Overview

The aim of the Systems Glossary is to provide an easy to use, on line glossary of systems terms that will allow easy research of terms from T214 or other systems courses.
The glossary should encourage a collaborative development and offer an open interface for inclusion in all web pages.

Components

The Glossary can be considered as four components.
The database including input
The text based representation
The visual representation
An interface for external web pages

Teiana wrote: (isn't there a 5th component, being able to search it? or is that under 'database including input'?. Or is it something expected to sit 'outside' the area of 'glossary', ie contained in whatever container the glossary itself is in? )
To which Neill replies: the ability to search is a key component of the text based representation. The prototype at the Wiki includes a search field on the left. Such a field would also need to be included in the visual representation. Thanks for that. Actually I see a searchable glossary resulting from components 1 and 2. But having a text that you are dealing with and a separate glossary is not real "on line". All this does is ports the off line experience (two books) to the Internet. This is a half measure. I envisage the 4th component (interface for external web pages) allowing the glossary to be "in" the source pages (as mouseovers). If you do not understand something then just mouseover the word(s). If you want more just click.

Database and Input

The data needs to be held in a database. As a minimum this database should contain fields for
identifier,
systems term,
description (to include text, links and graphics)
is connected/related to identifier x (internal links)
Input should ideally be via a Wiki type interface )as for example at http://systems-place.wikispaces.com/control+model) The decision about whether “everyone” can add content, as at Wikipedia, is political.

Text based Representation

The text based version of the Wiki could once again be based on a Wiki. The prototype at http://systems-place.wikispaces.com/control+model offers most of the required functionality.

The visual representation

This could be similar to the connection network view in Cohere (http://cohere.open.ac.uk/node.php?nodeid=931342032510719929001229459977#conn-net) The network needs to be created based on internal links in the database. An added functionality would be if external links (from the description) are also linked.

An interface for external web pages

Ideally it should be possible for a web page being served as part of T214 (or other courses) to be run through a pre-processor that adds links to the glossary. The prerequisite for this functionality is that the Glossary offers an open interface that allows an external system to scan for systems terms and become the identifier for each “hit”. These can then be used to create links (http://www.[glossary]/[identifier])