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WWW 6 Trip Report Report on the Sixth International WWW Conference held in Santa Clara on April 7-11, 1997 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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WWW 6 Trip Report Report on the Sixth International WWW Conference held in Santa Clara on April 7-11, 1997. Contents About WWW 6 W3C Session - HTML Microsoft IE 4.0 W3C Session - HTTP Web Site Mapping Workshop XML Tutorial Technical Papers Plenary and Panel Sessions. Brian Kelly

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WWW 6 Trip ReportReport on the Sixth International WWW Conference held in Santa Clara on April 7-11, 1997

  • Contents

    • About WWW 6

    • W3C Session - HTML

    • Microsoft IE 4.0

    • W3C Session - HTTP

    • Web Site Mapping Workshop

    • XML Tutorial

    • Technical Papers

    • Plenary and Panel Sessions

Brian Kelly

UK Web Focus


University of Bath




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UK Web Focus

UK Web Focus:

  • National Web coordination post

  • Responsibilities include:

    • Technology watch

    • Information dissemination

    • Coordination

    • Representing JISC on W3C

  • Based at UKOLN, University of Bath

  • Brian Kelly appointed on 1st Nov 1996

  • Formerly worked at Netskills (Newcastle University) and universities of Leeds, Liverpool and Loughborough

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About WWW 6

WWW 6:

  • Held at the Santa Clara Convention Centre

  • Workshops and tutorial sessions on Monday 7th April

  • Technical papers from 8-10th April

  • Developer's Day and History Day on 11th April

  • Various other BOFs and meeting (including Web Accessibility Initiative day)

  • About 1,800 participants (down on previous years)

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Before the Conference


  • Conference details including online booking available on Web - http://www6conf.org/

  • Online conference (ICE) available for delegates before, during and after conference

  • Conference proceedings available online http://proceedings.www6conf.org/

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Accessibility was conference theme

Web Accessibility Initiative:

  • About 80 participants

  • WAI approval


  • Accessibility is important

  • WAI will address:

    protocols, software developers, information providers and end users

  • Need for university / departmental / project policy?


Accessibility6 l.jpg

Comments made by Peter Bosher (RNIB):

  • Poorly designed navigation (when you follow several links, and then get back to where you started) is a particular problem for the blind who don't have the visual clues that the sighted have

  • When navigating the Hotwired site his browser said "link link link link image image image without caption"

  • Tables are difficult to process by speech browsers

  • Painstakingly competing a form and then getting an error message because the form was browser specific is annoying

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Further Information

Further information on the Web Accessibility Initiative, and on general accessibility resources is available at:







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W3C Session

HTML Developments


  • Code name for next version of HTML

  • Needed as "forces driving evolution of HTML are threatening media independence"

  • First draft available summer 97

  • Some parts already released:

    WD-htmllink WD-script

    WD-frames WD-forms

    WD-object WD-entities

    WD-fileupload (WD-printing, WD-positioning)

  • See http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/MarkUp/Cougar/

Day 1 - 2 pm

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W3C Session



  • Hypertext links in HTML.

  • Defines link relationships (e.g. <LINK REL=Next> could be used to facilitate printing in a single document split into several files)

  • Related to Style Sheet work

    <LINK REL=Stylesheet MEDIA=print HREF=ukoln-print.css>

  • Define TITLE attribute for hints for accessibility e.g. <A HREF="welcome.html" TITLE="The Welcome page for ACME Ltd">text</A>In this example a browser could display the text in, say, a pop-up window.

Day 1 - 2 pm

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W3C Session


WD-htmllink (continued)

  • Defines uses of META tag (e.g. for use with PICS)

  • Define language(s) for documents

  • Define pages which can be indexed by robots


    prohibits robots from indexing and following links

Day 1 - 2 pm

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W3C Session



  • Client-side Scripting and HTML

  • Defines mechanism for embedding scripting languages in HTML:

    <SCRIPT type="text/javascript">document.write ("<EM>This will work</EM>")</SCRIPT>

  • <SCRIPT SRC="url"> used for external scripts

  • Default script language can be defined:

    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Script-Type" CONTENT="text/tcl">

Day 1 - 2 pm

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W3C Session



  • Defines existing usage of FRAME tag

  • Includes IFRAME proposal for inclusion of frames inline in body of HTML documents (FRAME tag replaces BODY tag):<BODY><P>This document contains an inline frame <IFRAME src="foo.html" width=400 height=500> that unfortunately your user agent doesn't support. Alternatively you can get the related document <A href="foo.html">here </A>.</IFRAME> That's all folks!</BODY>

  • Initial release of FRAMES caused problems,and there are still accessibility concerns

Day 1 - 2 pm

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W3C Session


The CSS1 (Cascading Style Sheet) spec:

  • Replaces all HTML extensions

  • Can replace most uses of tables

  • Provides floating text elements

  • Provides control over background


  • Defines relationships between HTML document and stylesheet

  • Cascading style sheets can be defined by:<LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="corporate.css"><LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="techreport.css">

  • Can define alternate style sheets for media types:<LINK REL=stylesheet MEDIA=screen …>

Day 1 - 2.45pm

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W3C Session

CSS - The Next Wave

In next version of CSS:

  • Multiple media (using @media)

  • Improved printing support (headers, footers, margins, etc.) See WD-printing

  • Better control over positioning (e.g. out-of-flow elements, navigational bars, layering) See WD-positioning

  • Better font control (mixed fonts - e.g. helvetica and cyrillic for, say, language dictionaries)

  • Aural cascading style sheets. See WD-acss For visually impaired an incar use, industrial and medical systems, entertainment, illiterate:

    • <STRONG> rendered as loud voice, pause-before

    • Left column in table spoken in left speaker

Day 1 - 2.45 pm

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W3C Session

CSS Questions

Q How closely matched are the CSS and XML?

A They are a good match

Q Features such as side bars (e.g.<P CLASS=side>) are likely to be widely used. Should such attributes be registered?

A It's likely that a set of standard style sheet definitions will be released, and they'll be widely used

Q Will CSS held to reduce network bandwidth?

A Yes, see http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Protocols/NL-PerfNote.html

Q What about headers and footers?

A In next release

Day 1 - 2.45pm

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W3C Session


The HTML Math spec:

  • Released in May 97 - see http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-math

  • Core standard covering presentation and markup

  • Will contain 20 presentation tags with 40 attributes

  • Will contain 50 content tags (roughly equivalent to functions on scientific calculator)

  • Initially implemented using embedded elements (ActiveX, Java) enabling 3rd parties to develop rendering tools (won't need to wait for Netscape / Microsoft)

  • Software will be available in June 97

  • Full implementation requires better browser APIs (e.g. DOM)

Day 1 - 2 pm

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W3C Session

Dynamic HTML

  • Based on work of the Document Object Model (DOM) working group

  • Provides an API (applications programming interface) for HTML page structure and style

  • Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 implements many features of Dynamic HTML

  • See:

    • http://www.microsoft.com/gallery/files/html/default.htm

    • http://www.microsoft.com/workshop/prog/aplatfrm/dynhtml-f.htm

Day 1 - 2 pm

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Microsoft IE 4.0

Presentation in the Industrial Presentations track on Internet Explorer's implementation of Dynamic HTML

HTML is limited:

  • Animation using animated GIFs is limited

  • Can't position or layer elements

  • The web is slow - interaction with server needed

    Dynamic HTML:

  • Based on emerging W3C proposals

  • Covers:

    • Dynamic styles and dynamic contents

    • CSS positioning

    • Data binding

Day 2 - 4 pm

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Microsoft IE 4.0

Dynamic HTML

  • Positioning control (in X, Y and Z planes)

  • Position can be changed at run time (e.g. on mouseOver event)

  • Dynamic Content

    • The Document Object Model (DOM) can be used to change the content at runtime:

      • function change() "new header"

      • ...

      • <H1 id=foo onclick=change()>Old header</H1>

    • For example a table of contents could be built dynamically

Day 2 - 4 pm

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Microsoft IE 4.0

Dynamic Style Sheets

CSS properties can be changed at run time:

<H1 onMouseOver {colour: red;} onMouseOut {color=yellow}>

A more elegant way is to store the Javascript code in the document HEAD (or externally)

CSS Positioning

Elements can be positioned absolutely or relative to each other

<IMG SRC="smiley.gif" : top: 25% ; zindex=1>

<DIV zindex=2>Text on top of image</DIV>

Text on top of image

Day 2 - 4 pm

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Microsoft IE 4.0

Data Binding

Currently data binding (merged data from database with HTML code) is done on the server

Data binding proposal enables it to be done on the client so that, for example, the output from a search engine can be resorted on the client)

But will this be in Cougar?


Day 2 - 4 pm

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Microsoft IE 4.0

Dynamic HTML Multimedia Effects

Uses IE4 control to provide multimedia effects

Removes need for animated GIF

Variety of effects available:

  • Transitions, filters, structured graphics, sequencing

  • sprite control (scripted animated GIFs)

  • Example - e rotating in 3D

How will Powerpoint be marketed if this is possible in HTML?

Day 2 - 4 pm

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Microsoft IE 4.0

Document Object Model (DOM)

  • DOM enables every HTML element to be processed as an object (i.e. DOM is an API for accessing HTML elements)

  • DOM is not a set of tags or a new language (it is language independent)

Day 2 - 4 pm

Netscape l.jpg

Netscape have also expressed support for Cougar

  • See

    • http://www.netscape.com/focus3/comprod/columns/intranet/open_standards.html

    • http://www.netscape.com/flash1/comprod/products/communicator/

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Cougar and Browser Issues


  • IE 4.0 conforms to HTML 3.2 and CSS1, and implements new W3C drafts (e.g. DOM, forms)

  • Netscape have also expressed commitment to Cougar

  • Javascript is being standardised by ECMA

    Support for legacy browsers?

  • Don't use new features

  • New features degrade gracefully

  • New features won't work (e.g. Tetris example - 10K HTML file, which used no ActiveX controls)

Day 2 - 4 pm

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Support for Multiple Browsers

How do we deploy new features when there are many different versions and many browsers to support?

  • Offer choice at client:

    Click here if you have IE 4 or Netscape 4 otherwise click here

    Maintenance of resources can be done manually or using site management tool

  • Offer choice at server:

    if useragent=IE4.0 then serve index.dom.htmlelse serve index.html

  • Various toolkits can provide this (Microsoft Active Server Pages, Netscape Suitespot, PHP/FI)

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Developer's Day - HTTP

Transparent Content Negotiation (TCN)

  • IETF draft

  • Enables:

    • Deployment of new data formats and tags

    • Tailoring of content for new platforms

    • Internationalisation

  • See ftp://ftp.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-http-negotiation-01.txt

  • TCN spec server sends list of variants:

{logo.gif type image.png}

{logo.png type image.png}

<IMG SRC="logo">

HTML source

Variant list sent by server

Day 4 - 9 am

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Developer's Day - HTTP

Feature Negotiation

  • IETF draft

  • Part of TCN, addressing extensibility

  • No more "Click here from frames, here for tables" buttons

  • Universal agreement on new features not needed

  • See ftp://ftp.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-http-feature-reg-00.txt

Day 4 - 9 am

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Web Site Mapping Workshop

Half day workshops on web collections:

  • Defining relationships between groups of related documents

  • Useful for:

    • printing

    • off-line browsing

    • indexing

  • Presentations on:

    • Protocols (Web Collections, MCF, Dublin Core)

    • Applications (HotSauce, WebCutter, WebMapper)

Day 0 - 9 am

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Web Visualisation


Various proprietary ways of visualising web sites are available (e.g. MAPA, WebCutter)

Need a standard for defining relationships between web pages, to provide application independence


Day 0 - 9 am

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The Web Site Mapping workshop agreed:

  • Split protocol into three:

    1 Metadata Model 2 File Format Syntax

    3 Metadata Manipulation Language

  • Further discussions needed on:

    • Is a new query language is needed (e.g. SQL, HyTime Query Language)

    • Do we need a metadata query language or a general document query language

    • A list of common site mapping operations

  • XML is likely to be the preferred syntax

  • Web Collections spec to be updated - http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/NOTE-XMLsubmit.html

Day 0 - 9 am

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MetadataWeb Collections, PICS, TCN, MCF, DSig, DC, ...


Data formatHTML

CSS, Cougar, XML


Metadata Architecture

Much work in progress in developing a metadata architecture for the web

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XML Tutorial


  • Extensible markup language

  • An SGML-lite designed for the Internet

  • Developed by the SGML community

  • Tools being developed by SGML tool vendors

  • Microsoft involvement

  • Two XML draft specs:

    • XML

    • XML-link A richer form of linking

  • Stricter than HTML (to reduce client processing):

    • Attribute quoting <IMG SRC="logo.gif">

    • End tags needed <P>A paragraph</P>

Day 0 - 2 pm

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What's It Look Like?

What does an XML document look like?


<!doctype titlepage system "typo.dtd"

[<!entity % active.links "INCLUDE">]>


<whitespace type="vertical" amount="36"/>

<title font="Baskerville" size="24/30" alignment="centered">Hello, world!</title>

<whitespace type="vertical" amount="12"/>

<!--* In some copies the following decoration is

hand-colored, presumably by the author *-->

<image location="http://www.foo.bar/fleuron.eps" type="URL" alignment="centered"/>

<whitespace type="vertical" amount="24"/>

<author font="Baskerville" size="18/22" style="italic">Munde Salutem</author>


More complex XML document with DTD specified

Simple XML document



<greeting>Hello, world!</greeting>

<response>Stop the planet, I want to get off!</response>


The jumbo xml browser l.jpg
The Jumbo XML Browser

Jumbo is an XML browser written in Java.

It was developed to view CML (Chemical Markup Language) resources.

It can view other XML applications.


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XML can be used to define:

  • Document structure

  • Structure for metadata

  • Structure for applications

    CDF (Channel Definition Format) is:

  • An XML application

  • A proposed standard for push technology

  • Developed by Microsoft and implemented in IE4

  • See http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-CDFsubmit.html

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Further Information on XML

For further information see:






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Technical Paper

Extending HTML in a Principled Way with Displets

This paper describes a Java solution to adding new tags (charts, links, maths, etc.) to HTML.

<TAG NAME=CHART .. SRC=chart.class>…</TAG>



<TH> Smith<TR><TH>125…



Jan Apr Jul Oct

Jan Apr Jul Oct

Smith 125 257 327 250

Green 137 140 110 160

HTML output

HTML source

Day 1 - 11am

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Extending HTML in a Principled Way with Displets

Other extensions:

Multi-way links



How does this fit in with XML?

How does this fit in with the HTML Math work, which proposes using Java to display Maths output?

Further Information:



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Towards a Multimedia World-Wide Web Information Retrieval Engine

Paper that integrates searching for text with searching for images.

  • Search for "baseball player"

  • Select one of the images retrieved, and search for others similar to this one

  • Give schematic drawing (as shown)

  • Provide 3D visualisation of search results using VRML

Find an image that looks like this will find Mickey Mouse from the Disney Web site

Day 1 - 4 pm

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Towards a Multimedia World-Wide Web Information Retrieval Engine

The software is called AMORE.

Prototype available at


See http://www6.nttlabs.com/HyperNews/get/PAPER3.html

Day 1 - 4 pm

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Dynamic Reference Sifting: A Case Study Engine

Described Ahoy! - a Web application used for finding personal home pages based on recognition of likely hits from directory naming conventions.

See http://www6.nttlabs.com/HyperNews/get/PAPER39.html and http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/ahoy

Day 1 - 4 pm

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Parasite: Mining Structural Information on the Web Engine

Based on heuristic assumptions including:

Hypertext Linking

  • A linked page is likely to be on the same topic as the original page (esp. for Yahoo type resources)

    Directory Structure

  • A URL containing a directory below a personal home page (PHP) is likely to be authored by the person identified in the PHP

    Page Structure

  • Links "near" each other on a page are likely to have similar topics

Day 1 - 4 pm

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Parasite: Mining Structural Information on the Web Engine

Used these assumptions to propose applications for finding:

  • moved pages

  • related pages

  • people


  • Brute strength approach

  • This and preceding paper (on Ahoy!) show importance of directory naming conventions (directory names provide metadata - what can we guess from the URL www.cs.acme.edu/staff/jsmith)

Day 1 - 4 pm

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WebCutter: A System for Dynamic and Tailorable Site Mapping Engine

Paper on IBM/Lotus product for website visualisation

  • Implemented in Java

  • Map generated on the fly

  • Map can be edited by end user (to define user's view of web site)


Day 3 - 2 pm

Webquery l.jpg
WebQuery Engine

Paper on various visualisation techniques for searching.

Based on structural information to find "hot spots"


Day 3 - 2 pm

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Transforming Command-Line Driven Systems to Web Applications Engine

This paper described work which used Java to provide access to a legacy command line application (a monolithic Fortran 77 program) on the Web:

  • Input to application via Java form

  • Output in Java applet window

  • Commercial product available soon


Day 3 - 2 pm

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Responsive Interaction for a Large Web Application The Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

An HTML authoring tool with server and client side processing.

Makes use of frames.

Uses <BLINK> to define flashing cursor


Day 3 - 2 pm

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Seamless Integration of Interactive Forms into the Web Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

This paper described limitations of existing forms on the Web and described how Dynamic Forms would overcome these limitations.

Dynamic Forms is based on Java.

But what about W3C work on HTML (new DOM and Forms specs)?


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Plenary Talk Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

All Authored Works Online: A Global Infrastructure for Universal Access to Information

Raj Reddy, Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon spoke on the Universal Library project - when "All Authored Works of the Human Race will be available to anyone in the world instantaneously".

His talk is available at http://www.ul.cs.cmu.edu/rr/aaw/aaw.html

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Web Design Panel Session Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

Good Web Design Panel Session

  • A very popular session on Web design

  • Panelists included Jakob Neilson (Sun), David Seigel (a leading web designer and author of the 1 bit clear GIF used to provide spacing), Cathy Gill (HTML Writer's Guild) and others

  • Strong disagreements between the design community (David Seigel) and the structuralist community (Jakon Neilson)

What is good web design l.jpg
What is Good Web Design? Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

What is Good Design?

  • No frames - Jakob Neilson's response (see his paper on 10 top mistakes in web design)

  • The design must be related to a user's tasks

  • A well-designed site downloads quickly

  • A good design doesn't break browsers

  • No gratuitous backgrounds or animation

  • Should be internally consistent

  • Should be externally consistent in use of navigation (Jakob Neilson's comments on need for standard navigational aids such as not changing colours of hypertext links)

  • Variety in navigational aids (David Siegel's response)

Bad web design l.jpg

image4.gif Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

Bad Web Design?

There was much disagreement over the Seigel "hack" illustrated

  • Image on the next page stored in a 1 pixel by 1 pixel

  • The image is downloaded while main image is being examined

  • Moving to the next image it appears to load quickly

  • "Neat trick" - David Seigel

  • "Hack", "future maintenance problems", "no semantics"

<IMG SRC=image5.gif height=1 width=1>

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Other Papers Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

The Proceedings contains papers on:

  • Beyond HTML

  • Multidimensional Web Search

  • Searching Heterogeneous Sources

  • Strategies for Resource Location

  • Learning User Preferences

  • Usability Issues

  • Counting on the Web

  • Site Mapping and Syntactic Analysis

  • Information Access

  • Automatic Interface Generation

  • Database Query Techniques

  • Caching

  • Embedded Systems

  • Highly Configurable Web Services

  • Distributed Servers

  • Accessibility Using Audio

  • Real Time Video

  • Real Time Audio

  • Security and Payment

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Conclusions Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

  • The hit of the conference was XML

  • Java was the hit two years ago - now it's accepted as the language of the Web

  • W3C are facilitating developments of web protocols

  • Closed nature of W3C standardisation creates uncertainty but seems needed following problems with over standardisation (e.g. HTML 3.0)

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Challenges Meteor Shower Architecture in the WebWriter II Editor

The rapid development of the web poses various challenges for the community:

  • Deploying new facilities in a timely manner

  • Choosing the winners

  • Spotting the winners

  • Minimising future web re-engineering

    How can the community address these challenges:

  • Institutionally

  • Regionally

  • Nationally

  • Internationally