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Web science: A new frontier

Scientists getting their heads around the largest information machine mankind ever made.

“During the past 20 years, humans have built the largest information fabric in history. The World Wide Web has been transformational. People shop, date, trade and communicate with one another using it. Although most people are not formally trained in its use, yet it has assumed a central role in their lives. Scientists and researchers cannot imagine their work without it. Governments interface to their citizens using it. Media are seeing the nature of their industry change because of it. Travel, leisure, health, banking, any sector one can think of are changed by what we have created. The Web is now ubiquitous, and like all things that become commonplace, we take it for granted. This is true for the great majority of users. Until recently, it was true for researchers too. Over the past few years, there has been a growing recognition that the ecosystem that is the Web needs to be treated as an important and coherent area of study—this is Web science.”

(Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, James A. Hendler and William H. Dutton ~ Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society)

tFacet: A tool to build faceted navigation

“The aim is to facilitate ordinary users to formulate semantically unambiguous queries so as to support the fast and precise access to information. Used interaction concepts are e.g. a directory tree and interchangeable columns that are already well-known from other applications. The directory tree, for example, is used to enable the intuitive exploration and selection of hierarchical facets.”

(Taxonomy Watch)