Implementation Challenges Associated with Developing a Web-based E-notebook


  • Yolanda Jacobs Reimer Department of Computer Science, University of Montana
  • Sarah A. Douglas Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Oregon


As people increasingly turn to the World Wide Web to help them manage their daily tasks, they engage in the process of information assimilation (IA). IA refers to the gathering, editing, annotating, organizing, and saving of Web information, as well as the tracking of ongoing Web work processes. Although evidence suggests that IA is a critical process for Web users, it is currently not well supported by existing browsers and other software applications. The lack of adequate software support for IA may be attributed to implementation difficulties associated with developing general Web-based applications. In addition, usability must be a major priority in the development of interactive systems to support IA. The NetNotes prototype, a Web-based e-notebook, represents a limited solution to the problem of developing software to support IA. NetNotes works in conjunction with a specific Web domain, deals with a limited number of Web components, and requires minor server-side modifications. Despite these limitations, however, the NetNotes implementation exposes some of the key technical problems associated with implementing Web-based software, it successfully incorporates a number of critical IA requirements, and it is robust enough to be used in future experimental evaluations.