The November 2008 New and Changed Entries (in Word and PDF formats) present numerous changes in computer science and related areas and have been a long time in the making. Every EPC meeting of the past two years has considered proposed changes to 004-006. So, in a nutshell, here’s what’s new: We have provided classes for handheld computing devices, additional network architectures, specific types of databases, and specific types of multimedia systems and have given instructions on the classing of numerous other current computing topics. We have distinguished between the Internet (with interdisciplinary works at 004.678) and the World Wide Web (with interdisciplinary works at a newly expanded 025.042, which includes subdivisions for search engines and the semantic web, among other topics). We have provided guidance for classing multifunctional digital devices, updated terminology and examples throughout 004–006, added a centered entry at 004–006, and eliminated the 004–006 Manual entry.
That’s a lot to assimilate, so let’s look at some of those changes more closely, beginning with the updated terminology we are using to refer to specific types of computers. The class 004.12 Mainframe computers is now joined by 004.14 Midrange computers, 004.16 Personal computers, and the newly recognized 004.167 Handheld computing devices. At the same time, lots of digital devices are now being created with functionality that extends beyond basic computing capability. We have added several notes that give guidance for treating such multifunctional digital devices. The basic instruction is to class a multifunctional digital device with its predominant function, but to class works that focus on a specific function other than the predominant function with the specific function; we also include a preference rule for devices with no predominant function. You can check out versions of the multifunctional device note at 004.11-004.16 Digital computers, 621.383-621.389 Specific communication systems, and 621.3911-621.3916 Digital computers; see if you agree with our sense of the predominant function of PDAs and camera phones, for example.
The 005.7 Data in computer systems area is also witnessing a number of changes. Data mining has been relocated to 006.312. Expansions have been added at 005.743 Database design and architecture and 005.745 Data warehousing. A number of database types are being either newly recognized or relocated, including logic databases, deductive databases, web databases, temporal databases, spatial databases, and constraint databases.
Other computing concepts that now have a specified place within the classification scheme include cluster computing, digital rights management, electronic/digital signatures, embedded computer systems, grid computing, multi-agent systems, peer-to-peer architecture, portable document software, service-oriented architecture, specific types of multimedia systems (e.g., wikis, blogs, online social networks), style sheet languages, web servers, and web services; additional concepts occur as Relative Index terms without being present in the new and changed entries document. Classifiers working with computer science materials will probably find immediate use for the corresponding class numbers.
Following literary warrant, the DDC had not previously distinguished clearly between the Internet, whose home lies in the networking world, and the World Wide Web, the set of hyperlinked documents that can be accessed via the Internet. While the networking aspects of the WWW are still classified with 004.678 Internet, interdisciplinary works on the WWW have been relocated to a new subdivision under 025.04 Information storage and retrieval systems, of which the World Wide Web is a remarkable example; class-here concepts at 025.042 include digital libraries and Internet literacy. This new class has, in turn, further subdivisions: 025.0422 Web sites (where directories of Web sites and works on portals would be classed), 025.0425 (Web) Search and retrieval, 025.04252 Search engines, and 025.0427 Semantic web.
In keeping with our usual practice, all the class numbers given above come from the full edition. When we put together our monthly posting of new and changed entries, all of the changes affect the full edition; often only a relatively few corresponding changes occur in the abridged edition. This is because many updates to the scheme occur at a level of granularity that is more specific than the abridged edition. It is telling that these updates to computer science and related areas follow a much different pattern. Fully three-eighths of the document involves updates to the abridged edition. This is because institutions using the abridged edition also have need for classes at the level of specificity, for example, of specific handheld computing devices (004 covers hardware not only from a technological perspective, but also from the perspective of selection and use) and web search engines. Many of the terminology changes and notes introduced in the full edition have also occasioned corresponding changes in the abridged edition.
Anyone want to wager how soon before we will provide another mammoth update to computer science and related areas of the schedules?