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Senior Project - Elmo


An Application for Creating Interactive and Evolvable Web Sites

Senior Project: 1996-1997
Scott Berkebile, James Masson and Samuel Stoller

Most sites on the World Wide Web today are made up of static HTML pages that are maintained by a "webmaster." This website model is well suited for broadcasting unchanging information across the web to users, but is not well suited for presenting information tailored to a specific user need, or for allowing users to directly modify and extend the information contained in the site. One research project within the Center for LifeLong Learning & Design (L3D) attempts to transform the Web from a broadcast-oriented media into a collaborative media for constructing knowledge. This project aims to implement a new website model in which information content and hypertext links are stored as small pieces in a database, and then put together "on the fly" to create HTML pages. The goal is to support dynamic websites that are directly extensible by users without requiring HTML knowledge, deliver information tailored to the user's needs, and integrate many different types of content (such as email, newsgroups, and conventional web pages).

This project was developed as a concrete example of such a system. The Elmo System is a set of LAN management applications which help LAN administrators to better monitor their local area networks. A simple web-oriented interface makes Elmo easily available to any user who has access to a web browser. The five core applications of the Elmo suite are Host Table (tracks information pertaining to particular hosts and devices on the LAN), Trouble Queue (allows users and LAN administrators to record and maintain threaded discussions about problems on the network), LAN Diary (tracks actions taken on specific networks and devices), Glossary (a dynamic dictionary for LAN-related terms), and Link Clipboard (allows users to view, edit, and delete their links). In addition to these five applications, the Elmo System provides annotation (a system-wide mechanism which allows users to annotate entries in the system) and linking capabilities (a general mechanism that allows users to associate links with entries in the system). The project was developed using Tango and Butler SQL for a Macintosh environment.

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
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Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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