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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

In the Virtual Extension

Intelligent Service Machine
Wei-Feng Tung and Soe-Tsyer Yuan

Machine is a metaphor that can be used to expand the capability of service systems and 'think' for innovative service system design. In this article, the notion of service machine is defined as a socio-technical system with the shared reality of customer and provider aiming for the joint optimization of productivity and satisfaction. An intelligent service machine (ISM) moves beyond service machine by modeling and automating the cognitive process and knowledge representations of the machine's embodied theory, enabling a systematic and quantitative delivery of service operation using self services. The authors present a machine-aware service-system design framework (iDesign) and an ISM-supported service system to demonstrate the notion and the framework.

Thinkflickrthink: A Case Study on Strategic Tagging
Eugenio Tisselli

A tag can be created and disseminated for strategic purposes, including online protest. The research presented in this article analyzes one particular protest strategy adopted by a number of users of Flickr: the use of anti-censorship tags to make the protest visible within the site itself. The study of the dynamics of uncoordinated semantic strategies within dense online communities is of enormous importance to gain a greater understanding of how social and linguistic interaction takes place in a networked environment, and how it can augment the users' potential for direct action.

Plat_Forms: Is There One Best Web Development Technology?
Lutz Prechelt

Plat_Forms is a contest in which three-person teams of professional programmers competed to implement the same requirements for a Web-based system within two days, using different technology platforms. Three teams used Java EE, three used Perl, and three used PHP. The resulting systems were thoroughly evaluated with respect to many criteria, such as completeness (reflecting productivity), maintainability, robustness (hinting at security), and size. This article reports on the setup of the contest and some results of this study. Readers should expect to see some prevalent prejudices confirmed and others firmly refuted.

How a Service-Oriented Architecture may Change the Software Development Process
Marc N. Haines and Marcus A. Rothenberger

The service-oriented approach to IT architecture has become an important alternative to traditional software development. Adding to this impetus are the efforts related to open standards and open source products. But one key question remains: Are service-oriented architecture (SOA) adopters ready for this change and will they be able to provide a technical and organizational environment in which SOA-related technologies can be leveraged to their full potential? This article explores the development process and methodology that may require adjustments in order to provide a good fit for SOA development.

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