Systems Place Wiki?

Where "we contemplate our own navels" to decide how this forum should evolve. What features do we need? Who decides what we need?

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Teiana on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:00 pm

i know i go on about world of warcraft a lot ( and that is because i am a sad addict: i got that way trying to show my sadder addict boyfriend how boring it was when someone was addicted, but got addicted while trying to prove it) but

11 million people play it. that's a lot. truly. Imagine if you got some systems stuff in there. Why don't you write to Blizzard and ask. Tell them how important it is and how we can save the world and get some systems stuff put in the game. then you have 11 million people collaborating on it. Imagine if instead of killing orcs( insert slightly pointless 'game aspect' of choice here) the 11 million people were actually constructing something useful. There are parts of the game where up to 40 people collaborate on 'raids' - sure, it's not a model, or useful, but the point is that quite a few people get together at once to try and achieve something by collaborating. They each know the role their character will provide to the situation, and work it out to get a balance of skills...

it'd be far more fun than some deadly boring wiki.

we could all play at systems stuff.
H.R.H. 8-)
Teiana
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: planet earth

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Neill on Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:58 am

but if anybody can come up with some tips, they will be very much appreciated

Excuse me while I put my project manager hat on.

The first stage of any successful project is a good specification. This is especially true for a software project.
So please start by telling us what you want. (I "did your Wiki" and still don't understand.)

1. What is the aim?
2. Do you already have any ideas of how to achieve it?
3. Are there any "have to have" components? Any examples?
Do any of these components already exist?
4. Are there any "Definitely not wanted" components? Any examples? Why not using OU resources?
5. What resources are available? People, IT infrastructure, money, time, etc.
6. Are there any resources that you definitely do not want to use? e.g. Advertising based systems.
7. How should the result be organized - hierarchically (some one is the boss/administrator) or egalitarian (free for all) or benevolent dictator?
8. Any thing else important?
Neill Hogarth
Life is not a practice [www.hogarth.de]
T307-10
Neill
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Nesselwang, Germany

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Ercesuzan on Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:12 pm

When we design a system we always want to know 'what is the end result and how do you want it to look' and then we work backwards to a design.

Another thing to avoid is the 'reinventing the wheel syndrome'. Has what you want to do already been done and are you trying to do it for the right reasons?
All for now, take care
Ercesuzan
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:44 pm

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Dave H on Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:33 pm

A bit like Neil I was wondering what was the objective of the Wiki in T214.

On the link that Andrea has provided to the sydney Uni article the students were using the wiki to develop a systems dynamics model. I feel that this is what we should be doing and using the wiki to agree some changes in the parameters for the GUMBO model and then seeing the impact of the changes on the system. Hopefully it might be possible to engage a wider group in this process so that they can see that a lot of little things may have a large impact.

When we working on this during T214 I also felt a need to change parts of the GUMBO model rather than just some values. This is not possible with the limited access we have so I wonder if we could create a systems dynamic model using Netlogo to determine the impact of larger changes. I know that a lot of people are against Netlogo so I am hoping this might encourage an attempt to find another way forward.

I am still thinking about this but I wonder if the wiki could be combined with something like Compendium to map the areas where most people are proposing changes or to map the reasons for proposing the changes. I am thinking along these lines as I wonder if this sort of information could be used to deliver a more effective message regarding climate change.
Dave H
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:27 am

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Andrea on Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:44 pm

1. What is the aim?

Maybe by the time people got to section 6 they were too exhausted/confused to really engage with the espoused aims, so this time round I am thinking of signposting them right at the beginning within the block guide (latest draft attached -- n.b. Teiana hasn't had a chance to rip it apart. I have only just sent her the draft).

To summarise the aim: "to develop a systemic and dynamic model of the earth system through participation so as to generate a shared understanding and commitment for action"

Deep down, I guess I am still trying to replicate the innovative approach I established during my PhD research (summarised in the following paper: -- http://oro.open.ac.uk/54/1/Copy_of_ASTROMOD.pdf -- this paper was the sixth most downloaded paper in 2001 in the journal Environmental Modelling and Software although it was only published in June :ugeek: ). Maybe I should've stuck with Microsoft Excel and nature reserve managers :-)


2. Do you already have any ideas of how to achieve it?

My principles have always been to explore the use of open content/open source (didn't really want to use Microsoft Excel!! :oops: ).

So I had an excellent template for the instructions (http://www.earthscape.org/t1/bid01/) and a goal to aim towards (the GUMBO earth systems model), but no tool. That is, until John Naughton discovered netlogo . It turned out that not only could it do the multiagent simulations that he required for block 1, but it could also do system dynamics modelling! 8-)

But what I'd totally underestimated was the collaborative tool that would be needed to underpin the model building a specially considering that GUMBO and netlogo were not exactly the most user-friendly models/tools (understatement of the year!) :roll: . This is the kind of stuff that you never need to deal with when teaching face-to-face: you just get a bunch of people in front of a whole load of computers and together you figure things out.

Still, I thought that maybe we could get away with what the OU was providing (wiki plus discussion fora) -- what a big mistake that was!!! :oops:


3. Are there any "have to have" components? Any examples?
Do any of these components already exist?

I certainly did not think there we could achieve all that I had in mind within the first presentation (so in many ways you guys were the sacrificial lambs :twisted: ), but ultimately, the model will need to be displayed verbally (principally through a wiki), visually and mathematically (through a system dynamics model).

4. Are there any "Definitely not wanted" components? Any examples? Why not using OU resources?

I definitely do not want to use non-open source (proprietory) software or information that is not already in the public domain (e.g. stuff hidden away in obscure journals).

I didn't mind using the Moodle-based VLE because I could always envisage transplanting everything out (Moodle is open source). However, the OU will soon be rolling out a new tool for collaborative working (http://www.elluminate.com/) which is most certainly not open source! Would like to avoid it like the plague… :x .

5. What resources are available? People, IT infrastructure, money, time, etc.

There is my time (but I'm a bit of a lame duck in that I can only use voice recognition software and can no longer use my foot to operate a mouse -- which was allowing me to develop my own system dynamics models without assistance -- the repetitive strain has now spread there too :-( )

I have a bit of help from the IT people within the OU but it is always a fight for resources (between blocks and between courses). Anyway, the way things work in the OU is that you have to have things perfectly worked out before approaching the IT people -- not my case!!

We also happen to have a captive audience (300 or so T214 students every presentation) :twisted:

6. Are there any resources that you definitely do not want to use? e.g. Advertising based systems.

I would feel uncomfortable if the work was supported by the very organisations that are undermining the earth system!

7. How should the result be organized - hierarchically (some one is the boss/administrator) or egalitarian (free for all) or benevolent dictator?

I would prefer "free for all" i.e. outside of the OU system.


8. Any thing else important?

I think we only have about 96 months to save the world :-)
http://www.onehundredmonths.org/
Attachments
block 2 study guide 2009 D1.pdf
(162.08 KiB) Downloaded 88 times
esse sequitur operari
Andrea
 
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:31 am

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Neill on Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:32 pm

Hi Andrea!
Lots of Info.

You wrote
Anyway, the way things work in the OU is that you have to have things perfectly worked out before approaching the IT people

Which I am afraid is mostly the case anywhere. If you came to me asking me to use my programmers to "make" you something you could be pretty sure that I would ask you exactly what you wanted. Until I had that, nothing would happen. Programmers are too expensive to be doing stuff that turns out to be "not exactly what I wanted".

That is what I was getting at in my list of questions.
If you write a specification answering my questions in detail then some one will be willing to do it somewhere.
But if you have no spec then no one knows what you want and no one can begin to help.

Believe me I know where you are. People often want us to "write something" and then tell us "what they don't like". there is even a Dilbert strip about it.
But in reality there are only three ways of getting software
- write it yourself
- find like minded souls and write it yourselves
- write a detailed specification.

Sorry!
Neill Hogarth
Life is not a practice [www.hogarth.de]
T307-10
Neill
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Nesselwang, Germany

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Ercesuzan on Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:50 pm

I agree with every word of you last post Neill.

A specification is the only way forward.
All for now, take care
Ercesuzan
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:44 pm

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Teiana on Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:15 pm

it's like those cartoon drawings of a swing i have seen somewhere...most of them fit the 'spec' but aren't actually useful..
H.R.H. 8-)
Teiana
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: planet earth

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Teiana on Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:17 pm

H.R.H. 8-)
Teiana
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: planet earth

Re: Systems Place Wiki?

Postby Ercesuzan on Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:33 pm

Brilliant, thanks Teiana.
All for now, take care
Ercesuzan
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:44 pm

PreviousNext

Return to The Navel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron