IT IS OPEN
AN INTRODUCTION : PART I
by Perez Networks
The Need For “Open” Documentation.
With wiki style information, blogs and open developer forums all over the Internet one might wonder if there is really a need for more documentation for Information Technology (I.T.) and Information Services. (I.S.) I.T. refers to the technology used to make information available, such as an Internet connection. I.S. refers to the services used to make the information available, such as E-mail.
There is a flood of information on just about any topic, let alone I.S. and I.T. What it is not easy to find is information that is concise, easy to understand and non-technical.
Also, much information is unverified, untested, and at times biased, at times, even though the author does not mean to be. Also, many sources have there own “agenda” in mind. While this is not always bad, when someone is trying to sell a product or an idea often other methods and/or aspects of a topic are left out and the information is less educational for that reason.
Case In Point: Cloud Computing
The relatively new concept and technologies associated with cloud-computing are a perfect case for the need of “Open” documentation.
What is cloud-computing? Even as an engineer in the field of I.T., I.S. for 15 years I find this a difficult question to answer directly.
Is cloud-computing related to the use of applications that do not need to be installed on a user's local computer? Not really, many Internet technologies such as Sun Microsystem's JRE and Microsoft's Active-X have made it possible to run “JAVA” and “WEB” applications without locally installing much of anything, except for the little applications that enable JRE/ACTIVE-X, on the users PC.
Is Cloud Computing related to the use of email and other applications that in affect “run” from a web site such as Google Email or Facebook or Windows Live? Not really, that describes many Internet-hosted email and communications applications that have been around for years but only recently have been made to appear more user friendly and provided at little or no cost to the user. Especially, is this possible as users resign themselves to putting-up with all of the paid for advertising that comes along with things like free email.
How, then, does one define cloud-computing? The reality is that cloud-computing is the progression or growth of I.T. and I.S. These have made possible the advent of the Internet itself. Another I.T./I.S. related advent is the broadband wireless technology that Verizon, Sprint and other cellular companies call “3G” or “4G”. The relationship made clear helps one to understand new terms and make more educated choices.
I.T./I.S. are thus old ways of referring to what businesses are now calling cloud-computing. Cloud-computing sounds cooler, newer, and people will more readily identify it with the newer technologies that are modern and current and in-use in the business world today. The confusion is not intentional for the most part, but it important to understand clearly so that when claims and sales pitches are made, wrong conclusions are not made.
Format for “Open” Documentation.
A format and protocol then is needed for “Open” documentation with-in the IT IS OPEN project. Thus, a non-technical reader will grasp the link between an older term such as Information Services and a newer one such as Cloud Computing.
So as to a format and protocol for Open documentation, I realized that several essential factors have to be considered:
Era/Dating: The dating of terms and associating them with an era will help technical and non-technical readers get a clear understanding of terms used and in what context they are used.
Brand Names/Common terms : It is essential that brand names are not confused with common terms. For example the PC was not always a common term- and once referred to only the IBM-PC, first released back in the 1980's. Another example would be the term windows verses Windows. The later referring to the Microsoft Operating System and the lower-case to a single instance of an application within any Operating System, like the one used to display this web-page.
Category/Industry: Some terms may be common to more than one industry but may not mean the same thing. For example, “beta” in software development does not mean the same thing is medical circles.
In this introduction to IT IS Open, I jump from one category of I.T./I.S. to another. I endeavor explain this change as I go, so as to not lose non-technical readers. Still for some, this article may be difficult to follow. Thus, tutorials and how-to documents and other educational material needs to be categorized and written with in that category to make it easier to understand.
Verifying And Testing
I cannot begin to count the error and mistakes in documentation that have led to misunderstandings and operational failures. This is turn waisted time and resources. This leads in turn to lost opportunities and even the loss of money well-earned and lost revenue in the case a business setting.
Many claims can be made in the effort to sell an idea or a product or service that at first may lead one to a false conclusion, that ”this will save me money” or that “this is will solve my problem”. Testing often only needs to involve checking other sources, such as a consumer buyers guide.
Thus verifying and testing will be a vital part of IT IS OPEN documentation. As the IT IS OPEN project develops more on Format and Verification will be detailed and put into practice.
At the bottom of this page is a listing several “tags”, the Date, Era, Category and 2 sources verifying two important aspects of this introductory article. In planning stage is to implement similar format in a file system to be used in the IT IS OPEN documentation project.
Updated to follow. Thanks for your consideration,
IT IS OPEN Project Lead Admin and Author
Date and Title: February 5th, 2010, Introduction to IT IS OPEN – Era: 1980's, 2010 - Category: Information Technology, Cloud Computing
Article status: Draft. To be Updated.