Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Interesting Article

I was reading this article about provenance and browser history which I found really interesting. A couple thoughts:

  • They presented an interesting solution to the problem cycles: versioning and time stamping. The authors suggest that a graph of the browser history may contain multiple versions of the same site, depending on when it was visited following which link.
  • Current browsers do not register any meta-data between two pages in their history files when those pages are opened together - their is not timing data saved.
  • An interesting concept for history management would be to integrate a prolific search engine such as Google when searching browser history. If you can't remember an important site that you visited earlier but you know generally what it was about coming up with the search query to find the page again may be very difficult. If a search engine is integrated into the searching, when a query is entered it could go through the search engine but filter the results to display all relevant pages that also appear in the browser's history.
  • While this article discusses many points about using the actual stored browser history as the meta-data, the same ideas can be applied to a real time relational capturing tool.
  • Surprisingly, to date no browsers have integrated graph support for displaying user history.

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