Hi there! Thank you for checking out the Software Systems Laboratory website. We’re based in the Computer Science Department at Loyola University Chicago. SSL conducts research in computer systems and applied software engineering. We foster innovation by encouraging experimentation and collaboration with a strong emphasis on openness, including open source software development, open access dissemination of research software, and reproducible results. We are an interdisciplinary group with faculty and student interests in computer science, software engineering, information technology, cybersecurity, and engineering. We are a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) group, which means that we align ourselves not only with the sciences and mathematics, but also arts and humanities disciplines.
SSL embraces the notion that diversity drives creativity and innovation. Following the principles of the IEEE Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation, all are welcome, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic advantage, physical, mental, and cognitive ability, and LGBTQA+ status. Whilst we are based at Loyola University Chicago, we welcome anyone who is interested in using emerging technologies and software engineering to solve problems.
To join the research group, you must submit an application. Current team members interview prospective team members, followed by an interview with the director, and affiliated faculty. Decisions are based on previous development experience, ability to work in a team setting, and a statement of purpose. All Loyola University Chicago participants are eligible to apply for independent study. Regardless of whether one earns credit or non-credit, we expect participants to make at least a 6-month commitment to remain in active status within the research group.
ZettelGeist is a plaintext note-taking system, inspired by the ZettelKasten Method, which emphasizes one idea per note card. SSL is working to integrate Zettelgeist with the Google Suite of tools to support collaborative research and scholarship.
ZettelGeist is a plaintext note-taking system, inspired by the ZettelKasten Method.
The project founders have both been interested in taking notes long before discovering ZettelKasten. We really like the thought process behind ZettelKasten, however, and think it is ahead of its time by being “less is more” in its focus.
A key, salient feature of our approach to implementing a ZettelKasten system is not to get distracted by GUI tools at an early stage of development. The default assumption of our system is that we work from plaintext files. We are particularly inspired by systems like Jekyll (a static-site generator for building web sites) that uses YAML to organize its front matter and Markdown as the body. We’re even starting more simply by just using YAML without Markdown, although we might introduce it at release time. The idea is to focus on true notetaking by not encouraging the writing of large, complex documents (which aren’t really notes, right??)
So ZettelGeist is aimed at supporting the spirit of ZettelKasten, while ensuring that it will be useful in other domains. Our primary audience is the scholar who wants to write notes using a simple text editor and storing these notes in the cloud, e.g. in Dropbox, GitHub, etc. While we’d love to build something like the successor to Evernote or OneNote–even as a graphical client–our view is that no such tool should be developed without having the right core abstractions in place. Ultimately, the note is the central abstraction. Having support for metadata is crucial, especially for scholarly–or other serious–projects.
Visit the ZettelGeist website here
Learn more about Software Metrics here.