From D-Lib Forum
August 1995

William Y. Arms
Chair, D-Lib Forum

News from D-Lib Forum

This month D-Lib Forum introduces three activities that we intend to expand steadily over the next few months.

  • The Technology Playpen. This is a collection of demonstrations of new technology of interest to digital library researchers.
  • Working Groups in Digital Library Research. This is a list of working groups in digital library research that are associated with D-Lib Forum.
  • Cooperative Projects in Digital Library Research. This is a list of some of the major cooperative projects in digital library research.
  • Each of these activities is currently quite small. If you would like to contribute to any of them, please contact us at

    The Technology Playpen

    The Technology Playpen is a collection of new technology of interest to digital library researchers. Typically this is work that is not yet ready for wide spread deployment. It runs on a limited number of computer types and you may need to download specific software before you can use it.

    This month we include demonstrations of two systems that from CNRI. The first is a preview of the Grail user interface. This is a web browser written in Python. It has two great advantages over more normal browsers, such as Mosaic or Netscape. The first is that it is open; the source code is available to everybody. The second is that it is designed to be extensible. The extensibility is demonstrated with some simple Python applets. The second is the first two issues of D-Lib Magazine with the major items identified by handles, rather than URLs.

    In addition, the playpen includes a link to Sun's new Java and HotJava systems. Java is a new object-oriented programming language developed at Sun Microsystems and HotJava is an extensible web browser that accepts applets written in Java.

    Click here to go to the Technology Playpen.

    Working Groups in Digital Library Research

    One of principal activities of the D-Lib Forum is to stimulate the formation of working groups to address specific topics of Digital Library research. Several of these groups are continuation of work from the federally funded Computer Science Technical Reports project and the Digital Library Initiative. The following working groups in Digital Library research are currently associated with D-Lib. Other groups are being formed and will be reported in future issues of D-Lib Magazine.

    National Computer Science Technical Reports Library (NCSTRL)

    The NCSTRL Working Group is building an operational, state-of-the-art, distributed library of technical reports in computing and related disciplines. It provides a test bed for early deployment of digital library research, and for exploring the organizational issues of a large scale distributed library. NCSTRL builds on Dienst, which was part of the Computer Science Technical Reports project, and the Waters project.
    Dean Krafft, Cornell University.
    Further information:
    National Computer Science Technical Reports Library

    Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information

    Prepare and distribute a report which frames the key problems to be resolved in order to ensure continuing access to electronic digital records and other information indefinitely into the future.
    John R. Garrett, Corporation for National Research Initiatives
    Donald Waters, Yale University
    The Commission on Preservation and Access
    The Research Libraries Group

    Handle User Group

    A handle is a unique identifier for a digital object. The Handle User Group is to assist early users of the system and to provide feedback for the development team.
    William Arms, CNRI.
    Further information:
    Handles and the Handle System.

    Cooperative Projects in Digital Library Research

    Here are pointers to some of the major cooperative projects and associated activities in digital library research.

    Federally funded cooperative projects

    The NSF/ARPA/NASA Digital Library Initiative (DLI). Six federal funded projects in digital library research, with partnerships led by universities. The individual projects are listed below.

    University of California, Berkeley: An Electronic Environmental Library Project. (A DLI project.)

    University of California, Santa Barbara: The Alexandria Project: Towards a Distributed Digital Library with Comprehensive Services for Images and Spatially Referenced Information. (A DLI project.)

    Carnegie Mellon University: Informedia: Integrated Speech, Image and Language Understanding for Creation and Exploration of Digital Video Libraries. (A DLI project.)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Building the Interspace: Digital Library Infrastructure for a University Engineering Community. (A DLI project.)

    University of Michigan: The University of Michigan Digital Library Project. (A DLI project.)

    Stanford University: Stanford University Digital Libraries Project. (A DLI project.)

    The Computer Science Technical Reports Project (CSTR). A partnership between CNRI, five universities and the Library of Congress.

    Coordinating bodies

    The Coalition for Networked Information. A joint project of the Association of Research Libraries, CAUSE, and EDUCOM to promote information resources in networked environments.

    The Internet Engineering Task Force. The protocol engineering and development arm of the Internet.

    The World Wide Web Consortium. The W3 Consortium exists to develop common standards for the evolution of the World Wide Web.

    Please send questions and comments about D-Lib to:

    William Y. Arms
    Chair, D-Lib Forum

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    July 16, 1995