IBM Labs cooks up Web browsing history sharing tool

IBM announced a beta for a tool called CoScripter Reusable History, which documents your browsing activity in a format that can be shared and distributed in the future.

IBM on Thursday announced a beta for a tool called CoScripter Reusable History, which documents your browsing activity in a format that can be shared and distributed in the future.

The tool has a few use cases:

  • CoScripter could record your history when you order and print photos on line;
  • Perform and record e-commerce tasks;
  • Check in on an airline Web site and have a shared record of it.

IBM is also positioning CoScripter as a knowledge management tool since the software would help you remember what you've done on the Web and have a record that could be shared with co-workers. In other words, CoScripter could be an easy way to document processes. CoScripter is only available for Firefox.

Jeffrey Nichols on the CoScripter team at IBM Research writes in a blog post:

I know what you're thinking...I don't use the built-in history tool in my web browser now, so why would I use CoScripter Reusable History? I think there are a couple answers. First, our new tool records history at the level of interactions, such as clicking on a link or entering text into a form field, instead of the typical page-based model of traditional web history systems. With today's modern web sites, if I want to be able to navigate back to a page in the future, I often find that saving the URL is not sufficient. Instead, I need to remember the exact set of actions that took me to that page, which is exactly what CoScripter Reusable History does for me.

The second, and even more important, answer is that CoScripter Reusable History makes it easy to share sequences of actions from your history with other users...

The user would be able to review their history and figure out what he wanted to share. The ultimate goal would be to take these Web actions and ultimately develop a script that could automate processes. As for privacy settings the user could turn off recording and delete browsing sessions.

Overall, CoScripter could be handy in a corporate setting, but could freak a few users out. Here's the demo:

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