W3 and other systems

Tim Berners-Lee (timbl)
Tue, 18 Feb 92 11:30:44 GMT+0100

> From: "Timo Harmo - SocSci U of Helsinki" <HARMO@valt.helsinki.fi>

>> In the end, there will be hypertext, certainly.
> Yes, I agree (I hate hierarchical information systems). But meanwhile
> gopher (wais I don't know about) offers working systems for many
> platforms, doesn't it?
> Let's continue on the list.

Ok, a discussion of the proliferation of protocols is a thing suitable for the
list. Timo had been saying - why not broadcast about W3 on the WAIS and Gopher
lists/groups? Well, every now and again I mention it, but I do not want to misuse
the groups.

Yes, gopher offers working systems for many platforms. The gopher protocol
is VERY like the basic HTTP protocol. We feel that the W3 model is more general.
Its very easy to write gopher and w3 servers, but more difficult to write w3
browsers. The trouble is, it takes longer to write a hypertext browser because the
hypertext widgets won't exist. The gopher people are doing really good work by
getting information out there. This gives everyone experience. We run the w3 web
with the gopher web as a subset. This gives a lot of data. It means w3-based search
engines and indexers can include gopher data.

The disappointing thing of course is that a lot of information is better presented
as hypertext. If you like, a gopher menu page is ulrra-simple hypertext. Real
hypertext, with the little formatting you get in HTML, is more powerful, and leads
to better communication between the information provider and the reader. And
communication is what we are talking about.

Actually, the HTTP protocol is not te most important thing for people to use. There
will always be many S&R protcols. The W3 addressing syntax is much more important.

>> - Timo
- Tim