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Publication numberWO2001043075 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/US2000/021676
Publication date14 Jun 2001
Filing date4 Aug 2000
Priority date8 Dec 1999
Publication numberPCT/2000/21676, PCT/US/0/021676, PCT/US/0/21676, PCT/US/2000/021676, PCT/US/2000/21676, PCT/US0/021676, PCT/US0/21676, PCT/US0021676, PCT/US021676, PCT/US2000/021676, PCT/US2000/21676, PCT/US2000021676, PCT/US200021676, WO 0143075 A1, WO 0143075A1, WO 2001/043075 A1, WO 2001043075 A1, WO 2001043075A1, WO-A1-0143075, WO-A1-2001043075, WO0143075 A1, WO0143075A1, WO2001/043075A1, WO2001043075 A1, WO2001043075A1
InventorsOfer Digli, Alon Schwarz, Ori Levy, Nir Melamoud, Roy Eitan
ApplicantBrowseup, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Automatic publishing system and method
WO 2001043075 A1
Abstract
A system and method for publishing over a global computer network by linking any content objects. The system automatically generates an OLINK (120, 121) when a user drags a first content object (310) and drops it onto a second object (110).
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
WHAT IS CLAIMED:
1. A method of publishing content over a global computer network by linking content objects, compπsing the steps of selecting a first content object by a user; selecting a second content object by the user: and automatically linking said first object and said second object to generate an OLINK. said OLINK having embedded data.
2 The method of claim 1. wherein the step of selecting the second object includes dragging and dropping said first object onto said second object
3. The method of claim 1, wherein each content object compπses one or more of a photo, a movie, animation, text, video or audio
4 The method of claim 1. wherein said embedded data includes at least a descπption of said OLINK; and further compπsing the step of automatically deriving the descπption from said first content object and said second content object.
5 The method of claim 1. wherein said embedded data includes at least the description of said OLINK. the descπption being provided by the user
6 The method of claim 1 , wherein said embedded data includes at least the descπption of said OLLNK and direction information, wherein the step of automatically linking generates a first OLINK from said first object to said second object and a second OLINK from said second object to said first object, said first OLINK having direction information different from said second OLINK.
7 The method of claim 6, wherein the descπption provided by the user for said first OLINK is different from said second OLINK.
8. The method of claim 1. wherem said embedded data includes at least statistical information about said OLINK that dynamically vanes over time.
9 The method of claim 1. wherein each content object being either an
URL or located within a w eb page, a repository, a client application, a desktop, a server or a storage device.
10. The method of claim 9. wherein said repository stores content objects collected by the users for a predetermined peπod of time.
1 1 The method of claim 1. herein said computer network is an Internet and w herein said second content object is an URL or located within a web page 12. The method of claim 1 1. further comprising the step of marking any content object or a group of content objects within said URL that is connected by an OLINK to provide marked content objects; and displaying said marked content objects when said URL is accessed by the user
13 The method of claim 12. further comprising the steps of selecting one of said marked content objects as a base content object, and displaying a list of related
OLINKs that are connected said base content object
14 The method of claim 13. w herein said list of related OLINKs includes thumbnail, description, file type and ranking of each related OLINK.
15 The method of claim 1 1 . wherein said first content object is a personal content object, said personal content object being content object not generally accessible over the Internet.
16. The method of claim 15, further comprising the step of assigning a unique URL to said personal content object.
n
17. The method of claim 16. further compnsing the step of stonng said personal content object as an HTML web page so as to be accessible by others over the Internet.
18. The method of claim 1. further compnsing the step of updating the embedded data of said OLINK in response to any change in said first object or said second object.
19 The method of claim 1. further compπsing the step of displaying one or more of said first object, said second object and said OLLNK to any user on said global computer network 20. System for publishing content over a global computer network by linking content objects, compπsing: a computer associated with a user having an input device; a client application residing in said computer for selecting a first content object and a second content object using said input device by the user; a system server, connected to said computer over said global computer network, for automatically linking said first object and said second object to generate an OLINK. said OLINK hav ing embedded data.
21. The system of claim 20, wherein said second object is selected by dragging and dropping said first object using said input device by the user onto said second object.
22. The system of claim 20. wherem each content compπses one or more of a photo, a movie, animation, text, video or audio.
23. The system of claim 20, wherein said embedded data includes at least a description of said OLINK; and wherein said system server is operable to automatically deπves the descπption from said first content object and said second content object.
24 The system of claim 20. wherein said embedded data includes at least the descπption of said OLINK. the descπption being provided by the user. 25. The system of claim 20. wherein said embedded data includes at least the descπption of said OLINK and direction information, wherein said system server is operable to generate a first OLINK from said first object to said second object and a second OLINK from said second object to said first object, said first OLINK having direction information different from said second OLINK 26 The system of claim 25. wherein the description provided by the user for said first OLINK is different from said second OLINK.
27. The system of claim 20, wherein said embedded data includes at least statistical information about said OLINK that dynamically vanes over time.
28. The system of claim 20, wherein each content object being either an URL or located within a web page, a repository, a client application, a desktop, a server or a storage device
29 The system of claim 28. herein said repository stores content objects collected by the user for a predetermined penod of time
30 The system of claim 20. wherein said computer network is an Intemet and wherein said second content object is an URL or located within a web page.
31 The system of claim 30. wherein said system server is operable to mark any content object or a group of content objects within said URL that is connected by an OLINK to provide marked content objects; and wherein said computer is operable to display said marked content objects when said URL is accessed by the user.
32. The system of claim 31. wherein said system server is operable to provide said computer a list of related OLLNKs when the user selects one of said marked content objects as a base content object; and wherem said computer is operable to display the list of related OLINKs that are connected said base content object to the user.
33. The system of claim 32. wherein said list of related OLINKs includes thumbnail, descπption. file type and ranking of each related OLINK 34 The system of claim 30. wherein said first content object is a personal content object, said personal content object being content object not generally accessible over the Internet
35 The system of claim 34. wherein said system server is operable to assign a unique URL to said personal content object 36 The system of claim 35, wherein said system server is operable to store said personal content object as an HTML web page so as to be accessible by others over the Internet
37 The system of claim 20. wherein said client application is operable to display one or more ot said first object, said second object, and said OLINK to an said computer
38 The system of claim 20. wherein said global computer network is an
Internet, and wherein said system server is operable to display one or more of said first object, said second object and said OLINK on a plurality of web sites on the
Internet
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

AUTOMATIC PUBLISHING SYSTEM AND METHOD RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Application Serial No. 09/457,619, filed December 8, 1999, which is incoφorated herem in its entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to hypertext linking systems and database management systems, and more particularly to Intemet publishing systems

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Information on the World Wide Web compπses of two mam elements: pieces of content and hypertext links that connects between them. As content in the World Wide Web is presently being hosted on web sites as hypertext markup language (HTML) pages, it is most likely that oniy web site owners today enjoy the privilege of providing and publishing content. Since pages are connected to each other by links that are located within the pages, the sites owners are the one who control the links, by which they edit the presentation of the web information. Currently, web users are very much limited in their possibility to publish content, when it basically requires the user to own a page, as well as in their possibility to produce new links. Therefore, with no technical means for creating links, users are bound to the existing linking trails, and are actually passive in building and designing the web content topography

A number of Internet software, such as bulletin boards, chat programs, and online forums, let users post content only to a specific web site location. Other web annotation and instant massaging products, such as Third-voice. uTok, Odigo, and Gooey, enable users to publish content over web pages. However, the attached content is always limited m space, as well as to certain formats, mainly text. These publishing methods are also awkward to use. both for the publisher and the viewer. Another way of publishing content is having a page hosted on one of the hosting web sites, as GeoCities.com. xoom.com. FortuneCity.com, and others. GeoCities.com offers the user a free page hosting and tools for creating the page. Though, the content and the links published in the page are limited to the uniform resource locator's (URL's) specific location. A number of search engine software products, like Ditto. corn's, allow users to upload personal content, mainly images, and publish it on the search engine's web site However, none of the present web technologies let the user automatically publishes his personal content in connection to any web site by simply dragging and dropping (or copying and pasting) Moreover, the current software products do not enable users to connect one or more web content objects to a personal content object, by simply creating a link between the content objects. The linked personal content object can be publicly viewed and shared with other Internet users.

U.S. Patent 5.848.424 (Scheinkmann et al.) describes a hypertext browser for detecting draggable elements and/or drop targets on the web page located in a web site or server supporting the "Know" protocol, i.e.. "Mediator-enabled" web site or server. However, it is desirable to freely publish over the Internet by linking content objects located anywhere in the Internet without first enabling a web site or server.

None of the present web products supply the Internet users community with a Meta links database system, built as a neural network, which utilize the human intelligence of associatively connecting pieces of information. Currently, web content is presently viewed in a page-based system, in which information is organized and displayed in a page format. That is. the currently available browsers retrieve and display pages of the content. Accordingly, a user seeking a particular piece of information will face much irrelevant information contained in the page. Accordingly, all search engines available on the Internet software market are qualified in performing a 'page-style' detection and presentation of content to the user. However, there is no available web technology, which analyses content within web pages and present it as such, converting the mass information into a smaller content packets. Facing a low resolution of content, users lack efficient tools for accurately obtaining the relevant information.

There is currently no software product that combines a higher resolution of content, along with a most simple way for a user to generate links between a much smaller content object, in any kind and in any location, to any other content object in any location. The present invention meets this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention provides an automatic publishing system that enables user to publish content on the global computer network, such as an Internet, by linking any content objects located anywhere on the Internet, user's local computer or the system server. Each content object includes a pointer to the other content object, i.e.. in an OLINK link (or hereinafter referred to as an OLLNK), as descπbed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 09/457.619. filed December 8. 1999. entitled "OBJECT LINKING DATA MANAGEMENT METHOD AND SYSTEM". In addition to providing the linking information between two content objects, the OLINK includes information, such as embedded data about the attπbutes of the link or association. The automatic publishing system of the present invention automatically generates an OLINK between two content objects selected by the user and the resulting published content can be reviewed by any Internet user. i.e.. not limited to the user of the automatic publishing system. For example, the user can generate an OLLNK by dragging the first content object and dropping it on top of the second content object. Alternatively, user can automatically generate an OLINK by cutting and pasting one or more content objects onto another content object. A content object is an object that contains one or more specific content, such as photo, a movie, animation, text, sound, or other information

The automatic publishing system of the present invention is applicable to all web pages on the Intemet to connect content objects anywhere on the Internet. A web page is essentially composed of content objects The present invention enables any user to associate any content object on the Internet, i.e.. web page, or stored in the personal computer or the system server with any other content object located anywhere on the Internet or in the system server Thereby, advantageously permitting the user to quickly retrieve and link any information and to publish his own content from his personal computer by associating content objects in any web page and/or stored content objects in the system server In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, the automatic publishing system enables Internet (World Wide Web) users to connect data objects in vaπous formats, including but not limited to text, image, audio, and video, to existing objects on the web pages, thereby forming a connected neural type object-oπented network. Preferably, this neural network can be stored on the object Unking data management system servers and on other Internet servers. Although, currently only HTML wπters and site owners can control what information is published and modified on the Internet, i.e., web page, the automatic publishing system of the present invention enables any Internet user to publish and associate pieces of information (content) located any where on the Internet or user's local computer to any other content. That is. the present invention forms a global content object network by intelligently linking the content objects.

In another aspect of the present invention, the automatic publishing system includes graphical user interface for enabling a user to add new content objects or existing content objects on the World Wide Web to other content objects, thereby conceptually providing a new dimension to the data stmcture. That is. a new intelligent link, e g., an OLINK. is now provided to easily connect any content objects

In a further aspect of the invention. OLINKs can exist in a neural network type stmcture or in any conventional data stmcture. It is appreciated that the content and/or stmcture of the database changes as more content objects are collected, and more OLINKs are generated

In an embodiment of the present invention, a content object contains specific content within a URL or file, wherein the specific content can represent various content types in various formats, including but not limited to one or more o a photo in the form of JPEG, GIF. or other formats, a movie in MPEG. MPEG-2, or other formats, animation, flash media, text, sound in WAV, MP-3, or other formats, and other content types. Alternatively, the content object can contain a combination of multiple files with different data types and formats In accordance with another embodiment, the present invention provides a "drag and drop" linking method for dragging any drag-able content object onto any other content object by a user, thereby generating an OLLNK. Alternatively, multiple content objects can be dragged onto any content object, thereby generating corresponding multiple OLINKs or a single OLINK.

In accordance with a further embodiment of the invention, the first content object can be dragged or cut from the client application, the server, a URL, a storage device such as a hard disk, a floppy disk, a CD-ROM. or another location. The second content object can be located in the client application, the server, the URL. another URL. or a storage device such as a hard disk, a floppy disk, a CD-ROM. or another location.

In a further aspect of the invention, the first or the second content object can be dragged or cut and paste from or to a repository A repository is a part of the client application, in which any content objects can be temporaπly stored for a predetermined peπod of time. Preferably, the client application displays the content objects in the repository to the user, and the user can visibly drag or cut and paste content objects from or to the repository onto or from other content objects. Content object, which is stored in the repository, is preferably displayed to the user as a thumbnail. Preferably, the repository content objects are stored in an area accessible only by the user, such as the user's local computer, a password protected area within the system server, or the like.

In another aspect of the invention, in a system having a client, a server, a

URL, a first content object, and a second content object, the server automatically generates a first link connecting the first content object to the second content object, and a second link connecting in the opposite direction (backwards) the second content object to the first content object. That is, the server automatically generates two different and separate links, one link for each direction.

In accordance with a further aspect of the invention, the OLINK contains embedded data such as. but not limited to: location identifier, a content identifier, descπption of the link, and statistics regarding the link. The location identifier is a field in the OLINK object table, as described in the U S. Patent Application Seπal No. 09/457,619. that records content objects address. The content object address can include data representing a URL. a location within a page, a server address, and a file address The content identifier is a field in the object table that records and stores a key that uniquely identifies the content in that content object.

In accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention, the OLINK object includes a description of the link provided or inserted by the user. The user may provide a different description for each two-way links generated. Alternatively, the system may automatically derive the descπption of the link from the content objects.

In accordance w ith still another aspect of the present invention, dropping or pasting a content object onto another content object ill automatically initiate an OLINK object containing Meta data about the link generated. Preferably, the OLLNK includes statistics and other data regarding the link, such as: oπgination date, originator identity, link's rating.

In another aspect of the invention, the automatic publishing system generates OLINKs that can be viewed only by the originator. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following detailed description, given by way of example, and not intended to limit the present mvention solely thereto, will best be understood in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which: Fig. 1 shows the linking between two web content objects within two different pages;

Fig. 2 shows the linking between a web content object and a client content object;

Fig 3 shows the linking between a desktop content object and a web content object.

Fig 4 shows the linking between a desktop content object and a web content object via the repository,

Fig. 5 is an overview of a bi-directional OLLNK between content objects,

Fig. 6 is a screen image illustrating the linking between two web content objects withm two different pages;

Fig. 7 illustrates the linking between a web content object and a client content object,

Fig. 8 is a screen image illustrating the linking between a desktop content object and a web content object, Fig 9 is a screen image illustrating the linking between a desktop content object and a web content object via the repository;

Fig. 10 is a screen image illustrating the object linking process;

Fig. 1 1 is a screen image illustrating the presentation of OLINKs to the user; Fig. 12 is a flowchart and overview of the system architecture of the data management system,

Fig. 13 is a flowchart of the preferred embodiment for data exchange between the client side and the server side in the data management system; and Fig 14 is a flowchart of a personal content publishing progress

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

The present invention compπses of a novel automatic publishing method and associated apparatus The following descπption is presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the inv ention Descriptions of specific applications are provided only as examples Various modifications to the preferred embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. and the general pπnciples defined herein mav be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the pπnciples and features disclosed herein

The present inv ention adv antageouslv provides a svstem and method for publishing over a global computer network by linking at least two content objects, wherein an OLINK associates the linked content objects An OLLNK. as descπbed in the U S Patent Application Serial No 09/457,619, is an association between two content objects and contains embedded data about the attributes of the association The association attπbutes includes but is not limited to an oπginator identity, a generation date, addresses of the content objects, a content identifier, a descπption of the OLLNK, thumbnails of the content objects, statistical information about the OLINK that vanes dynamically over time, e.g., based on user's actions or viewing behavior, or system criteria, such as time, capacity requests, etc.. and rank of the OL NK determined based on the statistical information

The content object can be a URL or one or more specific content withm a URL (e g., tags within the URL recognize by the user's web browser) or a file located in a server, a local storage or other accessible storage withm the network or the data management system The specific content includes but is not limited to a photo in JPEG. GIF. or other formats, a movie or video in MPEG. MPEG-2, or other formats, animation, text, sound or audio in WAVE. MP-3, or other formats, and other content types Additionally, the content object can contain one or more of specific content of different data types and formats

Turning now to Fig 12. there is illustrated a block diagram of a computer network, specially the Internet, hich incorporates the automatic publishing system of the present invention A user client or client application 1220 is connected to a system server 1201 by a protocol layer 1206, such as the TCP/IP protocol of the

Intemet The database management system, compπsing a pπvate OLINKs database 1205 and a global OLINKs database 1204, is connected to the system server 1201 and the client application 1220

The server 1201 automatically generates an OL NK when a user selects or links at least two content objects using the client application 1220 Using a graphical user interface (GUI) associated with the client application 1220, the user can link the two content objects by dragging and dropping or cutting and pasting one content object on top of another content object Preferably, the OLINK has linking direction information. That is, when the first content object is dragged onto the second content object, the server 1201 automatically generates an OLINK connecting or associating the first content object to the second object and preferably generates another OLINK automatically connecting the second content object to the first content object. That is. the server 1201 automatically generates two independent OLINKs between the first and the second objects as shown in Figs. 5 and 10 Also, the data management system stores two different and separate OLINKs in the opposite direction between two linked content objects. It is appreciated that multiple content objects can be dragged and dropped (or cut and pasted) on to a single content object, thereby generating multiple OLINKs to the single content object For example, when a web page compπsing four content objects is dragged and dropped on to a single content object, the automatic publishing system automatically generates ten OLINKs. That is. the system generates two OLINKs between the web page and the single content object and two OLINKs each for a total of eight OLINKs between each individual content object in the web page and the single content object Alternatively, the automatic publishing system automatically generates only two OLINKs between the web page and the single content object. Additionally, the automatic publishing system automatically generates OLINKs between the individual content objects within the web page.

Turning now to Fig. 5, the server 1201 generates two directional OLLNKs 120 and 12 lor a two-way connection between the content objects 500 and 501. When the user of the client application 1220 drops or pastes first content object 500 onto the second content object 501 or vice versa, the server 1201 automatically generates the OLINK 120 directed from the first content object 500 to the second content object 501 and the OLINK 121 from the second content object 501 to the first content object 500 It is appreciated that the first and second content objects can be of the same or different object type, such as a URL. a content located within a web page, a repository, a client application, a desktop, a software application resident or mnning on the user's local computer, etc Turning now to Fig 10. there is illustrated a screen image of the user interface of the client application 1220 for generating the two-wav connection between the content objects 500, 501 The user of the client application 1220 links the content obiects bv dragging and dropping (or copying and pasting) the first content object 500 onto the second content object 501 In response to the user's dragging and dropping the content object, the server 1201 then generates two OLINKs 120 and 121 linking the content objects 500 and 501, each OLINK pointing in the opposite direction The client application 1220 then displays (or pops) a separate window for the user to insert data for the two OLINKs 120 and 121 For example, the first content object can be dragged/cut from a web page and dropped/pasted on to a second content object that mav be a URL or located in another web page as shown in FIG 1 and FIG 6. in the same eb page, in the repository, or in the client program as shown in FIG 2 and FIG " Preferably, a repository 400, as shown in Fig 4, is a user accessible storage location on the user's local computer for stoπng content objects for a predetermined time peπod Alternatively, the repository 400 may represent a password protected area within the system server accessible only by the user The objects stored in the repository 400 mav be used by the client application to establish new OLINKs Fig. 1 illustrates the linking between two content objects located within two different web pages. A user of the client application 1220 selects a content object 110 from a web page 100 to be dragged and dropped onto a content object 11 1 which is located in a different web page 101. In response to user's action, the server 1201 automatically generates two OLINKs 120 and 121 between the content objects 1 10 and 1 1 1.

Fig. 6 shows a screen image of the user interface of the client application 1220 for enteπng two content objects 1 10 and 1 1 1 located in two different web pages 100 and 101. respectively. Using the client application 1220. the user drags and drops the content object 1 10 on the web page 100 onto the content object 1 1 1 on the web page 101.

Turning now to Figs. 2 and 7, the server 1201 (Fig. 12) links a web content object 1 10 and a client object 200. The client object 200 represents a content object that has been previously linked by the server 1201 and currently being displayed by the client application 210. The user of the client application 210 selects the content object 1 10 from the web page 1 0 and drags and drops the content object 1 10 onto the content object 200 located in the client application 200. Similarly, the user of the client application 210 can select the content object 200 and drag/drop the content object 200 onto the content object 1 10 located on the web page 100. In response to user's action, the server 1201 automatically generates two OLLNKs 120 and 121 between the content objects 1 10 and 200.

In addition, the first content object can be located in desktop or within any software application resident in the user's local computer. That is, the user of the client application 1220 (Fig. 12) can drag/cut the first content object from a desktop (or any computer application resident in the user's local computer), and drop/paste it onto a second content that may be a URL or resident within a web page as shown in Figs. 3 and 8. in a repository, or in the client application. In Figs. 3 and 8. the user of the client application drags a content object 310 from the desktop 300 and drops it onto the content object 1 10 in the web page 100. In response to such user action, the server 1201 (Fig .12) generates two OLINKs 120 and 121 between the content objects 310 and 1 10.

Further, the first content object can be located in repository and dragged/dropped onto the second object, such as a URL. content located in the repository, a web page or within a client application. That is. the content object is temporarily stored in a repository as a repository object for a predetermined peπod of time as determined by the user or the automatic publishing system. A repository exists as a user accessible storage location to help the user store objects. Preferably, the client application 1220 (Fig. 12) displays the repository object to the user, and the user can visibly drag and drop (or cut and paste) any content object onto the repository object, as well as dragging and dropping any repository object onto any other content object. In response to such user actions, the server 1201 (Fig. 12) automatically generates OLINK connections between the two content objects, as shown in FIG. 4 and FIG. 9. Fig. 4 illustrates the generation of OLINKs between the desktop content object

310 and the web content object 1 10 via a repository 410. Using the client application 1220 (Fig. 12). the user drags the content object 310 from the desktop 300 and drops it onto the repository 410. generating and storing a temporary object 400 in the repository 410. The user then drags the temporary object 400 in repository 410 and drops it onto the content object 1 10 in the web page 100 In response to such user action, the server 1201 (Fig 12) automatically generates OLINKs 120 and 121 between the content objects 310 and 101

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, the client application 1220 identifies the user selected content objects by marking the first content object (the dragged object) and the second content object (the target object). Also, the client application 1220 marks any objects on the dragging path When a content object is dragged from one location to another (the dragging path), the client application 1220 temporarily marks each content object passed over by the dragged object For example, the marking ad\ antageouslv identifies all content objects in the web page that can be selected by a user Preferably, a thumbnail is generated for the dragged object and the thumbnail follows the movement of the cursor

In another aspect of the inv ention, the automatic publishing system of the present invention presents or displays a base content object and a list of related OLINKs to the user Preferably, the automatic publishing system of the present invention marks anv content obiect w ithin a web page that is connected by an OLINK. thereby enabling the user to determine if any content object within the web page is linked to any other content object When anv of the marked content objects is selected by the user, the client application displays or pops up a client system window on the screen as a separate data layer and the automatic publishing system displavs the selected content object as the base content object and a list of related OLINKs that are connected to the base content object. In other words, the base content object is the content object that is currently being viewed on the client application by the user In an embodiment of the present invention, the list of related OLINKs includes, but not limited to. a thumbnail 220. 230 or 240, descπption 1100, type of file mark 1200. the OLINK's rating or ranking 1300, and other information, such as whether a product shown in a content object is for sale, for each related OLLNK, as shown in Fig 1 1 The base content object 210 in the client application 200 is connected to the thumbnails 220, 230 and 240 by OLINKs The file type mark designates the type of each content object that is connected or linked to the currently displayed or viewed content object, l e . the base content object It is appreciated that the file type can be text, v ideo, audio, etc The ranking or rating sign indicates the relevancy of a specific OLINK to the base content object, in comparison to anv other related OLINKs Preferably, the rating or rank is a dynamic designation, determined based on the users behavior and other changeable statistics, such as user's utilization or selection of the OLINK from the base content object

The user may insert or provide a bπef textual descπption for the OLINK Alternatively, the automatic publishing system may automatically derive the bπef textual description from the content objects For example, the bπef textual descπption can be based on the keywords contained in the textual portion of the content object or the textual descriptions associated with the related OLINKs

It is appreciated that when any of the related OLINKs is selected by the user, the automatic publishing system designates and displays the selected related OLINK as the base content object and a new list of related OLLNKs that are connected to the new base content object This advantageously permits the user to effortlessly browse Internet by jumping from one OLINK to another related OLLNK Turning now to Fig. 13. there is illustrated a flow chart delineating the data exchange process between the client side and the server side of the data management system. At step 1310. a user enters a URL on the user's browser resident on the user's computer at the client side 1300 The client application 1220 (Fig. 12) transfers the entered URL, along with any filtered information defined or specified by the user (or user defined cπteπa) to the server side 1301, at step 1320.

Upon receipt of the URL, the server 1201 executes a query on the server's Global OLINK DB 1204 (Fig 12). and transmits information about all of the content objects within the URL page that have OLINKs satisfying the user defined cπteπa to the client application, at step 1330 The user client application marks all related or connected content objects within the URL page at step 1340 The user selects a particular marked content object as the base content object and the user's selection is transmitted to the server, at step 1350 The sen-er in response to user's selection, determines and transmits to the client application a relevant OLINK list and other relevant information, such as descπption. thumbnail, object type, etc , at step 1360

Upon receipt of the relevant OLINK list, the client application displays the base content object and the list of related OLINKs in a client system window, at step 1370 The user can select an OLINK from the list of related OLINKs. thereby designating the selected OLINK as the new base content object, at step 1380 The data management system then repeats steps 1350- 1370 for the new base content object

Alternatively, the user can view the content objects and/or related OLLNKs generated by other users without using the automatic publishing system of the present invention. That is. the automatic publishing system of the present invention is only required to generate the OLINKs. but is not necessary to display or view the OLINKs.

In still another embodiment of the invention, content objects can reside on different data layers. The data layers are organized as a web type data model, in a three-dimensional conceptualization. Alternatively, the data layers can be arranged in a neural network three-dimensional stmcture or in other comparable data stmcture. The OLINKs and content objects are stored in the database management system, i.e., databases located in the servers.

Preferably, the data management system of the present invention identifies the content of a content object by generating a content identification key that represents the content of that content object Algoπthms can be, but not limited to, an image identification algoπthm that pareses an image and generates a key consisting of the average of the color pixels and size of the image Additional information may be encoded into the key including information from an optical character recognition algorithm performed on the image or from any other comparable recognition algorithm. For text objects, key words are generated and encoded into a key Using the content identification key. the data management system can determine if a content object stored anywhere on the Internet (not on the system's servers) was changed and needs to be updated. Fig. 12 depicts the automatic publishing system of the present invention as incoφorated into the Internet. The user client or client application 1220 plugs into

Internet browser 1202 through a plugin module 1203 The Intemet browser can be an industry standard browser such as Netscape Navigator. Microsoft Intemet Explorer, or other comparable browser. It is appreciated that the client application 1220 plugs in to Internet browser 1202 using a browser specific plugm module 1203, which is specific to each browser. The client application 1220 includes a software program that uses browser plugin module 1203 to hook into the browser, thereby allowing the client application 1220 to control the browsing experience, e.g., the user can browse the Internet using the OLINKs The client application 1220 can control and record browsing events such as entering a URL. choosing a content object, and other activities. The client application 1220 communicates with the system server 1201 via the protocol layer 1206 The protocol layer 1206 is a protocol designed to enable the data management system to operate over the well-known TCP/IP network protocol. Preferably, the client application 1220 includes a pπvate content objects folder stored on the private OLINKs DB 1205 for storing pπvate OLINKs, a database located preferably on a personal computer inaccessible from outside of the database management system network It is appreciated that the user can make any pπvate OLINKs stored in its private OLINKs DB 1205 available to a select group of people or generally available to every Internet users by copying or transfemng such pπvate OLLNKs to the Global OLINKs DB 1204 The server system 1201 contains the Global OLINKs DB 1204. w hich is an Internet OLINKs database for stoπng public OLINKs. The public OLINKs store in the Global OLINKs DB 1204 is shared worldwide and the Global OLINKs DB 1204 is accessible as long as access to the network exists. It is appreciated that the client application 1220 and system server 1201 can access other Internet servers 1210, which include HTTP or FTP servers, in order to obtain content existing outside of the data management system. Accessing other Internet servers 1210 reduces communication load on system server 1201 and storage space required to store the content objects. The data management system supports multiple system servers through a distπbuted networking topology.

In yet still another aspect of the present invention, the automatic publishing system compπses a pπvate data management system for organizing and managing the pπvate OLINKs DB 1205 Preferably, the pπvate OLLNKs DB is hosted or stored in the user s personal computer at the client side or at the system server side The pπvate OLLNKs DB is not accessible to other users, but only to the OLINK's oπginator or any other defined permitted users

In still further another aspect of the present in ention, in a system having a client, a

er. a personal content object, and a second content object, an automatic content publishing system is provided for a user to drag or cut the first content object and drop or paste it onto the second content object, and thus establishing an OLINK connecting the first content object with the second content object Preferably, a personal content object can be any type of file located in a personal computer, and the second content object can be a URL or located within a URL. in the system server, in the client, and in the repository Fig 14 shows a flowchart descπbing the process of publishing a personal content object At step 1400. a user drags or cut any personal content object and drops or pastes it onto a second content object The client application 1220 copies the personal content object and transmits the copy to the system server 1201. at step 1410 The system server assigns a unique URL to the personal content object and saves it as an HTML web page, which can be integrated in to standard browser technology, at step 1420 The unique URL enables the data management system to identify the personal content object. The system server 1201 automatically generates an OLLNK between the personal content object and the second content object, at step 1430 Preferably, the OLLNK can be stored m the system's Global DB 1204 (Fig. 12), thereby being accessible to any Internet user.

Vaπous modifications to the preferred embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spiπt and scope of the invention Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the pπnciples and features disclosed herein

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Classifications
International ClassificationG06F17/30
Cooperative ClassificationG06F17/30864
European ClassificationG06F17/30W1
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