South African Computer Journal - Volume 2009, Issue 44, 2009
Volumes & issues
Volume 2009, Issue 44, 2009
Author Lucas VenterSource: South African Computer Journal 2009 (2009)More Less
Source: South African Computer Journal 2009 (2009)More Less
Prof Roode was appointed in 1988 to head the new Department of Informatics at the University, while continuing on a part-time basis with consultancy work. Within five years of starting the Department, the Department of Informatics at the University of Pretoria was internationally known, and welcomed a regular stream of international visitors who contributed tremendously to the continued development of the Department.
South Africa's socio-techno divide : a critical discourse analysis of government speeches : reviewed articleSource: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 3 –20 (2009)More Less
This paper aims at contributing to the debate about the digital divide. We first focus on what to us constitutes the root problem: the typical approaches to the development of people through and by the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). In contrast to governmental, political and technological attempts that focus almost exclusively on providing access to digital communication technologies, and expect "development" naturally to flow from that, we argue for a focus on "development" which is based on our notion of sustainable socio-economic development. We refer to "technocentric approaches" when the approaches propose and pursue technological interventions and show little regard for the actual needs of the people involved. At the other end of the scale, where the focus is on people and their developmental needs, we will speak of "sociocentric approaches". This presents us with a different divide, which we will refer to as the "socio-techno divide". We argue that it is this divide that has to be addressed - not the digital divide - and then present an analysis of the socio-techno divide. This analysis takes the form of two types of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), namely Foucauldian and Habermassian. The analysis of the South African government's rhetoric illuminates the issues that need our attention and indicates an agenda for constructive engagement about the use of ICT for development in the Third and Fourth worlds.
Practice-as-research : an example of the use of action research to link practice and theory in a case of information systems strategy development : reviewed articleSource: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 21 –29 (2009)More Less
The ability to link IS practice to a sound theoretical and scientific basis has been an ongoing endeavour for both IS practitioners and researchers. This stems from the need of both practitioners and theorists to be able to ensure that the relationship between practical knowledge and experience gained in the workplace can be grounded in theory with due consideration of the converse requirement for theory to be based on practice. This paper provides an example of how Action Research (AR) was successfully applied by a practitioner as method in a South African strategic IS management environment. The paper describes the specifics of the process that was used and highlights various issues that had to be considered in this specific instance of use of AR as method.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 30 –38 (2009)More Less
We consider two ways inserting a key into a binary tree: leaf insertion which is the standard method, and root insertion which involves additional rotations. Although the respective cost of constructing leaf and root insertion binary search trees , in terms of comparisons, are the same average case, we show that in the worst case the construction of a root insertion binary search tree needs approximately 50% of the number of comparisons required by leaf insertion.
E-government implementation in Mozambique : transferring lessons across the public sector : reviewed articleAuthor Gertrudes MacueveSource: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 39 –56 (2009)More Less
Although the implementation of computerized information systems in developing countries has been ongoing for decades, the diffusion process has been slow to achieve a state of active use in organizational settings, and examples of cross-sector sharing and learning remain very limited. This paper aims at demonstrating aspects that can be shared across sectors within the same socioeconomic and political implementation context, and the potential benefits that can be achieved. Empirically, the paper draws upon experiences from the study of information systems implementation within the health and land management sectors respectively in Mozambique. The concept of "translation" drawn from Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) is used as a lens to analyse both experiences, and the similarities and differences are analyzed to draw specific inferences on potential domains of cross-learning. Specific learning concerns the issues around managing the scalability and sustainability of the implementation of e-government initiatives. Four key areas of learning identified through this analysis are: use of participatory and action research development; enrolment of the government; enrolment of local universities; and use of joined top-down and bottom-up implementation approach.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 57 –66 (2009)More Less
Web applications are usually installed on and accessed through a Web server. For security reasons, these Web servers generally provide very few privileges to Web applications, defaulting to executing them in the realm of a guest account. In addition, performance often is a problem as Web applications may need to be reinitialised with each access. Various solutions have been designed to address these security and performance issues, mostly independently of one another, but most have been language or system-specific. The X-Switch system is proposed as an alternative Web application execution environment, with more secure user-based resource management, persistent application interpreters and support for arbitrary languages / interpreters. Thus it provides a general-purpose environment for developing and deploying Web applications.
The X-Switch system's experimental results demonstrated that it can achieve a high level of performance. Furthermore it was shown that X-Switch can provide functionality matching that of existing Web application servers but with the added benefit of multi-user support. Finally the X-Switch system showed that it is feasible to completely separate the deployment platform from the application code, thus ensuring that the developer does not need to modify his / her code to make it compatible with the deployment platform.
The research foci of computing research in South Africa as reflected by publications in the South African Computer Journal : reviewed articleSource: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 67 –84 (2009)More Less
The South African Computer Journal, better known as SACJ, has, for the last nineteen years, been one of the most pertinent publications for the computing discipline within the South African milieu. In this paper we reflect on the topics of research articles published in SACJ over its first 40 volumes of the journal using the ACM Computing Classification Scheme as basis. In our analysis we divided the publications into three cycles of more or less six years in order to identify significant trends over the history of the journal. We also used the same classification scheme to analyse the publication trends of various South African tertiary education and research institutions.
Learner inclinations to study Computer Science or Information Systems at tertiary level : reviewed articleSource: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 85 –91 (2009)More Less
After the so-called ''dot-com crash'' of the Internet in the early 2000s, tertiary level student enrolments in IT-related subjects began to experience a significant decline both in international countries and South Africa. The paper replicates research done in the Western Cape, South Africa, by Seymour et al. (2005) , in which grade 12 learner inclinations to study Computer Science (CS) and Information Systems (IS) at tertiary level were analysed and underlying factors affecting their interest in the subjects were determined. The study analyses the ''misguided'' perceptions that learners and students have of these subjects; the implications of the decline in enrolments on students, educational sectors and industry; and determines a set of underlying factors that influence learners in their attitudes toward further degrees in IT, starting from the secondary level of education.
The research compares South African Eastern Cape learner perceptions with those from the Western Cape study and establishes three to four years later, that the reasons behind the decline in IT enrolments are still influenced by an underlying demographic and digital divide.
Author Stefan GrunerSource: South African Computer Journal 2009, pp 92 –93 (2009)More Less
This issue of SACJ contains an interesting meta-review by Paula Kotze and Alta van der Merwe on the research topics presented in this journal since its early days. I have recently done a similar (though considerably less thorough) review of the topic trends at the annual SAICSIT symposium, to which this journal, SACJ, is closely linked via the SAICSIT organisation.