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<p>For digital libraries to thrive, the providers of information and information processing services must be able to evolve their systems autonomously. However, as the complexity of their offerings increases, software tools more sophisticated than existing Web facilities are needed. Distributed object technology may be the answer. The availability of high-volume, increasingly sophisticated information is making the need for metadata facilities more urgent. Traditional, library-based approaches break down when used in an advanced digital library. More modular mechanisms are needed, and the CORBA system is one approach. Digital libraries are affected at a deep technical level by the widely differing user traditions of Web users and library patrons. The challenge and opportunity of digital libraries will be the synthesis of these traditions. Four years ago the authors of this article set out to create a technical infra-structure to support the construction of digital libraries. In their view, a digital library comprises widely distributed resources that can be maintained autonomously by different organizations and will not require adherence to uniform interfaces.</p>

A. Paepcke, S. Cousins, C. K. Chang, M. Q. Wang Baldonado and H. Garcia-Molina, "Using Distributed Objects to Build the Stanford Digital Library Infobus," in Computer, vol. 32, no. , pp. 80-87, 1999.
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