tunities—including support for communication within distributed communities—and it has also led to a number of new problems, not the least of which are security and privacy. Bruckman assesses the emerging use of the Internet as a communication medium that links widely dispersed communities, and she analyzes the factors behind the development of these communities.
Sudan reviews the history of the cryptography and security mechanisms that underlie secure Web protocols and other forms of secure computer communication. Also evident is another example of how new opportunities arise when we find a way to eliminate a significant premise of a technology—in this case, the advance exchange of decryption information, or the codebook. Sudan also shows how the computational paradigm has changed even the basic notion of what constitutes proof in an authentication system.
Software engineering research is concerned with better ways to design, analyze, develop, evaluate, maintain, and evolve the complex systems that deliver the computing services described in Peterson and Clark, Bruckman, and Sudan. Shaw describes how software engineering researchers formulate and evaluate research of this kind and employ a variety of approaches to address the subdiscipline’s different types of problems.