World Wide Web Consortium Roadshow (July 1996)

PDM reports on the World Wide Web Consortium Roadshow

Well the World Wide Web has yet to prove itself in terms of doing anything really serious, but it has to be taken seriously because a) everyone else takes it so seriously and b) so many claims are made about it that some of them are bound to come true, even if this is just on a statistical basis. Weaving between the hot air and pious wishes of the WWW superstars(incidentally, what was Tim Berners-Lee actually being paid to do when he invented the WWW? - answers on a postcard please). Here are what we consider to be some key points and forecasts

1. A staggeringly simple and powerful demonstration of the Web's power in an application which many of you will have used already : FedEx's parcel tracking service.

2. Intranet which according to the WWW consortium is set to slaughter the client-server computing paradigm.

3. The need for more powerful programming tools and extensions to the HTML language to allow for richer information to circulate the Web.

4. The network will make the local disk and even the concept of an operating system dissolve as super systems and data can be downloaded from the Internet.

Now we've included the last item because it is an important issue today, relating obviously to the Network PC described elsewhere in this issue. However our view is that this is where the WWW, or at least Berners-Lee starts displaying excess of testosterone, and that it is going to take a much better idea than this one to knock Bill Gates off of his pedestal.

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