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trip report from the eighth World Wide Web conference in toronto, canada

second day (thu 13-may-1999)

keynote speaker greg papadopoulos, chief technology officer, Sun Microsystems

instead of sending data around, send objects.
no more need for device drivers, send an object that allows communication. example: a webphone wants to print a page. it asks for a print service on the net, the printer sends the object required to talk to the printer to the webphone which uses this object to actually print the page.

evolution: disk oriented - net-centric - object oriented

10 predictions:

  1. home = office = consumer (business life and home life merge)
  2. voice network = data network
  3. Intranet = Extranet = Internet (firewalls and private LANs disappear, protection at application level)
  4. a few big service providers will dominate
  5. software as a product is replaced by many application providers
  6. meta service providers will intermediate most interactions (e-commerce coorperatives emerge)
  7. the net goes fractal (the action will be in little services)
  8. we'll discover we built the wrong network
  9. most of the communication will be computers talking to one another via objects (but we won't have a clue what they are saying)
  10. amazingly, it will all actually work

panel session about successful web design:

there was a crowed of maybe 60 to 80 people. some speakers questioned if professional designers actually help to improve the success of a website. it has to be the right guy with the right attitude in the right place. i strongly agree with that point of view. one person suggested that authors of web pages and web-based applications should go ahead and do it the way they think it should be done. there is always a risk to fail, but many successful websites started as a midnight hack and grew popular, because they did just what people wanted. at the end of the discussion, the list below was compiled but did not necessarily reflect everybody's point of view:

  1. need to integrate social dynamic into web design
  2. get a feel for what the users actually do
  3. don't be afraid to fail / don't underestimate
  4. establish goal/mission and evolve
  5. keep the back doors open
  6. successful design patterns are useful
  7. there is no one-size-fits all
  8. keep interface transparent
  9. value added

W3C: community contributions and participation:

trace file repository:

open source software at W3C:

questions to and answers from the W3C:

why does the consortium not comment on the compliance of the browsers to the proposed standards ?
it would involve too much work and would be politically difficult.
why do the websites of the previous conferences always move or go away ?
the W3C will address that topic on the next meeting with the IW3C2.

many people complained about the quality of certain products from certain vendors and wanted the W3C to express their concerns to the vendors. it seems to me that the W3C felt this is not really their task and i agree with that.

closing ceremony:


yuri rubinsky foundation award:

presented to richard stallmann of the GNU organization, who expressed sever concerns about patents for software and asked citizens of countries belonging to the european patent office to look at www.freepatents.org.

invitation to WWW9 in may 2000 in amsterdam, nederlands:

multimedia presentation of the city of amsterdam, see www9.org for details.

keynote speaker robert metcalfe, vice president technology, international data group:

7 dangerous predictions:

  1. november 8, 1999 the Internet stock market will crumble
  2. Y2K will be no event (computers break so often, there is nothing special about it)
  3. pretty soon drugstores will serve capuccino
  4. in 1999 the direct Internet access will take off
  5. the growth of the Internet will drop (the growth of hosts has dropped from 100% to 60% per year)
  6. open source will gona fizzle - Unix/Linux will never come close to Win-tel - it will be something different we don't know yet
  7. a GIGA-laps of the Internet will occur in the year 2000

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production note:

this trip report was written on a Vadem Clio C-1000 running Windows CE with Pocket Word. It was then transferred to a DELL Latitude notebook and modified as needed. this document is supposed to be HTML V4.0 compliant.

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2nd_day.html / 25-may-1999 (ra) / reto ambühler
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