Title page for ETD etd-12202011-204944

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Nicholson, Brian Robert
Author's Email Address brn@vt.edu
URN etd-12202011-204944
Title LibX 2.0
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Back, Godmar V. Committee Chair
Edwards, Stephen H. Committee Member
Tilevich, Eli Committee Member
  • libraries
  • browser extensions
Date of Defense 2011-08-22
Availability unrestricted
As Internet applications continue to gain popularity, users are becoming increasingly comfortable with using the Web as part of their daily lives. Content is becoming digitized on a massive scale, and web browsers are emerging as the platform of choice.

Library catalogs, or OPACs, have become widely digitized as part of this trend. Unlike modern search engines, however, many OPACs require antiquated, boolean-based search queries. Consequently, OPAC usage has declined. Libraries have recently begun to introduce modernized services that enable Google-like queries with convenient syntaxes; however, these services are not widely adopted since Google remains more accessible and familiar.

LibX 2.0 is a browser extension for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome that provides an interface for locating library resources. LibX 2.0 gives users instant access to library searches, links, and proxies. It provides support for the modernized search services that libraries are beginning to offer. Additionally, as a browser extension, LibX 2.0 is more accessible than the OPACs themselves.

LibX 2.0 is the next iteration of the popular LibX extension. LibX 2.0 borrows several software engineering concepts for its design, including code reuse and modularity. As a result, we have created and updated many components to be compatible with these software engineering goals. We have designed a new user interface, inspired by Google Chrome, whose design we share between browsers. We have developed a framework for library applications, or LibApps, which enable user-created, extensible code. We have also developed custom caching, internationalization, and user preferences libraries to support our new design.

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