Web-Based Personal Digital Library

Web-Based Personal Digital Library

Sheng-Uei Guan (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch657
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As collections of relevant information either for public use or for personal use in a Web-based personal computer look like a digital library to its owner, this mechanism is called a Personal Digital Library (PDL). PDL will realise the selections of books, PDLs, and related persons through intellectual associations. As a server, PDL can store information simply and efficiently for easy retrieval and search, and provide intelligent supports for users (clients) to browse and find information. On the other hand, as a client, PDL can concurrently browse and automatically retrieve information from different PDLs (servers), and find a related person to communicate with during browsing. In addition, other PDLs can serve as memory extensions to overcome storage limitation in the local computer and avoid information duplication on the Web. PDL has potential uses in many areas such as personal use, education, commerce, finance, and entertainment. Personal users can employ any PDL with an Internet connection to manipulate their distributed information from anywhere around the world. This article introduces PDL design and prototyping. The prototype implemented shows that the PDL concept is feasible under existing technologies. Although PDL is designed to manage personal information collections in a network-based personal computer, it will be fruitful if the design or ideas presented in this article can stimulate further development in the Digital Library research.
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Bush described Memex as “a sort of mechanised private file and library” and as “a device in which an individual stores his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanised so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility”. Memex would store information on microfilms, which would be kept on a user’s desk. Memex would have a scanner to enable the user to input new material, and it would also allow him to create hand-written marginal notes and comments.

In addition to the establishment of individual links, Bush also wanted Memex to support the building of trails through the material in the form of a set of links that would combine information of relevance for a specific topic. Bush emphasised (1967), that the mechanisation of “selection by association” would bring about a successful personal machine that would allow a human being to “think creatively and wisely, unencumbered by unworthy tasks,” and that would allow people to “face an increasingly complex existence with hope”.

The proposed PDL is a network-based Memex, which will be embedded in a personal computer. Information including bookmarks in a PDL can be made shareable with other PDLs. A Web-based “memory extender” is formed by linking PDLs together. Another essential feature of PDL is to allow people to locate and browse a certain or similar resource quickly and easily through intelligent associations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Database Technology: Organization of a collection of data in digital format.

Hypertext: User interface paradigm allowing display of documents which branch or perform on request.

Distributed Information: Information distributed across and cross accessible from several machines.

Memex: The “Memex” was a theoretical analog computer described by the scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush. It is proposed as a device linked to a library, allowing automatic cross referencing.

Integrated Digital Library: Enterprise resource planning for a digital library system.

World Wide Web: The World Wide Web (“WWW”, or simply “Web”) is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI).

Knowledge-Based Systems: Systems based on the methods and techniques of artificial intelligence . Their core components are the knowledge base and the inference mechanisms.

Personal Digital Library: A personal database of documents where a significant portion of resources are in machine readable format.

Internet: The Internet, or simply the Net, is the publicly available worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using a standardized Internet Protocol (IP) and many other protocols.

Personalized Bookmark: Extended bookmarks for the PDL with scope for sharing and distribution.

Information Retrieval (IR): The art and science of searching for information in documents for text, sound, images, or data.

Digital Library: Like a traditional library, a collection of books and reference materials.

Search Engine: A program designed to help find information stored on a computer system such as the World Wide Web or a personal computer.

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