Organizing and Sharing Distributed Personal Web Service Data with Menagerie

Roxana Geambasu, Cherie Cheung, Alexander Moshchuk, Steven D. Gribble, Henry M. Levy

Proceedings of the 17th {International World Wide Web Conference}, June, 2008

Abstract

The migration from desktop applications to Web-based services is scattering personal data across a myriad of Web sites, such as Google, Flickr, YouTube, and Amazon S3. This dispersal poses new challenges for users, making it more difficult for them to: (1) organize, search, and archive their data, much of which is now hosted by Web sites; (2) create heterogeneous, multi-Web-service object collections and share them in a protected way; and (3) manipulate their data with standard applications or scripts.

In this paper, we show that a Web-service interface supporting standardized naming, protection, and object-access services can solve these problems and can greatly simplify the creation of a new generation of object-management services for the Web. We describe the implementation of Menagerie, a proof-of-concept prototype that provides these services for Web-based applications. At a high level, Menagerie creates an integrated file and object system from heterogeneous, personal Web-service objects dispersed across the Internet. We present several object-management applications we developed on Menagerie to show the practicality and benefits of our approach.

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Columbia University Department of Computer Science