Bleeding-edge web journal with wires attached

March 14, 1997

World Wide Web Journal Edited by Rohit Khare O'Reilly and Associates Published four times a year US $75.00; Canada and Mexico $81.00; Europe, Africa, Central and South America $105.00; Asia, Australia and New Zealand $110.00ISSN 1085 2301

Information about the web, covering protocol developments and the latest news on World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developments, available not only in hard copy but also in a glossy cover. "What's the point?" I hear web developers ask.

The World Wide Web Journal is a quarterly publication of the World Wide Web Consortium, published by O'Reilly. The fourth issue (Vol. 1 No. 4) was published last autumn. In the 244 pages it includes reports on recent W3C workshops on Distributed Objects and Mobile Code and Distributed Authoring, W3C technical papers on PICS (Platform for Internet Content Selection), Internet Draft documents on HTTP/1.1, the Digest Access Authentication Extension to HTTP, HTTP State Management Mechanism and articles on Using Cookies with CGI, Future Directions for HTTP, Migrating the Web Toward Distributed Objects and Requirements on HTTP For Distributed Content Editing. In addition this issue contains an interview with Jean-Francois Abramatic, the W3C chairman, a description of how "rough consensus and working code" is used to further the development of HTTP, and a timeline of recent W3C events.

Many of these topics will be of interested to university webmasters and web software developers - not least those working on Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) projects. But if many of the articles are available online as W3C Technical Notes and Reports or Internet Engineering Task Force Requests for Comment, is there a point in purchasing the journal? I would say yes. There are a great many proposals for developments to web protocols, ideas discussed on mailing lists and papers published at conferences. It can be difficult to identify the key developments and to see how proposals relate to each other. Rohit Khare, the editor of the World Wide Web Journal, provides a valuable service in putting together the collection of recommendations, proposals and reports on, in this edition, the theme of "Building An Industrial Strength Web" and in previous issues "The Web After Five Years", "Key Specifications of the World Wide Web" and "Proceedings of the Fourth International World Wide Web Conference". The final point should probably be whispered to those totally committed to the digital world - the well-designed journal, with its glossy cover, is an attractive edition to one's library. It should be pointed out, however, that the journal is not relevant to end users or information providers.

Interested in finding out more? Excerpts from the latest issue (Vol.2 No.1) table of contents and subscription information, together with archives of past issues are available on the web at the URL http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Journal/. If you are happy to submit credit card information over the Web, you can even subscribe to the journal electronically. Single issues can be purchased for $18.50.

Brian Kelly, University of Bath, is the national World Wide Web coordinator for higher education (UK Web Focus).

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