Location: Hypertext Review / Applications / Other Applications / World Wide Web Site Map

8.3 World Wide Web

World Wide Web (W3) is a hypertext-based information retrieval mechanism providing information access across heterogeneous platforms mainly connected over Internet [Berners-Lee, 1992]. It is based on the philosophy that information should be freely available to anyone. We can say that it is a small step towards Nelson’s vision of a docuverse. The W3 architecture has allowed many existing hypertext systems and information bases to be incorporated as part of the web by gateway servers. W3 was developed for High Energy Physicists at CERN to share information with their counterparts across the rest of the academic community. It has now been extended to cover over 80 topics from Aeronautics to Social Sciences. W3 is based on a client/server architecture and the information (subject files) can reside anywhere on the network. Browsers use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and they can be installed at local sites to access remote webs. Each browser can handle, at a minimum, plain text as well as simple SGML formats.