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Introductory Comments

Anne Mumford

An early paper about WWW by Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau and Jean-Francois Groff was presented at the 3rd Joint European Networking Conference in Innsbruck in May 1992. This conference was a networking conference that was addressing issues of users and user services on the network. There was a great deal of excitement around at the conference about the new tools called Gopher and Archie.

In that paper the authors say:

"The W3 project is not a research project, but a practical plan to implement a global information system"
and, again:
" The aims of the W3 initiative are twofold: firstly to make a single, easy user-interface to all types of information so that all may access it, and secondly to make it so easy to add new information that the quantity and quality of inline information will both increase".

The last few years have seen the massive popular growth in use of the network and the adoption of the ideas presented at the JENC conference worldwide. It is the World-Wide Web which has proved to be the popular tool. This has been particularly true as graphical interfaces to the structured hypermedia have been developed making the tool relatively accessible to a wide range of people.

Perhaps one could agree that the aim of the paper to increase quantity of information has been realised. The quality issue is a very real one. The issue of accessing relevant information from the quantity of information available is also a major problem we need to address.

This workshop is not about using the WWW-there seem to be many courses around on that topic. Rather, it is concerned with the issues presented to us as individuals, institutions and as a community as a result of the pervasive use of the WWW. It is about considering the role of the WWW and making recommendations to relevant bodies as to resource allocation and strategic directions which are needed if we are to make best use of the technology.


Berners-Lee, T.J., Cailliau, R., Groff, J, "The world-wide web", Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Vol 25, No 4-5, p 454-459,1992
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