction The rate at which humans and machines interact will increase substantially due to the changes in speed. cellular. such as virtual reality or computational video. Computer and print worlds will continue to cross assimilate each other. and interactive animation will become widespread as inexpensive chips become available for inclusion in general workstations. graphics transformations. new media. voice. light weight. through thick manuals).e." Wider social concerns leading to improved access to computers by currently disadvantaged groups The future for HCI is expected to include the following characteristics: Ubiquitous communication Computers will communicate through high speed local networks. Large and thin displays New display technologies will finally mature enabling very large displays and also displays that are thin. Mixed media Systems will handle images. This will lead to some qualitatively different interfaces. and new input/output devices. High functionality systems Systems will have large numbers of functions associated with them. sounds. stereo sets. computer graphics.. VCRs. and have low power consumption. Data and computational services will be portably accessible from many if not most locations to which a user travels. pen). . text.. and other technologies. The separate worlds of consumer electronics (e. There will be so many systems that most users.Human-computer interaction 192 y y Increasing innovation in input techniques (i. nationally over wide-area networks. will not have time to learn them in the traditional way (e. rendering. pen-based computer interaction systems very different in feel from desktop workstations of the present. voice.. technical or non-technical. gesture.g. and portably via infrared. televisions) and computers will partially merge.

193 . but not exclusively computers. The difference in the future is the addition of networked communications that will allow many of these embedded computations to coordinate with each other and with the user. Existing projects show real-time statistics to users performing difficult tasks. 16-7. dials. These will have major impacts on the nature of organizations and on the division of labor. User Tailorability Ordinary users will routinely tailor applications to their own use and will use this power to invent new applications based on their understanding of their own domains. weather for pilots) will continue to proliferate. The environment will be alive with little computations from computerized cooking appliances to lighting and plumbing fixtures to window blinds to automobile braking systems to greeting cards.g. MMI has been used to refer to any man±machine interaction. Augmented reality A common staple of science fiction. To some extent. Users. such as manufacturing. this development is already taking place.g. knobs and gauges. The rate of proliferation will accelerate with the introduction of highbandwidth interaction and the improvement in quality of interfaces. Some notes on terminology y HCI vs MMI. Human interfaces to these embedded devices will in many cases be very different from those appropriate to workstations. Models of the group design process will be embedded in systems and will cause increased rationalization of design.g. Information Utilities Public information utilities (such as home banking and shopping) and specialized industry services (e. Future work might include augmenting our social interactions by providing additional information about those we converse with. switches. e.193 English for Computer and IT Engineers Embedded computation Computation will pass beyond desktop computers into every object for which uses can be found. augmented reality refers to the notion of layering relevant information into our vision of the world. The term was used early on in control room design for anything operated on or observed by an operator. for authoring joint documents)... including. for engineering projects. with their deeper knowledge of their own knowledge domains. for meetings. will increasingly be important sources of new applications at the expense of generic systems programmers (with systems expertise but low domain expertise). Group interfaces Interfaces to allow groups of people to coordinate will be common (e.

The acronym CHI (pronounced kai). However. i. The loop of interaction has several aspects to it including: y y y Task Environment: The conditions and goals set upon the user. since these are very context-dependent terms. perhaps more frequently in the past than now. Intuitive and Natural. Since the turn of the millennium. Usability vs Usefulness. While the overlapping areas. that can be operated with ease and efficiency. Design methodologies in HCI aim to create user interfaces that are usable. and powerful. which perhaps rose in popularity partly because of the notion that the human. Human±computer interface The human±computer interface can be described as the point of communication between the human user and the computer. often simply because they have a graphical user interface. an even more basic requirement is that the user interface be useful. has been used to refer to this field. . The flow of information between the human and computer is defined as the loop of interaction. i.e a laptop in a college student's dorm room. only concern themselves with the processes pertaining to their interaction. and some object to the use of the words intuitive and natural as vague and/or misleading. However.e. Areas of the Interface: Non-overlapping areas involve processes of the human and computer not pertaining to their interaction.Human-computer interaction 194 y HCI vs CHI. the field of human-centered computing has emerged with an even more pronounced focus on understanding human beings as actors within socio ± technical systems. and are more important than the machine's. This notion became increasingly relevant towards the end of the 20th century as computers became increasingly inexpensive (as did CPU time).g. that it allows the user to complete relevant tasks. Many researchers in HCI view such claims as unfounded (e. small. researchers and practitioners now refer to their field of study as HCI (pronounced as an initialism). and the human's needs and time. for computer±human interaction.e. should be considered first. Software products are often touted by marketers as being "intuitive" and "natural" to use. y y 16-8. a poorly designed GUI may be very unusable). Machine Environment: The environment that the computer is connected i.

195 .195 y y y English for Computer and IT Engineers Input Flow: Begins in the task environment as the user has some task that requires using their computer. and confirm processes as they pass from the human through the interface to the computer and back. Output : The flow of information that originates in the machine environment. Feedback: Loops through the interface that evaluate. moderate.

after World War II. phrase recognition.Machine translation 196 17. However. The authors claimed that within three to five years. Beginning in the late 1980s. however. René Descartes proposes a universal language. MT has proven useful as a tool to assist human translators. Real progress was much slower. some systems are able to translate more accurately if the user has unambiguously identified which words in the text are names. funding was greatly reduced. Using corpus techniques. History The idea of machine translation may be traced back to 17th century. In the 1950s. At its basic level. as well as the isolation of anomalies. Machine translation Machine translation. is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of computer software to translate text or speech from one natural language to another. and after the ALPAC report (1966). This technique is particularly effective in domains where formal or formulaic language is used. and in some cases can even produce output that can be used "as is". In 1629. Improved output quality can also be achieved by human intervention: for example. with equivalent ideas in different tongues sharing one symbol. and translation of idioms. as computational power . which found that the ten-year-long research had failed to fulfill expectations. The Georgetown experiment (1954) involved fully-automatic translation of over sixty Russian sentences into English. Current machine translation software often allows for customisation by domain or profession (such as weather reports) ² improving output by limiting the scope of allowable substitutions. MT performs simple substitution of words in one natural language for words in another. It follows then that machine translation of government and legal documents more readily produces usable output than conversation or less standardised text. With the assistance of these techniques. particularly where the text to be translated uses casual language. allowing for better handling of differences in linguistic typology. machine translation would be a solved problem. The experiment was a great success and ushered in an era of substantial funding for machine-translation research. sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT. current systems are unable to produce output of the same quality as a human translator. 17-1. more complex translations may be attempted.

in the near future. people can possibly communicate and contact one another around the world in their own mother tongue. and a demonstration was made in 1954 on the APEXC machine at Birkbeck College (London Univ.Booth and possibly others. idioms. syntax. Using Internet and e-mail technology. Translation process The translation process may be stated as: 1. etc. the translator must interpret and analyse all the features of the text. can use their own language for global communication to different people with different languages. using machine translation software. Several papers on the topic were published at the time. however. 17-2. and even articles in popular journals (see for example Wireless World. Not all of these Internet users. the Internet has emerged as a global information infrastructure. Re-encoding this meaning in the target language. and 2. Decoding the meaning of the source text. semantics. more interest was shown in statistical models for machine translation. Sept. as well as fast information transfer and exchange. A similar application. Behind this ostensibly simple procedure lies a complex cognitive operation. revolutionizing access to any information. Recently. Cleave and Zacharov). 1955. people need to communicate rapidly over long distances across continent boundaries.. and that will "create" a new text in the target language that "sounds" as if it has been written by a person. also pioneered at Birkbeck College at the time. Therein lies the challenge in machine translation: how to program a computer that will "understand" a text as a person does. 197 . a process that requires in-depth knowledge of the grammar. was reading and composing Braille texts by computer. of the source language.D. as well as the culture of its speakers. To decode the meaning of the source text in its entirety. The idea of using digital computers for translation of natural languages was proposed as early as 1946 by A. Therefore.) of a rudimentary translation of English into French. The translator needs the same in-depth knowledge to reencode the meaning in the target language. The Georgetown experiment was by no means the first such application.197 English for Computer and IT Engineers increased and became less expensive.

Generally. symbolic representation. 198 17-3. machine translation programs often work well enough for a native speaker of one language to get the approximate meaning of what is written by the other native speaker. then direct translation. These methods require extensive lexicons with morphological. the large multilingual corpus of data needed for statistical methods to work is not necessary for the grammar based - b b b . rule-based methods parse a text.Machine translation This problem may be approached in a number of ways. Approaches Machine translation can use a method based on linguistic rules. It is often argued that the success of machine translation requires the problem of natural language understanding to be solved first. followed b transfer-based. usually creating an intermediary. and large sets of rules. an approach is described as interlingual machine translation or transfer-based machine translation. Given enough data. syntactic. and semantic information. According to the nature of the intermediary representation. from which the text in the target language is generated. Figure 17-1: P ramid showing comparative depths of intermediar representation. For example. The difficulty is getting enough data of the right kind to support the particular method. interlingual machine translation at the peak. which means that words will be translated in a linguistic way ² the most suitable (orally speaking) words of the target language will replace the ones in the source language.

the English-French record of the Canadian parliament and EUROPARL. The target language is then generated out of the interlingua. i. 17-3-4. the source language. source-/target-language-independent representation. 17-3-1. but such corpora are still very rare. But then. they improved their translation capabilities by inputting approximately 200 billion words from United Nations materials to train their system.199 English for Computer and IT Engineers methods. Statistical Statistical machine translation tries to generate translations using statistical methods based on bilingual text corpora. Accuracy of the translation has improved. Dictionary-based Machine translation can use a method based on dictionary entries. Recently. Rule-based The rule-based machine translation paradigm includes transfer-based machine translation. the grammar methods need a skilled linguist to carefully design the grammar that they use. is transformed into an interlingual. such as the Canadian Hansard corpus.e. interlingual machine translation and dictionary-based machine translation paradigms. Where such corpora are available. which means that the words will be translated as they are by a dictionary. 17-3-2. The first statistical machine translation software was CANDIDE from IBM.e. a technique referred to as shallowtransfer machine translation may be used. To translate between closely related languages. but has switched to a statistical translation method in October 2007. the text to be translated. impressive results can be achieved translating texts of a similar kind. Example-based 199 . i. Transfer-based machine translation Interlingual Interlingual machine translation is one instance of rule-based machine-translation approaches. 17-3-3. the record of the European Parliament. In this approach. Google used SYSTRAN for several years.

but this would .. It's necessary therefore to do research. About 90% of an average text corresponds to these simple conditions.. Shallow approaches assume no knowledge of the text. automates the easier part of a translator's job. the author of the source text. But unfortunately. cited the example of an epidemic which was declared during World War II in a "Japanese prisoner of war camp". an Australian physician. the harder and more time-consuming part usually involves doing extensive research to resolve ambiguities in the source text. The ideal deep approach would require the translation software to do all the research necessary for this kind of disambiguation on its own. which the grammatical and lexical exigencies of the target language require to be resolved: Why does a translator need a whole workday to translate five pages.Machine translation 200 Example-based machine translation (EBMT) approach is often characterised by its use of a bilingual corpus as its main knowledge base. shallow approaches have been more successful. It's that part that requires six [more] hours of work. a long-time translator for the United Nations and the World Health Organization. a machine would never be able to distinguish between the two meanings of a word. The late Claude Piron. wrote that machine translation. at its best. He pointed out that without a "universal encyclopedia".. 17-4. Today there are numerous approaches designed to overcome this problem. Disambiguation Word-sense disambiguation concerns finding a suitable translation when a word can have more than one meaning. So far. there's the other 10%. There are the ambiguities one has to resolve. and not an hour or two? . Deep approaches presume a comprehensive knowledge of the word. Was he talking about an American camp with Japanese prisoners or a Japanese camp with American prisoners? The English has two senses. For instance. at run-time. They can be approximately divided into "shallow" approaches and "deep" approaches. Major issues 17-4-1. The problem was first raised in the 1950s by Yehoshua Bar-Hillel. maybe to the extent of a phone call to Australia.. It is essentially a translation by analogy and can be viewed as an implementation of case-based reasoning approach of machine learning. They simply apply statistical methods to the words surrounding the ambiguous word.

perhaps. by Piron's estimate. Currently the military community is interested 201 . Google has claimed that promising results were obtained using a proprietary statistical machine translation engine. A shallow approach that involves "ask the user about each ambiguity" would. Uwe Muegge has implemented a demo website that uses a controlled language in combination with the Google tool to produce fully automatic. which powers both Google translate and AltaVista's Babel Fish Promt. A shallow approach which simply guessed at the sense of the ambiguous English phrase that Piron mentions (based.201 English for Computer and IT Engineers require a higher degree of AI than has yet been attained. Applications There are now many software programs for translating natural language. Probably the largest institutional user is the European Commission. largely funded by the US Intelligence Community. and French web sites. MT programs are used around the world.fr Although no system provides the holy grail of "fully automatic high quality machine translation" (FAHQMT). InQ-Tel (a venture capital fund.fr and Orange. German. on which kind of prisoner-of-war camp is more often mentioned in a given corpus) would have a reasonable chance of guessing wrong fairly often. 17-5. Despite their inherent limitations. The statistical translation engine used in the Google language tools for Arabic <-> English and Chinese <-> English has an overall score of 0. the military sources in the United States have been investing significant amounts of money in natural language engineering.4281 over the runner-up IBM's BLEU-4 score of 0.3954 (Summer 2006) in tests conducted by the National Institute for Standards and Technology. leaving the harder 75% still to be done by a human. only automate about 25% of a professional translator's job. to stimulate new technologies through private sector entrepreneurs) brought up companies like Language Weaver. which powers online translation services at Voila. such as: y y SYSTRAN. Toggletext uses a transfer-based system (known as Kataku) to translate between English and Indonesian. many systems produce reasonable output. several of them online. highquality machine translations of his English. With the recent focus on terrorism.

and that it takes a human to adequately comprehend the context of the original text. been asserted that in certain applications. The oldest is the use of human judges to assess a translation's quality. NIST and METEOR. it is still the most reliable way to compare different systems such as rule-based and statistical systems. US Air Force has awarded a $1 million contract to develop a language translation technology. Information Processing Technology Office in DARPA hosts programs like TIDES and Babylon Translator. e. Relying exclusively on unedited machine translation ignores the fact that communication in human language is context-embedded. Pashto. however. it must be reviewed and edited by a human. and Dari.g. Therefore. a dictionary-based machine-translation system has produced satisfactory translations that require no human intervention. 17-6. Automated means of evaluation include BLEU. to ensure that a machinegenerated translation will be of publishable quality and useful to a human. Even though human evaluation is time-consuming. It has.Machine translation 202 in translation and processing of languages like Arabic. Evaluation There are various means for evaluating the performance of machine -translation systems. Even purely human generated translations are prone to error. product descriptions written in a controlled language. .

The nature of narrative dictation is highly interpretive and often requires judgment that may be provided by a real human but not yet by an automated system. using the binary code for a string of character codes). History One of the most notable domains for the commercial application of speech recognition in the United States has been health care and in particular the work of the medical transcriptionist (MT). Many 203 . is seen as the software. Health care In the health care domain. but can more precisely refer to speaker recognition. Another limitation has been the extensive amount of time required by the user and/or system provider to train the software. however. it required changes to the ways physicians worked and documented clinical encounters. which many if not all were reluctant to do. as opposed to what is being said.203 English for Computer and IT Engineers 18. The biggest limitation to speech recognition automating transcription. It was also the case that SR at that time was often technically deficient. Each of these types of application presents its own particular goals and challenges. Speech recognition Speech recognition (also known as automatic speech recognition or computer speech recognition) converts spoken words to machine-readable input (for example. at its inception. Additionally. medical transcriptionists (MTs) have not yet become obsolete. even in the wake of improving speech recognition technologies. to be used effectively. which attempts to identify the person speaking. Applications Here we list the most important applications of speech recognition systems. A distinction in ASR is often made between "artificial syntax systems" which are usually domain-specific and "natural language processing" which is usually language-specific. 18-2-1. speech recognition (SR) was sold as a way to completely eliminate transcription rather than make the transcription process more efficient. to keypresses. 18-2. hence it was not accepted. According to industry experts. The term "voice recognition" may also be used to refer to speech recognition. 18-1.

the services provided may be redistributed rather than replaced. Many Electronic Medical Records (EMR) applications can be more effective and may be performed more easily when deployed in conjunction with a speechrecognition engine. and form filling may all be faster to perform by voice than by using a keyboard. Speech recognition can be implemented in front-end or back-end of the medical documentation process. It never goes through an MT/editor. constrained vocabularies have been used successfully. In these programs. the recognized words are displayed right after they are spoken. who edits the draft and finalizes the report.S. Searches. and controlling flight displays. commanding an autopilot system. Front-End SR is where the provider dictates into a speech-recognition engine. program in speech recognition for the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI)/F-16 aircraft (F-16 VISTA). Military High-performance fighter aircraft Substantial efforts have been devoted in the last decade to the test and evaluation of speech recognition in fighter aircraft. and programs in the UK dealing with a variety of aircraft platforms. 18-2-2. queries. Of particular note are the U. the program in France on installing speech recognition systems on Mirage aircraft. Some important conclusions from the work were as follows: . and the voice is routed through a speech-recognition machine and the recognized draft document is routed along with the original voice file to the MT/editor.Speech recognition 204 experts in the field anticipate that with increased use of speech recognition technology. Back-End SR or Deferred SR is where the provider dictates into a digital dictation system. and the dictator is responsible for editing and signing off on the document. Generally. only very limited. setting steer-point coordinates and weapons release parameters. and a major effort has been devoted to integration of the speech recognizer with the avionics system. Deferred SR is being widely used in the industry currently. speech recognizers have been operated successfully in fighter aircraft with applications including: setting radio frequencies.

Voice commands are confirmed by visual and/or aural feedback. but this potential was not realized consistently. but is used for a wide range of other cockpit functions. which would reduce acoustic noise in the microphone. The system is not used for any safety critical or weapon critical tasks. a proper syntax. 2. The acoustic noise problem is actually more severe in the helicopter environment. and above all. it requires each pilot to create a template. The Eurofighter Typhoon currently in service with the UK RAF employs a speaker-dependent system. notably by the U.e. should improve the utility of speech recognition in high-performance aircraft. and even allows the pilot to assign targets to himself with two simple voice commands or to any of his wingmen with only five commands. as could be expected. i. Achievement of very high recognition accuracy (95% or more) was the most critical factor for making the speech recognition system useful ² with lower recognition rates.205 English for Computer and IT Engineers 1. Working with Swedish pilots flying in the JAS-39 Gripen cockpit. if extendable to the cockpit. no effects of the broken English of the speakers were found. but only if very high recognition rates could be maintained. Contrary to what might be expected. such as weapon release or lowering of the undercarriage. 3. It was evident that spontaneous speech caused problems for the recognizer.S. The system is seen as a major design feature in the reduction of pilot workload. It was also concluded that adaptation greatly improved the results in all cases and introducing models for breathing was shown to improve recognition scores significantly. pilots would not use the system. Work in France has included speech 205 . Helicopters The problems of achieving high recognition accuracy under stress and noise pertain strongly to the helicopter environment as well as to the fighter environment. Speech recognition has definite potential for reducing pilot workload. could thus be expected to improve recognition accuracy substantially. Substantial test and evaluation programs have been carried out in the post decade in speech recognition systems applications in helicopters. Englund (2004) found recognition deteriorated with increasing G-loads. A restricted vocabulary. and shorter training times would be useful. More natural vocabulary and grammar. Laboratory research in robust speech recognition for military environments has produced promising results which. Army Avionics Research and Development Activity (AVRADA) and by the Royal Aerospace Establishment (RAE) in the UK. not only because of the high noise levels but also because the helicopter pilot generally does not wear a facemask.

Speech understanding programs sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U. Commanders and system operators need to query these databases as conveniently as possible. Battle management Battle management command centres generally require rapid access to and control of large. Users were very optimistic about the potential of the system. Training air traffic controllers Training for military (or civilian) air traffic controllers (ATC) represents an excellent application for speech recognition systems. Speech recognition efforts have focused on a database of continuous speech recognition (CSR). There has also been much useful work in Canada. which simulates the dialog which the controller would .Speech recognition 206 recognition in the Puma helicopter. in order to consistently achieve performance improvements in operational settings. rapidly changing information databases. In one feasibility study. although capabilities were limited. speech recognition equipment was tested in conjunction with an integrated information display for naval battle management applications. the overriding issue for voice in helicopters is the impact on pilot effectiveness. in an eyesbusy environment where much of the information is presented in a display format. and current efforts are focused on integrating speech recognition and natural language processing to allow spoken language interaction with a naval resource management system. has focused on this problem of natural speech interface. and control of an automated target handover system. large-vocabulary speech which is designed to be representative of the naval resource management task. engaging in a voice dialog with the trainee controller. Much remains to be done both in speech recognition and in overall speech recognition technology.S. Human machine interaction by voice has the potential to be very useful in these environments.. although these represent only a feasibility demonstration in a test environment. A number of efforts have been undertaken to interface commercially available isolated-word recognizers into battle management environments. Significant advances in the state-of-the-art in CSR have been achieved. Encouraging results are reported for the AVRADA tests. As in fighter applications. and voice applications have included : control of communication radios. setting of navigation systems. Many ATC training systems currently require a person to act as a "pseudo-pilot". Results have been encouraging.

ASR in the field of document production has not seen the expected increases in use. USMC. thus reducing training and support personnel. Speech recognition and synthesis techniques offer the potential to eliminate the need for a person to act as pseudo-pilot. 18-2-3.S. however. Inc. and in other training applications. hence reducing the difficulty of the speech recognition task. Naval Training Equipment Center has sponsored a number of developments of prototype ATC trainers using speech recognition. Telephony and other domains ASR in the field of telephony is now commonplace and in the field of computer gaming and simulation is becoming more widespread. directed at issues both in speech recognition and in application of task -domain grammar constraints.207 English for Computer and IT Engineers have to conduct with pilots in a real ATC situation. Generally. and Adacel Systems Inc (ASI). Research in France has focussed on the application of speech recognition in ATC training systems. The U. the recognition accuracy falls short of providing graceful interaction between the trainee and the system. This software uses speech recognition and synthetic speech to enable the trainee to control aircraft and ground vehicles in the simulation without the need for pseudo pilots. using specific vocabulary specifically designed for the ATC task. Another approach to ATC simulation with speech recognition has been created by Supremis. 207 . including UFA. The Supremis system is not constrained by rigid grammars imposed by the underlying limitations of other recognition strategies. one of the goals of the training programs was to teach the controllers to speak in a constrained language. US Army. Navy has sponsored a large-scale effort in ATC training systems. The USAF. the prototype training systems have demonstrated a significant potential for voice interaction in these systems. and FAA are currently using ATC simulators with speech recognition from a number of different vendors. Although the recognizer was constrained in vocabulary. Despite the high level of integration with word processing in general personal computing. However. where a commercial speech recognition unit was integrated with a complex training system including displays and scenario creation. The U. Air controller tasks are also characterized by highly structured speech as the primary output of the controller.S.

Vito Technology (VITO Voice2Go). including mobile email Multimodal interaction Pronunciation evaluation in computer-aided language learning applications Robotics Transcription (digital speech-to-text).g. Further applications y y y y y y y y y y y y y y Automatic translation Automotive speech recognition (e. people who used the keyboard a lot and developed RSI became an urgent early market for speech recognition. from mild repetitive stress injuries to involved disabilities that require alternative input for support with accessing the computer. Nuance Communications (Nuance Voice Control).. Speech-to-Text (Transcription of speech into mobile text messages) Air Traffic Control Speech Recognition 18-3. People with disabilities are another part of the population that benefit from using speech recognition programs. In fact. It is especially useful for people who have difficulty with or are unable to use their hands. Current speech-to-text programs are too large and require too much CPU power to be practical for the Pocket PC. 18-2-4.g. Speech recognition systems 18-3-1. such as spinvox voice-to-text voicemail.Speech recognition 208 The improvement of mobile processor speeds let create speech-enabled Symbian and Windows Mobile Smartphones. relay services. Speech is used mostly as a part of User Interface. Leading software vendors in this field are: Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft Voice Command). Hidden Markov model based speech recognition . Ford Sync) Telematics (e. Speereo Software (Speereo Voice Translator). vehicle Navigation Systems) Court reporting (Realtime Voice Writing) Hands-free computing: voice command recognition computer user interface Home automation Interactive voice response Mobile telephony. for creating pre-defined or custom speech commands. and captioned telephone. Speech recognition is used in deaf telephony.

One possible reason why HMMs are used in speech recognition is that a speech signal could be viewed as a piecewise stationary signal or a short time stationary signal. HMM-based approach to speech recognition. Each word. Many systems use so-called discriminative training techniques which dispense with a purely statistical approach to HMM parameter estimation and instead optimize some classification-related measure of the training data. In speech recognition. The hidden Markov model will tend to have in each state a statistical distribution that is a mixture of diagonal covariance Gaussians which will give a likelihood for each observed vector. Another reason why HMMs are popular is because they can be trained automatically and are simple and computationally feasible to use. a hidden Markov model for a sequence of words or phonemes is made by concatenating the individual trained hidden Markov models for the separate words and phonemes. or might skip the delta and delta-delta coefficients and use splicing and an LDA-based projection followed perhaps by heteroscedastic linear discriminant analysis or a global semitied covariance transform (also known as maximum likelihood linear transform. Speech could thus be thought of as a Markov model for many stochastic processes. Described above are the core elements of the most common. The features would have so-called delta and delta-delta coefficients to capture speech dynamics and in addition might use heteroscedastic linear discriminant analysis (HLDA). These are statistical models which output a sequence of symbols or quantities. such as 10). Modern speech recognition systems use various combinations of a number of standard techniques in order to improve results over the basic approach described above.209 English for Computer and IT Engineers Modern general-purpose speech recognition systems are generally based on HMMs. or MLLT). outputting one of these every 10 milliseconds. will have a different output distribution. each phoneme. speech could be approximated as a stationary process. one could assume in a short-time in the range of 10 milliseconds. A typical large-vocabulary system would need context dependency for the phonemes (so phonemes with different left and right context have different realizations as HMM states). That is. which are obtained by taking a Fourier transform of a short time window of speech and decorrelating the spectrum using a cosine transform. or (for more general speech recognition systems). for further speaker normalization it might use vocal tract length normalization (VTLN) for male-female normalization and maximum likelihood linear regression (MLLR) for more general speaker adaptation. then taking the first (most significant) coefficients. Examples 209 . The vectors would consist of cepstral coefficients. the hidden Markov model would output a sequence of n-dimensional real-valued vectors (with n being a small integer. it would use cepstral normalization to normalize for different speaker and recording conditions.

Performance systems of speech recognition The performance of speech recognition systems is usually specified in terms of accuracy and speed. the sequences are "warped" non-linearly to match each other. 18-4. 18-3-2. DTW has been applied to video. and graphics ± indeed. Decoding of the speech (the term for what happens when the system is presented with a new utterance and must compute the most likely source sentence) would probably use the Viterbi algorithm to find the best path. or combining it statically beforehand (the finite state transducer. and here there is a choice between dynamically creating a combination hidden Markov model which includes both the acoustic and language model information. or even if there were accelerations and decelerations during the course of one observation.e. Dynamic time warping based speech recognition Dynamic time warping is an approach that was historically used for speech recognition but has now largely been displaced by the more successful HMM based approach. similarities in walking patterns would be detected. Dynamic time warping is an algorithm for measuring similarity between two sequences which may vary in time or speed. Most speech recognition users would tend to agree that dictation machines can achieve very high performance in controlled conditions. In general. . For instance.Speech recognition 210 are maximum mutual information (MMI). Other measures of accuracy include Single Word Error Rate (SWER) and Command Success Rate (CSR). There is some confusion.g. A well known application has been automatic speech recognition. i. whereas speed is measured with the real time factor. audio. any data which can be turned into a linear representation can be analyzed with DTW. minimum classification error (MCE) and minimum phone error (MPE). This sequence alignment method is often used in the context of hidden Markov models. approach). or FST. it is a method that allows a computer to find an optimal match between two given sequences (e. time series) with certain restrictions. Accuracy may be measured in terms of performance accuracy which is usually rated with word error rate (WER). even if in one video the person was walking slowly and if in another they were walking more quickly. to cope with different speaking speeds.

Limited vocabulary systems. the ten digits) as spoken by most speakers. Speech recognition in video has become a popular search technology used by several video search companies. over the interchangeability of the terms "speech recognition" and "dictation". might achieve recognition rates much lower than expected. can achieve proper speaker adaptation. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) are widely used in many systems. and work in a clean noise environment (e. quiet office or laboratory space). This explains why some users. Most commercial companies claim that recognition software can achieve between 98% to 99% accuracy if operated under optimal conditions.211 English for Computer and IT Engineers however. `Optimal conditions' usually assume that users: y y y have speech characteristics which match the training data. can recognize a small number of words (for instance. Commercially available speaker-dependent dictation systems usually require only a short period of training (sometimes also called `enrollment') and may successfully capture continuous speech with a large vocabulary at normal pace with a very high accuracy. requiring no training. especially those whose speech is heavily accented. 211 . Language modeling has many other applications such as smart keyboard and document classification. Both acoustic modeling and language modeling are important parts of modern statistically-based speech recognition algorithms.g. Such systems are popular for routing incoming phone calls to their destinations in large organizations.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.