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CASLL-L  June 1995

CASLL-L June 1995


Web Assignment 2, 95 9:05 am


Doug Brent <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 2 Jun 1995 09:21:01 MDT





text/plain (307 lines)

I don't remember whether I sent off my wed assignment as promised or not,
but since I don't seem to have gotten it back, here it is. Apologies if
it turns up twice.

                          Student Web Page Assignment


~   Gain a little hands-on experience in building hypertext
~   Extend the course material by doing some outside research (valuable for
    its own sake even if you are already a qualified Web jockey)
~   Gain respect for computer programmers by learning to follow seemingly
    simple but incredibly nitpicky Unix commands which, if not followed
    exactly, will necessitate hours of tedious debugging.


1.  May 16.  Respond to Stentor document (in class).  This was going to flow
    into the e-mail assignment but since I've moved the e-mail assignment
    along a day, it is now just a warm-up exercise for its own sake.  I'll
    trust you for it.

2.  By 5:00 pm May 23.  Respond to Sculley film by e-mail and reply to one
    other response.  This is partly a warm-up to get the non-tekkie members of
    the class used to e-mail, but also valuable as a way to see what the
    quieter members of the class think.

3.  May 23.  Select one of the following research questions:

    Group 1: What are the legal implications of the convergence of
    Group 2: Should the Internet be censored?
    Group 3: What are the major problems with Computer Assisted Instruction?
    Group 4: How can hypertext be used in education?
    Group 5: How can writing instruction be improved by using computer
    mediated communication?
    Group 6: Is the information highway a serious threat to privacy?
    Group 7: What are the legal problems of global communication?
    Group 8: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Group Decision
    Support Systems?
    Group 9: What are the implications of information technology for gender
    Group 10: Should the government have the ability to de-encrypt all digital
        signals? (Search for material on Clipper and DES (Data Encryption
    Group 11: Will information technology deskill workers?
    Group 12: Can electronic journals replace hard-copy journals for
    distributing scholarly information?

    I will circulate a sheet on which you can mark your first, second and
    third preferences.  From these I will construct research groups of no more
    than five and no fewer than three people.

    If several people already know they want to work together, mark your
    choices anyway but also pencil in your provisional group at the bottom.  I
    will try to honour such arrangements but may not be able to.

4.  May 25.  Web tour for members of the class who want some help.  Others can
    go to the library to start their research.

    I will return group lists and you can get started on your research.
    Groups keep in touch by phone or e-mail to make sure that each member of
    the group chooses a different source.

    Research Procedure:  Find one article that says something interesting and
    useful about the topic.  Do not use the articles in the textbook for this
    class, or the textbook from another class in which you may be enrolled.
    The idea is to find fresh sources.

    Look for a reasonably detailed article from a reasonably scholarly source,
    not the Calgary Herald or Newsweek.  See below for bibliographic
    resources.  You may use either hardcopy or on-line documents.  Don't use
    whole books; they are too difficult to summarize.

    Some bibliographical suggestions:

    ~   Follow references in the relevant chapters of the textbook.  Many of
        these point to seminal articles in the area.

    ~   Use the "Search Engines" feature from the U of C Home Page (which you
        will come to automatically when you launch Lynx or Netscape) or click
        Net Search (Netscape) to search key words.

    ~   For educational resources, search the ERIC (Educational Resources
        Information Clearing-house) CD ROM in the library.

    ~   Use the on-line Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries searchable
        index.  From your top prompt, type "gopher," then follow the menus
        through "University Libraries," "Connecting to Databases on the
        Internet," and finally to CARL-Uncover."

    ~   Check "Webilography: A Guide to Internet Resources" at, and CMC Magazine at

    ~   A few bibliographies will be available in my Home Page
        (, although this page is still very
        much "under construction" and is not yet very rich in resources.

    ~   But:  Don't get "internet tunnel vision."  Remember that there are
        many useful print resources in the library.  The people at the
        information desk can point you to useful indexes of management, social
        science and educational resources.

5.  May 30.  Groups will have some class time to check in with each other if

6.  June 1.  Bring summary assignments to class in hard copy and exchange.

    Summary Assignment:  Write a brief summary of the article according
    (roughly) to the following formula:

    Bibliographical reference
    Summarized by (your name)
    Author's major argument in one sentence
    Three to five sentences summarizing the main supporting arguments or


        Giuliano, V. E. (1982).  The mechanization of office work,  In Dunlop,
        C. and Kling, R., Eds. Computerization and Controversy: Value
        Conflicts and Social Choices.  Boston: Academic Press.

        Summarized by Jane Brown

        Giuliano argues that information technology will vastly improve the
        efficiency and working conditions in the modern office.  He claims
        that the "pre-industrial" style of office in which individual workers
        do their jobs more or less independently is only efficient for small
        offices.  For larger offices, it is often replaced by the "industrial-
        age office" that functioned more like an assembly line.  Jobs are
        chopped into small portions and each worker only carries out a portion
        of the job.  Only the "information-age" office, in which a centralized
        database makes information available to everybody when they need it,
        can allow workers to function efficiently in a large organization
        without turning the office into an assembly line.

7.  Between June 1 and June 8.  Create individual .sum and .bio files.

    a.  Log onto your account.

    b.  Type mkdir public_html <enter>  This step creates a subdirectory for
        your files.  The Web server will automatically look for files in a
        directory named this way.  Note: That's an underbar in public_html,
        not a hyphen.  Be sure to shift the hyphen key when you type it.

    c.  Type chmod a+rx public_html <enter>  This step sets read and execute
        access for all.  If you miss this step, anyone who tries to link to
        your files will get a stern "Forbidden!" warning instead of what you
        want them to see.
    d.  Type cd public_html <entre>  This step logs you onto the new directory
        that you have created.  Your prompt should now look something like
        this:  acs/acs4b/jbrown/public_html-->

    e.  Create two files that begin with your username.  If your username is
        jbrown, call them jbrown.sum and

        Type pico ./jbrown.sum (or emacs jbrown,sum if you prefer the Emacs
        editor.  The ./ part is especially important as it forces pico to save
        the file into the current directory.  Otherwise it will put it into
        your home directory, where the web server won't be able to find it.

        Make sure that you use a forward slash (/), usually found below the ?,
        and not a backslash (\).

        Type in your summary.  See Assignment and Examples page for format.
        If you are brave and/or experienced, you can upload your word
        processor file directly to save typing.  See p. 2 of your USING AIX
        handout, "Uploading Textfiles."

        Exit the editor using ctrl-x (or ctrl-c ctrl-c in emacs).  It will ask
        "save changes?"  Say yes.  It should ask if you want to save
        ./jbrown.sum.  Press <enter> to do that.

        Do the same to create  Type in a one or two paragraph
        biographical note about yourself.  Include your major, any interesting
        personal background (where you're from, hobbies, etc.), your computer
        experience if any, why you chose this topic, etc.  Include your e-mail
        address.  Write in the third person, eg:

            Jane Brown ([log in to unmask]) is a third-year Education
            major.  She was born is Saskatoon but moved to Calgary when she
            was five years old.  She is particularly interested in primary
            education, and wants to explore how computer applications might be
            used to help children with learning disabilities...  (etc)

    f.  When you have created the two files, type ls <enter> to list the files
        in your public_html directory.  If you don't see them, call for help.

    g.  Important last step:  Type chmod a+rx *.*.  In step c you gave read
        and execute permission for the public_html directory.  Here you are
        giving read and execute permission for the files that you have placed
        in this directory.  You must do this step at the end, after you have
        created the files, and repeat it whenever you create new files.

8.  June 8.  Write an "integrating document" with your group that pulls all of
    your sources into a more or less coherent discussion of the topic which
    will eventually have hypertext links to your individual files.  The
    following example uses the three works discussed in class on May 23 to
    explore the question "What changes to organizational structure will be
    caused by information technology?"  Note:  This is only an example!  Don't
    use material directly from the textbook!

    In this example, underlined text will eventually be replaced by hypertext

        What changes to organizational structure will be caused by information


        Jane Brown
        Bob Smith
        Joanne Jones  (These names will be linked to the .bio files that you
            created in step 7e)

        Authorities differ greatly about how organizational structure will be
        affected by information technology.  In The Mechanization of Office
        Work, Vincent Giuliano takes a basically optimistic approach, arguing
        that intellectual assembly lines will be replaced by a more
        individualistic approach to office structure in which everyone has
        access to all of the data needed to do the job.  Judith Perrolle,
        however, is less optimistic about how the information-age office might
        be structured.  In Intellectual Assembly Lines, she discusses the
        possibility that human rational processes may become devalued as they
        are transferred to the computer.  Automation, rather than provision of
        needed information, may become the main role of the computer in the
        information-age office.  In What Do Computers Do? Rule and Attewell
        attempt to survey the ways that computers are actually used in
        cases, the addition of computers did not really change what was being
        done, but some organizations used them to get more fine-grained
        information on the running of the organization.

        The main issue in computing technology seems to be whether it will be
        used to exert more control from the top or whether it will be used to
        decentralize control by giving individual employees more freedom of
        action.  We think that the companies who use IT to empower workers
        rather than to monitor them will be making the best use of their human

    Braver groups may want to do this simultaneously with Step 9, but it is a
    lot easier to get your prose right before you start trying to jockey the
    hypertext links into place.

9.  June 13 (and 15 if necessary)  Begin encoding the Integrating Document
    into HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language).

    The individual summaries and student biographical notes will be hot-linked
    into the integrating document.  If you aren't comfortable writing HTML
    (not many people are), you may want to write out your document in hard
    copy and show it to me before writing it directly into the server.  The
    instructions below assume that you have reached the stage of actually
    putting the document on line.

    Note:  To see what actual source files look like, press backslash (\) in
    Lynx or pull down "View" and click "View

    Detailed instructions for writing html codes will be handed out on a
    separate sheet.

    a.  Select one member of your group in whose public_html directory the
        document will be placed.

    b.  Log in to your account and type cd public_html <enter>.

    c.  Type pico ./group1.html (or group2, group3, etc) <enter>.  Type in
        your document with the appropriate html codes.

    d.  Type control-x <enter> (or control-c control-c in emacs) to exit and
        save the files.

    e.  Type chmod a+rx *.* to give read and execute permission for the file
        you have created.

    f.  To see whether this works, enter lynx or netscape and go to URL  (Substitute the directory
        in which you actually placed the document for jbrown.

        Tip: if you are using Lynx, you can type ! <enter> to temporarily get
        back to your prompt.  From there you can launch pico or emacs, tinker
        with the files, and then type exit <enter> to get back to Lynx where
        you left off.  This saves considerable time when debugging.

    g.  Tell me where you have placed these documents so that I can link them
        into the master home page.

10. June 20.  If necessary, continue debugging documents to get them to work.
    Things to watch out for in particular:

    a.  Are all the individual files in the right directories (public_html)?

    b.  Did all members of the group set access permissions for both the
        directory (step 7c) and files (step 7g)?

    c.  Did you set access permission for the group.html file after you
        created it?

    d.  Do all the commands balance in your document?  For every <a> is there
        a </a>?  For every <h2> is there a </h2>?

    e.  Are you using forward slashes (/) not backslashes (\) throughout?

11. June 22.  By this time, if all has gone well, you can admire the result at
References: <[log in to unmask]>

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