HFWEB June 3, 1999

Towards Web Macros: Automating Common Tasks on the Web
Alex Safonov, Joseph A. Konstan, John V. Carlis
University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science and Engineering

HFWEB June 3. merge results – plug found citations into full-text DL Persistent shopping cart – multi-vendor? . – multiple. 1999 Automatable Web Tasks: Examples On-line flight reservations – NWA. “equivalent” airports (SFO/SJC/OAK) Cited reference search – re-run for each database. etc. Internet Travel Network.

user authentication Iteration over multiple information services – integrate results Connecting services “back-to-back” .HFWEB June 3. 1999 Actions to automate Navigation. form filling and submission.

HFWEB June 3. 1999 Vision of a Solution: Web Macros Client-side programs that: – Emulate user actions on the Web – Can be created by end users Requirements for Web Macros – infer navigation and control – support parameters – deal with dynamic. unstructured data – maintain the browsing context .

1999 Related Work Internet Scrapbook – Sugiura and Koseki. WWW7 .HFWEB June 3. UIST 98 InfoBeans – Bauer and Dengler. IUI 99 AgentSoft’s LiveAgent WebL – Kistler and Marais.

HFWEB June 3. 1999 Proxy-based Prototype Special URLs http://macros/. ...

cookies Iteratively generates and test macros – from longer history segments . 1999 “Get me here” Web macros Goal: re-establish browsing context – authentication.HFWEB June 3. hidden form fields.

HFWEB June 3. 1999 Get me to: Housing Search Results .

1999 Invoking Web Macros .HFWEB June 3.

HFWEB June 3. 1999 Future Work Concrete plans – intelligently comparing Web pages – let users specify start and end of macro – update macros based on playback “deviations” Neat ideas – use browsing history for improving macros – visual manipulation environment for Web macros .

HFWEB June 3. 1999 Conclusion Why automate common tasks Requirements and our prototype system Goals – A free system for automating Web tasks by end-users – Extensions to Programming by Demonstration techniques for the Web – Recommendations for content developers .

HFWEB June 3. customizable home pages – limited flexibility: user is not in control • competing services are excluded . auction proxies. 1999 Existing Tools Bookmarks/favorites – record static URLs only Server-based Tools – comparison shopping services.

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