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Los Alamos Builds Time Machine to the Way the Web Was

By Government Computer News

August 10, 2011

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Researchers at the Los Alamos Research Library and Old Dominion University have developed Memento, a technical specification that embeds the concept of time into Internet applications and could enable users to see Web pages as they appeared at any point in time.

Memento uses a protocol that enables users to search across all existing Web archives, according to Los Alamos researcher Herbert Van de Sompel. Memento works by time stamping a page that can then be referenced at a later date. One application could be in content management and version control systems, through the use of a universal resource identifier (URI), Van de Sompel says.

Memento also can search through dates using a slider graphic. Users can search different archives with an HTTP-based search tool by entering a site's URI into Memento. The system automatically searches all of the Internet's Web archives and sends the user to the archived copy.

The researchers hope to make the time-searching capability a standard Internet protocol, but until then they have developed a Firefox plug-in and a mobile version for the Android operating system, according to Van de Sompel.

From Government Computer News
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