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Future Web Trends. The Web is great! Or is it? This seminar will investigate limitations of the Web and possible solutions. Brian Kelly UK Web Focus UKOLN University of Bath B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk.

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future web trends

Future Web Trends

The Web is great!

Or is it?

This seminar will investigate limitations of the Web and possible solutions

Brian Kelly

UK Web Focus


University of Bath


UKOLN is funded by Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Higher Education Funding Councils, as well as by project funding from the JISC and the European Union. UKOLN also receives support from the University of Bath where it is based.

how does the web work
How Does The Web Work?
  • The web is based on 3 protocols:
    • URLs: addresses of resources
    • HTTP: dialogue between client and server
    • HTML: format of resources

1 User clicks on link to the address (URL)http://www.netsoft.com/hello.html

The Netsofthome page

2 Browser converts link to HTTP command (METHOD):

Connect to computer at www.netsoft.com

GET /hello.html

Welcome to


3 Remote computer sends file



<P>Welcome to <B>Netsoft</B>

Web server

Web Browser (client)

4 Local computer displays HTML file

what s it used for
What's It Used For?
  • The simplicity of the Web has resulted in little-used academic tool (50 servers in early 1994) now being widely used in a wide range of applications.
web problem areas
Web Problem Areas
  • What difficulties have you encountered when using the Web?
  • What other problem areas can you envisage?
hands on exercise
Hands-On Exercise
  • Now spend some time accessing Web resources.
  • Make notes of any problem areas you come across.
  • What were the problems?
1 searching
1. Searching
  • How many hits did you get for the term Digital Library using AltaVista?
  • How useful is this result?
  • Was Google any better?
1 searching comments
1. Searching - Comments
  • Results
    • AltaVista gives over 132,000 hits
    • Which ones are important?
    • Google gives better relevance
  • Developments
    • Google uses "citation analysis"
    • Use of metadata, such as Dublin Core, will also improve things in the future
2 web technologies comments
2. Web Technologies - Comments
  • The Flash file format:
    • Is proprietary
    • Requires a Flash plugin
    • May not be visible in old browsers
    • Text can't be copied
  • The W3C are developing an open format known as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

See http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/

3 pdf
3. PDF
  • Adobe's PDF (Page Description Format):
    • Provides control over appearance of document
    • Is easily created
    • Viewers are freely available
  • But:
    • Proprietary
    • Describes appearance not document structure
3 comments on file formats
3. Comments on File Formats


  • CSS:
    • Cascading Style Sheets
    • An open standard developed by W3C
    • Separates document structure (defined in HTML/XML) from the appearance
    • Makes maintenance of resources much easier

body {background: blue;}

h1: {font-family: arial}

p: {font-family: times;text-align: justify}

<link rel="style" src="sty.css"



Imagine 10,000 HTML files ..

With 1 CSS file

4 e commerce
4. E-commerce
  • Would you buy from an e-commerce site such as Amazon?
  • What are the implications of e-commerce?
4 e commerce comments
4. E-commerce Comments


  • E-commerce:
    • Requires trust
    • Requires security
    • Is there a viable business model?
  • Developments:
    • Digital signatures
    • Public Key Infrastructure
    • Athens and Sparta in UK HE
5 the mobile web
5. The Mobile Web
  • The mobile Web:
    • Much hype at present
    • Have you used it?
    • Is it usable on such a small screen with slow network times?
    • What about the resources need to build a WAP site and a Web site
  • Comments:
    • Resources need to build a WAP site and a Web site
    • Store resources in neutral format and generate WAP and Web
5 the mobile web comments
5. The Mobile Web Comments
  • Store resources in neutral format (XML) and generate WAP and Web
  • XML: open storage format
  • XSLT: Transform XML




WML filefor WAP

XHTML for Web

3G promises multimedia and faster networks

6 authoring
6. Authoring
  • Authoring Web pages:
    • Was easy
    • Becoming more difficult as Web becomes more complex
    • More difficult to maintain
  • For large Web sites there is a need for:
    • More sophisticated tools e.g. content management systems
    • Tailoring content for devices?
7 size issues


No. of Links











7. Size Issues

Nos. Of Web servers in HEIs

question time
Question Time
  • Any questions?