Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Web, Version 3

What will be the defining features of the World Wide Web in the next 10 years?

That was the essence of a question posed to Google boss Eric Schmidt recently.



We have had a web version 1 (1990s), and a web version 2 (2000s). But what will a web for the 2010s be like? A web version 3? This is what the Google CEO had to say:

Web 3.0 will be "applications that are pieced together" - with the characteristics that the apps are relatively small, the data is in the cloud, the apps can run on any device, the apps are very fast and very customizable, and are distributed virally (social networks, email, etc).

The Icodeon Common Cartridge Platform is poised to align very well with this vision for "Web 3.0" - adoption of open data standards such as OAuth and Open Social are already in place in the Icodeon software, along with the use of cloud based deployment and content delivery networks.

Look at this screen shot of a course on Portraiture running in the cloud based Icodeon Cartridge Explorer App (click for full sized image).


The course is made available from UK Open University servers using the IMS Common Cartridge specification and ingested by the Icodeon Platform. Once on the Icodeon Platform a URL Language is used so that small pieces of the course can be distributed virally (social networks, blogs, learning systems etc.), such as the embedded content below:


~ Embed widget from Icodeon CC Platform ~

Small, viral, embedded apps like the preview widget above are built using a few different requests of the Icodeon Platform URL Language.

First, a request is made for a representation of the chosen item in the course:

http://{host}/cartridges/{cartridge}/items/{item}.json

Second we can request a plain text representation of the item resource:

http://{host}/cartridges/{cartridge}/items/{item}.txt

By adding a few URL query parameters we can generate a short 200 character summary text from the resource:

..&length=200&summary=true...

Third, we can add a thumbnail from the images within the resource:

http://{host}/cartridges/{cartridge}/items/{item}/images/0.json

The Icodeon Platform wraps all of these calls into a single class file, so that all the functionality becomes available within a single request:

http://{host}/cartridges/{cartridge}/items/{item}.js

Finally, if  we need to constrain the use of the embedded content to use on a particular domain, an API key can be added as a URL query parameter.

http://{host}/cartridges/{cartridge}/items/{item}.js?api_key=abc123


So with course objects available in the cloud, adoption of open data formats, and the Icodeon Common Cartridge Platform - educational content is ready to used by teachers and students in their own personal learning apps and spaces during the 2010s.

The screen shot below shows the Open Learn course made available through the Icodeon Platform APIs and a Facebook mobile application:


 Web 3.0 for education?