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Meerkat Overview David Robb CSCI 7818: Topics in Software Engineering Fall 2001
Overview Web-based syndicated content reader Focus on up-to-date technical news Stories sorted by update time Stories filtered by Category/Channel or search criteria Rich Site Summary (RSS) based Relevant news in a single location
Technical Specifications Perl backend PHP frontend Apache web server MySQL database
Behind the Scenes Features Maintains list of channels Checks channel RSS file every hour to pull new stories Pulls new technology related channels from aggregators
Registration of Channel Meerkat doesn’t have a registration system currently Register channel through aggregator –xmlTree: directory of content –Aggregator.Userland.com
Front End Features Profiles/Mobs –Use to create groups and store articles according to relevance –Must be a registered user Categories/Channels –Different groups of articles –Can list articles you want by selecting desired category and clicking refresh button –Not all Categories/Channels have current news
Front End Features (continued) Search For –Keyword search of title and description fields –Can change field to search by using drop down menu Show Me –Select time frame of stories you want to see –From one hour to all stories ever posted –Displays 50 stories per page. Use to move between pages
Front End Features (continued) Story –Displayed from newest to oldest –Title in bold with description underneath –Click on title to open a new window and read the full story from the source’s website –Same window is used to read each story
Front End Features (continued) Action –Icons located to the left of the story description –Click on the globe to open a new window and perform a web-based search on the title and key words in a story –Click on the magnifying glass to open a new window and search the source’s website for information similar to this story –Click on the ring of dots to add a story to your Mobs group
Front End Features (continued) Source –Name of the channel in which the story appears –Click on the source to view all stories from the same source Category –Stories are categorized based on story content Date –Date Meerkat first noticed the story and entered it into its database
Conclusions Useful aid for information retrieval Provides timely, relevant information quickly Provides easy web search Doesn’t provide end to end path for information, but is a good starting point
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