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Communications of the ACM

Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

Creativity is as individual as the mind from which it springs. While designers have long used tools to help support creative ideas once unearthed, a new set of tools is helping the discovery process by accelerating the journey toward innovation. Moreover, these tools can be used by individuals, groups, and even whole communities.

Our cover story tells how new tools expand the creativity process from the onset. Ben Shneiderman explores how pioneering designers and user-interface visionaries are moving to "riskier" tools to extend and improve innovation. These tools, he says, are particularly potent for enabling new forms of expression in group-collaboration and social-creativity environments. Linda Candy adds an example of how artists are developing creativity-enhancing systems, and Gerhard Fischer and Elisa Giaccardi examine how to use social and material surroundings in the creativity process.

We also look at some of the laws governing the Internet—some, in fact, are hundreds of years old and written for a far different frontier. Aalberts, Poon, and Thistle illustrate how doctrines from 11th century common law are still effective in addressing some of the Internet's most insidious threats.

Are your citations clean? Lee et al. ask the question and find the answer is not a simple one. Wagner and Piccoli focus on another long-studied problem—user participation in software design projects. Standards integration among partners helps ensure successful B2B operations, as long as all the players agree to adopt and implement the same standards. Boh, Soh, and Yeo examine the strategy used by the RosettaNet consortium to set and diffuse standards among its members. And in "Viewpoint," Robert Gaskins reflects on the 20th anniversary of his invention—PowerPoint—and how simplicity, not limitations, ruled its design and inspires its legacy.

Finally, in the spirit of the season, may we take this opportunity to offer sincere thanks to all who have dedicated so much of their valuable time to making the last 12 issues so notable. Our great appreciation is extended to our global collection of authors and guest editors, devoted columnists, and vast network of often-overworked reviewers—all of whom have helped create, evaluate, and strengthen the editorial content within each issue. And a special thanks to our readers for always pointing us in the right direction.

In the coming year, Communications will embark on a different editorial direction. You will learn more about these plans in next month's issue celebrating Communications' 50th Anniversary. Until then,

Wishing you and yours health and happiness in the new year,

Diane Crawford

©2007 ACM  0001-0782/07/1200  $5.00

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