Sunday, August 26, 2007

Evolutionary Stage, A View of Web Evolution, series No. 5

A central issue of Web evolution research is to identify the evolutionary stages. If the Web evolves in stages as we declare, we should be able to check these stages in an objective way. This is what science is all about. Based on the Postulate 1, we actually already have the answer to our question.

Corollary 2: the evolutionary stage of a macroscopic Web existence can be identified by the quality of its contained Web resources.

A Web resources is a self-contained piece of productive information on the Web. By self-contained a Web resource can be transmitted from one place to another on the Web alone without information loss. By productive a Web resource can be used to produce and manufacture. For example, a Web document is often a Web resource, and so is an independent Web service or a Web link. By contrast, a single word such as "Ding" is often not a Web resource because its meaning is generally undecidable without a local context, i.e., a single word often cannot be transmitted alone on the Web without information loss. Informally, we may say that a Web resource is a piece of intentionally produced resource on the Web that can be unambiguously reused and further manufactured.

By having understood what a Web resource is, a macroscopic Web existence is an existence on the Web that contains a non-empty set of Web resources. For instance, a macroscopic Web existence could be a Web page, a Web site, a particular subset of WWW, or even the entire World Wide Web itself.

People often unconsciously use stage-style terms to describe macroscopic Web existences. For example, this is a 1.0 page, or that is a 2.0 Web site, or there may be a semantic web. Are these statements having scientific adjustment?

Based on the Law of Transformation of Quantity into Quality (foundation of the Postulate 1), the progress of every macroscopic evolutionary element can be measured by certain quality that is checkable. By applying this fact to the practice of Web evolution, we may also be able to measure the evolutionary stage of a macroscopic Web existence by certain quality. Moreover, the quality of a macroscopic Web existence must be evaluated by the qualities of its contained Web resources since it is a collection of Web resources. Hence we have the Corollary 2.

The Corollary 2 only tells that there exist quality to measure the progress of Web evolution. But what are these qualities and how do they measure? It is up to the next corollary to answer these questions.

The next: Qualities of Evolutionary Stages

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