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[ba-ohs-talk] KnownSpace -- information management

This is the entry page to the website of Gregory Rawlins, who conducted a 
course on personal data management which led to the creation of the web 
site http://www.knownspace.org
The project has involved 70+ students over 3 years.    (01)

Rawlins' web site contains all the background, history, theory, and so forth.    (02)

Here's a quote from the entry:
"The web is growing exponentially. Search engine queries now often return 
millions of irrelevant pages. Those pages are not spatially arranged, 
clustered by topic, or distinguished in any way other than by their titles, 
so we have no idea of the relevance of any page before reading it. The same 
is true for mail and news. After we save webpages, mail messages, news 
articles, ftp pages, or any pages produced with an editor or any other 
application, those pages become lost on our desktops. They are not analyzed 
in any way, clustered according to our interests, or laid out spatially to 
show their similarities to other pages already there. Even after we 
organize the pages on our desktops by hand there is no automation to help 
us reoganize them, search them, navigate through them, or find more pages 
like them. Our computers don't help us manage our own data. This website 
describes a smart, visual, autonomous information manager that adaptively 
deduces its user's interests, analyzes its pages, displays them spatially, 
and automatically searches for new, relevant pages. All pages, whether from 
the web, mail, news, ftp, an editor, or any other program, are visually 
distinguished to show their relevance to topics likely to interest the user"    (03)

Work on the project seems to have stopped sometime last year, though that 
may just reflect the fact that newer work has not been posted.  The running 
version I have does not appear to be complete yet.  Licensed with the 
Apache license, and Java, the code might make a useful starting point.  The 
system architecture calls for tiny programs called "simpletons", each of 
which do something useful, like collect email, cluster information, and so 
forth.    (04)