You may have heard about, or even already explored, some of the vast stores of information available through the global computer networks -- information as varied as weather forecasts from the Purdue Weather Processor, magazine articles, scientific pre-prints and data, Internet Movie Database, course descriptions, and educational material from The Exploratorium. Often, obtaining this information can be tedious, possibly requiring the use of one of many different, often arcane, programs.
Using hypertext, documents can be linked to each other and to additional sources of information including graphics, sounds from The Michigan State University Celebrity Lecture Series, animations, and just about anything else you would want to make available over the networks. This linking ability provides great power and flexibility for presentation and browsing. The threads of these links call to mind a spider's web, thus "World Wide Web".
Many organizations already offer wonderful displays and services, with something available for just about any interest. For example, Wake Forest University has a good start on a "web-ized" campus-wide information service. The Mathworks, Inc., makers of Matlab, offer a support site. Many exciting educational areas have developed too, including:
These are just a few examples of the sites that have been developed, with more appearing every day.
An example of a "graphical map" which shows some of the wide variety of information available, and the possible web of links between them. A graphical map allows you to associate an area on a graphic with a link to other information. In this case, you would just click within the appropriate oval to be taken to that information on that subject.
Mosaic is currently available for
Microsoft Windows, and
(UNIX and VMS platforms). You can obtain these programs via anonymous ftp to
itg-server.acns.nwu.edu. If you have a networked Macintosh, use
Chooser to access "
ITG Server" in the
ACNS Staffnet" zone. You can use "
to the server. All software is located in the
MacMosaic requires a networked Macintosh (SLIP is sufficient) with at least 4MB RAM (8MB recommended) running a version of System 7. WinMosaic requires a Winsock compatible network interface.
text-based WWW client for UNIX, VMS and soon for DOS systems, is also
The collection on the ITG server also offers many tools for creating documents, viewing images and animations, and listening to sounds. If you have questions about obtaining or installing the programs, call the ACNS Information Center, 708/467-ACNS.
Once you have a client installed, you may want to browse the built-in help offerings, which in most cases are actually WWW documents that are retrieved when you access them. This makes it easier to provide up-to-date information. In addition, I have collected some references from which you might want to begin exploring or even start your own WWW publishing office.
ACNS is offering a publicly accessible server for those who want to publish information but do not have the resources.