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Issue No.06 - June (2006 vol.39)
pp: 77
Published by the IEEE Computer Society




    Wiki: Web Collaboration, Anja Ebersbach, Markus Glaser, and Richard Heigl. Wikis are Web-based applications that let users not only view pages but also change them. The recent success of the Wikipedia Internet encyclopedia has drawn increasing attention from private users, small organizations, and enterprises to wikis' various possible uses.

    Their simple structure and straightforward operation make wikis a serious alternative to expensive content management systems and also provide a basis for many applications in the area of collaborative work. Written for media, Web, and screen designers, this book shows the practical use of wikis in carrying out projects for both users and maintainers. It includes a step-by-step introduction to wiki philosophy, social effects and functions, a survey of their controls and components, and the installation and configuration of the wiki clones MediaWiki and TWiki. To showcase the software's possibilities, the authors use it as a project tool for planning a conference.

    Springer; www.springeronline.com; 3-540-25995-3; 383 pp.

    Mobile Computing Principles, Reza B'Far. Written to address technical concerns that mobile developers face regardless of platform, this book explores the differences between mobile and stationary applications and the architectural and software development concepts needed to build a mobile application. Using UML as a tool, the author guides developers through the development process, showing how to document the application's design and implementation. The book focuses on general concepts, using platforms as examples or as possible tools.

    The author shows how to build user interfaces for mobile applications, covering location sensitivity, wireless connectivity, mobile agents, data synchronization, security, and push-based technologies. The book also tackles the practical issues of mobile application development, including the development cycle and testing of mobile applications, as well as architectural concerns, and offers a case study.

    Cambridge University Press; www.cambridge.org; 0-521-81733-1; 878 pp.

    New Directions in Human Information Behavior, Amanda Spink and Charles Cole, eds. This book provides an overview of the new directions, leading-edge theories, and models in human information behavior, a discipline conceptualized as complex human-information-related processes embedded within an individual's everyday social and life processes.

    The book includes chapters by an interdisciplinary range of scholars who pursue new directions that often challenge the established views and paradigms of information behavior studies, offering an integrated and holistic approach to the understanding of information behaviors. The final chapter integrates these new approaches and presents an overview of the key trends, theories, and models for further research.

    Springer; www.springeronline.com; 1-4020-3667-1; 254 pp.

    Robot Modeling and Kinematics, Rachid Manseur. This book covers the fundamental topics of robot manipulator modeling and kinematics. In robot modeling, computer graphics software can visualize and assess the effect of every robot parameter on the robot's structure for ease of understanding.

    Many of the book's illustrations refer the reader to a corresponding VRML file that will display a virtual-reality image on a computer display. By letting readers view figures and animation in 3D space, the book provides a more comprehensive teaching and learning process.

    The book starts with simple robot mechanisms and builds to the most complex robot manipulator structures. Clearly explained computations and a greatly reduced computational burden let readers concentrate on concepts rather then burdensome calculations. A program that generates the forward kinematics equations for any robot manipulator described by the user assists in the study and understanding of robot kinematics.

    Charles River Media; www.charlesriver.com; 1-58450-851-5; 367 pp.

    Painting the Digital River: How an Artist Learned to Love the Computer, James Faure Walker. This book approaches computers from the perspective of a painter who uses them. The author describes his personal odyssey from the traditional art scene to fresh horizons, from hand to digital painting—and sometimes back again.

    The author assesses the effect of introducing computer tools into the creation of art, surveys the people involved and the work they produce, and explores the promise and risks of the new media. Following his own winding path, the author tells of learning to paint with the computer, misunderstandings across the art and science divide, software limitations, conversations between the mainstream and digital art worlds, and emerging genres of digital painting. As a painter and computer enthusiast, he recognizes the marvels of digital paint but also challenges the assumption that digital somehow means different. The questions he raises will matter to artists of every background, style, and disposition.

    Prentice Hall; www.prenhall.com; 0-13-173902-6; 352 pp.

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