About a week ago I realized that all the searching I do as part of my research is very repetitive. Rather than spend time executing the searches and checking web pages and PDFs and articles to see if they contain any new information, I would be much better off refining my search. It would be nice if I had a software agent that scoured the web and collected anything that seems important. No more waiting for large PDFs to download only to find they are not related to my work. It would be nice if that agent had a little intelligence built in. I’m not asking for anything like HAL. Just a little intelligent, maybe some clustering of the results, and maybe some filtering so that if I find an article I think is relevant it can show me everything it thinks is related. Yes, this would be nice. I decided last week that this tool was so important that I needed to write it. It would change the way I do research.
Before I went off and wrote this tool, I needed to check around and find out if anyone else had done the same. After all programmers are lazy, and the only thing better than spending several weeks to create this tool so I could save maybe an hour or two a week is finding that some one else already had. So I spent about four hours over the last three days looking around and I turned up DEVONagent. I’ve tested this thing for only the last couple hours but it’s so cool I had to put up this entry. I think this will really change the way I work for the better. I’m using the trial version. If I decide to buy and find it useful I’ll probably post a review, so far it looks incredible.