Welcome to the Yale Lifestreams homepage!

Update 2000

Welcome to the Lifestreams project homepage. Lifestreams was invented by Eric Freeman and David Gelernter as a network-centric replacement for the desktop metaphor. That original work is detailed in the Lifestreams dissertation:

Eric T. Freeman, The Lifestreams Software Architecture, Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University Department of Computer Science, May 1997.

Printed copies can be requested by sending email to here.

Today people are envisioning many uses for the Lifestreams model. It's been almost four years since the Yale Lifestreams research at Yale ended, however there are a number of efforts underway that are in some way related to Lifestreams. Here are a few:

David and I both believe Lifestreams is an idea whose time will come, one way or another. If you are working in an area related to Lifestreams I'd love to hear from you.

The Yale Lifestreams Project Page, Circa 1996

Lifestreams is a novel software architecture that was initially developed at Yale University. The goal of Lifestreams is to minimize the time users spend managing their documents and electronic events while increasing their ability to find and make use of this information. To accomplish this we have worked to create a software environment that parallels the way people work with electronic information and simplifies their electronic interactions. Lifestreams is built on a simple storage metaphor --- a time-ordered stream of documents combined with several powerful operators --- that replaces many conventional computer constructs (such as named files, directories, and explicit storage) and in the process provides a unified framework that subsumes many separate desktop applications to accomplish and handle personal communication, scheduling, and search and retrieval tasks. While our current prototype is tailored to managing personal information, a "lifestream" is also a natural framework for managing enterprise information and web sites; we are just beginning to explore such use.

This page contains news, articles, information and frequently asked questions about Lifestreams. Lifestreams was developed by Eric Freeman at Yale University as his thesis topic (under the direction of David Gelernter).

The following information is currently available about the academic project:

What are lifestreams?

Where did the idea of a "lifestream" come from?

What is wrong with today's systems anyway?

Are there any technical papers available on Lifestreams?

Are others working on new ways of managing our information world?

Yes, there is a lot of exciting work going on; to name a few:

For all comments, questions and suggestions contact freeman-eric@cs.yale.edu.
Copyright © 1994 - 1996 Eric T. Freeman and Yale University