NSF WWW Workshop, Fox Position Paper: Context

  1. At ACM SIGIR'95, held in Seattle early in July, we will be among the first to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the July 1945 Atlantic Monthly publication of As We May Think by Vannevar Bush. It is still sobering to compare our tools, including Mosaic, to his "memex," and to see how far we have advanced toward solving the problems he addressed: encouraging reuse of scientific discoveries and dealing with the many problems of the "information explosion".
  2. Researchers who for decades have worked on the component technologies that make WWW a reality (e.g., EP [electronic publishing], HT [hypertext], IR [information retrieval], MM [multimedia], networking, client/server computing, PCs/workstations, ...) are all eager to apply their specialized knowledge and skills to improve it further.
  3. Researchers who have integrated these technologies into various types of systems, services and environments, are now eager to move us from today's WWW toward a global digital library, of grand scale, in terms of content, audience, and use.
  4. Today's "Nintendo" generation is finding WWW to be the next target for its pursuit of edutainment, at the same time that teachers are turning to it as the host for new courseware, businesses are looking at it as a way to contact customers "without the middleman", and scholars are looking toward it as a unified and collaborative intellectual workspace.