Wikis are light weight collaborative web authoring systems. The wiki approach can be used for many more collaborative applications such as conference management and issue tracking. Wiki tools such as twiki are at their limits, however. The goal of the projects in this year's installment of the software engineering course is to explore various aspects of a generalized wiki. More will be posted later. -- Main.EelcoVisser - 18 Jun 2004 --------+++ [[http://www.darwinmag.com/read/060104/boyd.html]["The State of Social Tools"]] -- Article in [[http://www.darwinmag.com][Darwin (06/04)]] by Stowe Boyd Corante Research managing director and software researcher Stowe Boyd predicts that social software tools designed to influence culture will undergo considerable convergence because they share similar core benefits. "The tools that we will use to make sense of the world must be far more socialized than today's solutions, and only those tools that make that transition will be on tomorrow's desktop," he posits. Boyd notes that past discussions of social tools have focused on their four key categories, or "Co"s: Communication tools such as instant messaging, email, and Web conferencing; coordination tools such as calendaring, task and product management, and contact management solutions; collaboration offerings such as file and application sharing, wikis, and blogs; and community tools represented by social networking, group decision, swarmth, etc. Boyd says these product categories have started to overlap toward a point where distinct market niche definitions will no longer apply, which will spur "a collision of many sorts of products, with widely varying starting points and orientations, and [that] could lead to a wholesale recasting of product categories that we almost take for granted." Boyd cites major enterprise instant messaging solutions, which are experiencing reconfiguration into a blended communication/collaboration tool that supports a wide gamut of features spanning from one-to-one text messaging to many-to-many real-time collaboration, as an example of an enabling technology for socializing almost all nonsocial software. Software-based project coordination could undergo a sea change toward a less precise, more diffuse approach, and Boyd forecasts that there will be a switch to blog networks that will be used by collaborating networks to determine the next series of tasks to be executed via emergent decision making.