What follows is an early attempt at the acknowledgements section of the thesis. My better half, also completing here PhD, queried why this section would be needed? I will be including because there are some people that need to be acknowledged for their contributions.
The work described here has been made possible by a huge number of people. A number far too large to acknowledge appropriately within the space allowed. Consequently, I start by offering gratitude to all, before acknowledging a few groups and individuals.
I would like to start with the people who disagreed with the ideas expressed here and embodied in the Webfuse information system. The difficulties you have had with understanding and appreciating these ideas have pushed me further to understand and refine the ideas. On reflection, the fact that so many of you filled management or senior information technology positions within the organisation remains somewhat troubling. But this work would not be without you, thanks.
Perhaps more importantly are the tens of thousands of people who made use of the services provided by Webfuse over its years of service. Thanks for your patience and suggestions. It was the your diversity that drove recognition of how important flexibility was and just how inflexible most IT systems actually are.
Responding to this flexibility is not something I could have done myself. The development of Webfuse owes much to the project students and IT staff who worked on or with Webfuse over its years of existence. There were many of you and you rarely received the recognition due. In no particular order, thank you: Andrew Newman, Andrew Whyte, Matthew Aldous, Arthur Watts, Bret Carter, Chriss Lenz, Adrian Yarrow, Russell Gibbings-Johns, Zhijie Lu, Paul Wilton, David Binney, Chris Richter, Shawn Dollin, Paula Turnbull, Damien Clark, Scott Bytheway, Matthew Walker, Stephen Jeffries and many more I have almost certainly forgotten. Special mention should be made of Derek Jones, the last man standing in terms of Webfuse and a major influence on its development.
Mary Cranston was also amongst the staff working on Webfuse. Her contributions to the support and use of Webfuse were as important and immeasurable as they were generally unrecognised and self-effacing. By far the largest shortcoming of the organisation we worked for was its failure to recognise just how much a contribution Mary made to the organisation. Perhaps only surpassed by its failure to recognise the magnitude of the contribution Mary might have made to the organisation. I cannot thank Mary enough.
Webfuse and the work described here would not have happened without Stewart Marshall. Stewart was the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Communication and, as described in Chapter 5, remains the only senior manager in my experience to not only understand ateleological development but also publicly embrace it as a strategy for the organisation he was responsible. Without Stewart, chapter 5 would never have happened.
From the research perspective, I am deeply indebted to the Very Respectable Professor Gregor. Without Shirley’s knowledge, connections, influence and most especially patience this work would have been much less than it is. Perhaps my largest regret from this thesis is that I was not in a position to do more with Shirley’s contribution. The same might be said about the folk I have co-written with over recent years. I would like to make special mention of Kieren Jamieson as someone who made significant and under utilised contributions to this and related work.
Lastly, I would like to thank my family and ask forgiveness for all the time I spent on Webfuse and this thesis that I should have been spending on you. A special thanks to Sandy for starting her own PhD. Thereby, providing the motivation necessary for me to complete this thesis, before she completed hers.