A User Interface for Interacting with Heterogeneous Distributed Applications

Steve B. Cousins, Stanford Computer Science PCD Project

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University February 14, 1997


DLITE is a novel user interface for interacting with heterogeneous distributed applications. DLITE users interact with multiple services in workcenters. Services may be run and maintained locally, or they may be accessible remotely through the Internet. DLITE allows end users to create task-specific interfaces by interactively assembling interface elements on the screen that are then used to interact with the corresponding services.

DLITE was designed as a user interface to the Stanford Digital Library testbed. It is based on a vision of a digital library as a channel to the vast array of digital information and document services that are becoming available. DLITE reifies documents, services, queries, representations of people, and collections for the user, and it provides a direct manipulation interface with affordances that are appropriate to a heterogeneous distributed environment.

In this talk I describe the objects, interactions, and architecture of DLITE.


Steve Cousins is finishing his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford in the area of user interfaces for digital libraries. His research interests include distributed user interfaces, information visualization, and personal information management. He is a big fan of the Python programming language.

Steve received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Before coming to Stanford, he was a research associate in Medical Informatics at Washington University.


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