Title page for ETD etd-10262007-134511

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Baker, Nathan
Author's Email Address nathanb@vt.edu
URN etd-10262007-134511
Title LibX IE: An Internet Explorer Add-On for Direct Library Access
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Back, Godmar V. Committee Chair
Butt, Ali R. A. Committee Member
Tilevich, Eli Committee Member
  • Internet Explorer
  • library
  • toolbar
  • LibX
Date of Defense 2007-09-06
Availability unrestricted
Increasingly, students choose to use general search engines for research rather than taking advantage of the resources provided by university libraries. As university libraries offer services such as the careful selection of material and subscriptions to peer-reviewed journals, it is important that the library become integrated into research workflows. Existing technologies on library servers do not provide the level of integration we believe is most helpful to users.

LibX is a browser add-on designed to assist research by making library resources more accessible than they are through the library's own tools. It provides a client-side interface to these library services through the web browser. This integration enhances productivity and augments the user's existing information-seeking behavior.

We extended the existing Firefox version of LibX into a browser-agnostic framework, allowing LibX services to be provided on multiple browser platforms. We created a toolbar and context menu system, written in C#, to extend the existing LibX features to the Internet Explorer web browser. The primary focus of this work is on the software engineering challenges presented in creating this version.

We also designed a new framework for web localization, allowing pages viewed by the user to be modified on the client side by rules written by LibX developers, library staff, or individual users. The framework also provides a way for these rules to be distributed, updated, and composed, enhancing the browsing experience by augmenting it with additional information. The design and behavior of this framework is a secondary focus of this work.

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