21 Jan 2009 11:36 am

INFO 290-5: Mixing and Remixing Information
Spring 2009
Class: M,W 12:30-2:00 110 South Hall (unless otherwise noted)
Office Hours: MW 2:00-3:00pm, Room 6 South Hall or by appointment

Course website : (http://blog.mixingandremixing.info) + bSpace site
Instructor: Raymond Yee, Ph.D.

email: yee@berkeley.edu

This course focuses on employing XML and web services to reuse or “remix” digital content and services. Students will learn practical tools and techniques to recombine personal information through hands-on explorations and projects.

Information remix can easily come across as a confusing grab bag of techniques. The course will provide a systematic framework so that students can learn a particular example of remix in depth so they can understand remixing in a broader context. The class will be organized as a sequence of three parts1:

  1. learning to use a specific application as an end-user
  2. learning how to use the API of that application
  3. learning how to create something new by “remixing” the data and API of the application with those of other applications

For this course, we will use Flickr, the social photo-sharing site, as the central example. Flickr is a deep and fascinating application. Other applications will be studied to provide allied or contrasting examples, especially in the final, remixing part of the class. Advanced students can move rapidly to spend most of the course inventing remixes or mashups. Those who are new to programming can spend most of their time exercising the Flickr API, taking some time to learn how to program. The practical, interactive, project-based orientation should enable students to learn from each other and work on topics of interest to them.

Learning Objectives

  1. in-depth knowledge of Flickr as a specific end-user application and API provider
  2. practical workings of XML and web services (especially, as related to personal information)
  3. how to apply what was learned about Flickr to other applications and API sources
  4. how to combine two or more sources of data and services

Tentative Grading Criteria

  1. Projects 60%: =  Mid-term proposal/presentation (20%)  + Final project Presentation and Report  (40% )

  2. Course Assignments 20%

  3. Class participation 20%

Rough Outline of Class

This course is focused on enabling you to create mashups. The primary textbook for the course is Raymond Yee’s Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services:


The paper version of the book is available for purchase; you can download an electronic version from the bSpace site:



In the projects, students will synthesize and demonstrate what they have learned throughout the course. The projects need to be working syntheses of two or more data sources and services. Students will have opportunities to brainstorm ideas, choose a specific focal point (drawing from structured feedback from other students and the instructor), craft a proposal for their projects, and then present their work at the end of the course. We hope to assemble a panel of practitioners in the field to whom we can showcase the work of the course.

1Thanks to Bob Glushko for helping me to create this framework.

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