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Scenarios document

From: Rick Henderson <rickh@netscape.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Jun 1998 15:32:58 -0700
Message-ID: <357C669A.41AC75CF@netscape.com>
To: DASL List <www-webdav-dasl@w3.org>
Below is an early incarnation of the scenarios document.  I'll be making
this into a internet draft soon.

Rick Henderson            (Netscape)(650)937-3152

Scenarios for using DASL

Below are a collection of possible usage scenarios.  The intent is to
suggest some of the uses that DASL could be put to.  This may in turn
motivate decisions on what is essential to DASL and what may be
considered extra.

Document Management

Search could be used to help keep track of what is going on with a set
of DAV resources.  Some DASL queries that might help with this:
Search for all the documents that are locked.
Search for all the owners of locked documents.
Search for documents that have been locked for more than 1 week.
Search for documents that have not changed in the last year.

These queries could help find documents that are likely to be undergoing
changes, who is changing them, what documents have been locked for too
long, what documents aren't dynamic anymore.

Finding a specific document by phrase

A user remembers a document that they liked and want to see again but
doesn't have it book marked or remember the location.  They do remember
a key phrase from the content though.  They can search for the phrase
such as "invisible car", and find the document without picking through a
large number of irrelevant documents.

Finding a specific document by author and date range

A user's information need may be expressed something like this: "I need
that trip report that John Doe wrote last spring."  They don't know its
location or its title.  They can search for documents with author equal
to "John Doe" and create date greater than 1998/01/01 and less than
1998/06/01.  This will yield few enough documents to find the one of

Finding information on a particular topic in an organized collection

A collection may have been organized according to some taxonomy and the
keywords chosen accordingly.  The user, knowing or having scanned the
taxonomy, presents a query for general subject equal to gardening and
subordinate subject equal to bonsai.

Finding information on a particular topic in an unorganized collection

A collection may not have been organized according to some taxonomy or
the taxonomy may not be detailed enough for the user's purposes, or may
be irrelevant to the user's interest.  In this case content based search
becomes crucial.  A user could search for documents containing all three
of the words "small", "Japanese", and "trees", and likely obtain
articles on bonsai.  If the collection were organized with a taxonomy
that the user didn't know about they could then discover the keywords
from the document found and use that to find other documents with the
same categorization.

Site Navigation

While DAV itself is sufficient for basic site navigation, DASL can
support fancier site navigation, where documents are sorted on the
server, or filtered out on the server.

Browse Tree for exploring a document space

A DASL application could present a browse tree for a set of documents.
In a browse tree some property is selected at each level of the tree to
branch on.  Thus if the top level property selected were document type,
then the unique values of the document type property for all the
documents would be the branches of the tree and would be presented to
the user.  So the user might see a list of document types, say
"Administrative memo", "Design spec", "Requirements spec", "Test plan",
"Project schedule".  Beneath that another property could be selected,
say Project, which might display project names with values such as
"Tuolemne", "Calaveras", "Russian", "Sacramento", "American", "Merced".
At that point the user might want to view the list of documents within
these categories and there might be only a few or just one project
schedule for project Russian.  The same document space might also be
explored using properties like Date and Author.  (Note: DASL will most
likely not explicitly support browse trees, but searches like 'docType =
"Design spec" AND project = "Tuolemne" sorted by date' could be used to
gather the raw data to generate the information for a node in the browse

Finding the right information by looking at the hit highlights

Natural language being so context dependent means that content based
search inevitably retrieves false positives if it is getting very many
of the true positives.  The user is left to pick through the documents
returned to find the ones that are actually relevant.  Highlight
information can be used to make this easier.  A DASL application could
present a list of the sentences that had the hit words in them.  This is
likely to allow the user to discard most of the false positives without
having to view the whole document.  (It is currently controversial if
hit highlighting will make it into the first version of DASL)

Finding the information in a large document

The user may do a content based search that returns a large document of
many pages but the relevant part of the document is in only one or a few
parts of the document.  Hit highlighting will help the user find those
parts.  A smart DASL application could present links to jump to the next
hit or concentration of hits.  (It is currently controversial if hit
highlighting will make it into the first version of DASL)

Finding documents of a particular kind

DASL could be used to find documents of a particular kind such as
images.  This could be used directly by an end user looking for
interesting images, or by a program that does some kind of processing on
the images like select gif images that are portraits.  A query that
asked for mime-type = image/* could gather that data.

Finding documents in a particular language

Assuming that a language attribute is set, then a search could be
restricted to documents that are in a particular language, say German.
It would be possible for a site to automatically set this tag using
language recognition technology.

Document Management Alliance

The DAV/DASL capabilities could be implemented via an implementation of
the Document Management Alliance (a document management API standard).
This would allow the documents from a feature rich document application
to be exposed on the web via DAV and DASL.

External taxonomy to view a DASL collection

A user could view various DASL supporting collections according to the
user's own taxonomy.  Here we assume that the user has a taxonomy where
for each category there is a complex query for which the relevance score
returned establishes a documents degree of membership in the category.
A DASL application could issue a series of these queries on a collection
resource and thus categorize the documents within the resource.  The
DASL application could then display a tree view of the collection based
on the user's taxonomy.
Received on Monday, 8 June 1998 18:32:40 UTC

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