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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Break-Out Group 7


Questions we have regarding how these directions interrelate?

Summary of Main points of the discussion:

1) Standards versus Services: should we focus on standards so that thousands of services can bloom, or should we develop the services so that the scholars can do what they want to do?

2) Services as requiring software development.  That has led to thousands of unique software programs.  Is the goal now to write the ultimate integrator?  Again, could standards be a better goal?

3) Social Networking could drive everything else, sharing needs and solutions.  But this leads to the question of whether Humanists need a single cyber-place to go, to find everyone else, all those sub-communities?

4) The divide between scholars and IT people could be crucial in weaving the seven directions together.  It is not clear yet whether Bamboo is driven from IT or from Humanities.  Do Humanists want services that are transparent, or should we think about creating environments where they are workingn with IT people to push them to develop new tools that do not exist yet?

5) Overall question: why aren't we integrating the extensive findings from Workshop 1 on scholarly practices more explicitly today?  Many questions were asked about what kinds of practices services should serve, but that work has already been done.  So, we spent some time talking about how Humanists work, but this might not have been necessary if the findings from Workshop I were used as the basis for this discussion.

DISCUSSION NOTES (SUMMARIZED ABOVE)
First question discussed: why is there not more discussion of scholarly practices in this workshop so far?

Issue from Dilawar Girwal: What is humanities research?  Discussion so far seems IT-focused.  The seven "directions" look different if we say "Humanities" and IT or "IT and Humanities." 

What is the end product?  "services" suggest things that are already known.  Also there is no such thing as "Humanities IT services" yet.  But there are IT services, and that will require this group to fit with what exist.

If this group concentrates on "standards" rather than "services," then whatever is developed based on those standards, will assure more durability and flexibility.

Joan Getman:  Wants to think about "services" differently.  More flexible.  Thinks standards will take longer to get to.

PJE:  Services and Standards have been developed together, and probably need to be kept together.

Allan Hanson:  More focused work between sholcars who have specific needs and IT professionals over specific taks, sot ehre is a divergence between the big broad view and the way we work.

Dicussion moves to software.  Are services software programs?  Bamboo seems to want to identify services that overcome the endless proliferation of writing new software.

Humanists tend to work solo, not in big groups.  This increases the problem of generating one-off solutions to things.  Each scholar has a different specific application in need of IT "services."

The goal of the human-computer development is for the computer to disappear.  If the Humanities research comes in the door and says, "I want ot accomplish this,' then they should be able to access it. 

Objection raised: Humanists will always need to do new things, for which there is no software yet, so they will need to open the box and worry about computer software anyway.

Joan Getman:  One of the most important relationships among the 7 directions: between Social Networking and tools.  We need to discover what researchers have developed tools that would work for your project.

Discussion of social networking websites that allow scholars to find each other, share methods, etc.

Question: who controls these?  We almost need a single source again.

Allan Hanson:  Proposes that the relationship among all these 7 services can be analyzed on the basis of its emphasis on EITHER scholars OR IT people.

Do these directions include your interests and concerns?

*We did not address this directly

(Notes by Phil Ethington, USC, philipje@usc.edu

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