Re: a question...

Lou Montulli (
Wed, 24 Feb 93 18:07:19 CST

> One of the things NCSA is interested in as part of our Mosaic work (of
> which X Mosaic is only the first result) is gathering and analyzing
> sociological data corresponding to use of distributed information
> systems as well as use of the tools used to access those information
> systems.
> To make a long story short, in the name of Real Academic Research
> (involving simulations and analysis that will be run on our Connection
> Machine 5, if that makes it sound more impressive), we're thinking
> about building logging mechanisms into the Mosaic tools that track a
> number of interesting information access parameters:
... I made the long story even shorter.

This brings up an even better point than statistics. There should be
built in mechanisms that will allow a user to respond directly to
the information provider. This provides many benifits. The first one is
that this is a nice way to correct typos, and other obvious errors that can
go unnoticed to the provider. When a viewer sees a mistake he/she can
dash off a little note/flame informing the provider of the mistake. This
is alot simpler than finding out the site and sending to an administrator.

Secondly, a user may wish to make a suggestion or ask for additional
information from the provider. If they could send a note to the person
-directly- responseble for the information it would be much more likely
that they would get a meaningful reply.

Another useful feature is mailing error reports to an information provider
if they have an invalid link or if a site is unavailible. This would
be done automatically by the client. This provides useful data for
debugging a hypertext network and providing statistics for site availibility.

These features are built into the Lynx hypertext browser and have proved
to be VERY useful. Document owners are listed inside of the hypertext
file and are used as the address of comments and error reports.


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