Exploring Hypermedia Information Services for Disseminating Software Engineering Information
February 1994 • Technical Report
This 1994 report describes the accomplishments of a pilot hypermedia information service embodying the conceptual definition of a pilot information base developed by the SEI.
Software Engineering Institute
CMU/SEI Report Number
This report describes the accomplishments of a pilot hypermedia information service embodying the conceptual definition of a pilot information base developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in support of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Software and Intelligent Systems Technology Office (SISTO). This pilot effort was conducted in support of the Technology Cost-Benefit Analysis tasks within TO&P 2-151, Software Engineering Technology Transition for Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) and ARPA. This report also describes the intended uses and user populations of the proposed information base, design issues that influenced the structure and contents of the information base, a proposed information model consisting of information content and linkages, the pilot information base including the technology selected for the initial pilot effort and the pilot capability, lessons learned from the pilot effort, and future plans relating to the information base efforts. Key to these pilot efforts was the development of a set of proposed information structures for an information base on software engineering. These hypermedia-based information structures can be presented across the Internet and displayed on local workstations using client/server technologies, such as World Wide Web (WWW) and NCSA Mosaic (produced by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications).
This work to date has accomplished four goals. First, the objectives of the pilot effort have been met. An information base containing software engineering information that provides value to ARPA program managers has been demonstrated, and a work plan has been generated to expand from the pilot to an operational system. Second, the SEI has demonstrated a capability for effectively using the WWW, which is certain to be a critical part of the information highway for years to come. Third, techniques to enhance developers' productivity have been identified and demonstrated. Preparation of online information can be aided by templates. Delivery of online information can be enhanced through study of actual users' navigational and usage patterns. Fourth, the SEI has established a magnetic platform as the facilities demonstrable at the SEI can be used as a starting point for developing new technology transition capabilities.