Social Scripting


I just felt over an article in the IEEE Computer magazine about a project called KOALA. It is a social scripting application which...

relies on users to contribute scripts that benefit other members of their community.

(see IEEE Computer June 2007, page 96+) Huh,, I like this "Web 2.0 vocabulary" and I keep the best parts (the section Creating a Community) in the locker...Devil

The idea is that somebody documents his or her knowledge by laying it down in a Wiki-like environment with what they call sloppy programming. It is able to interpret the somewhat defined actions available on a web-page (like click, push, type...) and so to repeat it on behalf of somebody. The script is recorded while you do the action, users can change the script by editing it.

So you can automate a search for real estate in the San Francisco Bay area. You then share the script by publishing it and generalize it by adding variables that a future user will be asked.

Hmmm... nice approach...but I do like ours more. And that's not because I have to...

Our approach called Popfly targets somewhat in the same direction. With the difference that it is a graphical environment. Instead of seeing scripts the user connects boxes which results in simple (or not so simple) workflows. It generates mashups which access, relates and displays data in at least for the user one step. It also allows to share the boxes (containing the scripts) and the workflows. Since it can be tested right away and it can handle user input by simply adding such a textbox element upfront it is at least as strong.

And last but not least it simply looks cool...

Beside this it goes very much beyond the idea of automating a single site but to combine several datasources to get new insights (which might be reached by adding several Koala scripts and handing over data between them but I didn't see that concept in the article).

Sorry maybe I am ignorrant but Koala is a tool to overcome bad User Experience of a website. If I have to make up a script that takes some values, da some steps and present the result because this is easier than working with the website firsthand there are two possible reasons: First my usage was not intended first hand, second those guys who made the website did not really think about the intention users will have when accessing that site.

 Dont tell anyone



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