RE: who's going to www8?

Josh Cohen (
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 17:50:37 -0800

Im going!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rohit Khare []
> Sent: Thursday, April 01, 1999 7:02 PM
> To:;;
> Subject: who's going to www8?
> ... not me.
> (don't be fooled by -- yet)
> It's getting to be quite the rerun of itself: Al Vezza bringing Tim
> (he wasn't on the original slate) and John Patrick on stage again, Bob
> Metcalfe, again, and a so-so paper run, again, and a total lack of
> community-wide leadership on the research agenda, again.
> And an undefined W3C track, again.
> Look at
> There are few papers that couldn't have been presented at any of the
> previous five installments. Even the best I reviewed were not enough
> to entice me to spend $2,000 of taxpayers' money to attend.
> Here's what
> caught my eye:
> Improving Web Interaction on Small Displays
> Matt Jones, Gary Marsden, Norliza Mohd-Nasir, Kevin Boone
> (I'd have to read the paper if they've got anything at all innovative
> to say -- there are even shipping products doing great stuff here)
> XML-GL: a Graphical Language for Querying and Restructuring XML
> Documents
> Stefano Ceri, Sara Comai, Ernesto Damiani, Piero Fraternali, Stefano
> Paraboschi, Letizia Tanca
> (would have to be a real paradigm-breaker. Very low probability)
> Formsheets and the XML Forms Language
> Anders Kristensen
> (a personal hobbyhorse, so I'd be very intrigued to chat)
> Web Caching with Consistent Hashing
> David Karger, Tom Leighton, Danny Lewin, Alex Sherman
> (old friends -- heart of -- but in the end it's a
> simple trick
> backed by very good mathematics: how can you hash an url to a
> tree of servers,
> so you can dynamically vary the number of servers in a cluster)
> Automatic RDF Metadata Generation for Resource Discovery
> Charlotte Jenkins, Mike Jackson, Peter Burden, Jon Wallis
> (it's telling that for all the W3C push, this is the only RDF paper)
> Trawling the Web for Emerging Cyber-Communities
> Ravi Kumar, Prabhakar Raghavan, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Andrew Tomkins
> (on the other hand, they may just have rediscovered webrings)
> KPS --- a Web Information Mining Algorithm
> Tao Guan, Kam-Fai Wong
> (hey, at least *someone's* trying. But also a low-probability
> of greatness)
> XFDL: Creating Electronic Commerce Transaction Records Using XML
> Barclay T. Blair, John Boyer
> (OK, I'll admit: it's just cause the so approvingly cite
> Khare/Rifkin98 :-)
> (XFDL per se isn't making much headway in the standards process)
> UIML: An Appliance-Independent XML User Interface Language
> Marc Abrams, Constantinos Phanouriou, Alan Batongbacal,
> Stephen Williams, Jono Shuster
> (Finally! a real paper -- good pedigree, probabilty of novelty, and
> buzzword- compliant. It may even be implemented, from the number of
> co-authors. Let's just hope it's not just FORMS reheated like WAP did)
> Paper Session 5C: Protocols and Performance
> (here is the only two hours I could professionally justify this for--
> in addition to the panel on extending HTTP up the wazoo I'm
> theoretically on)
> Policies for Managing TCP Connections Under Persistent HTTP
> Edith Cohen, Haim Kaplan, Jeffrey D. Oldham
> (wonder if they came up with any better ideas than Mogul's I-D)
> The Gecko NFS Web Proxy
> Scott Baker, John H. Hartman
> (what the hell is this? Does it map webspace onto my drivespace? MIT
> student projects did that four years ago! or is it WebNFS warmed over?
> Give me odds they even did a comparative analysis to WebDAV...)
> Key Differences Between HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1
> Balachander Krishnamurthy, Jeffrey C. Mogul, David M. Kristol
> (Great, but I don't expect to learn a thing. Fine people, really.)
> Beyond that, the developer's day is also pretty tepid. It's not the
> smallish, red-hot stuff it used to be before my time, even.
> has devolved to an unrefereed w3c-cum-
> workshop track. {what's up there so far is wacky; but this track alone
> I'll grant a pass to because good dev days are necessarily
> last-minute.}
> There's not a shred of information on panels, posters, plenary
> details, or "industrial track" (purchased space). The 10th anniversary
> of the Web isn't being celebrated in any cogent manner -- no critical
> panels, invited talks, true historiography -- just a "trivia wall" for
> people to bring their own souvenirs for. I don't even know if that'll
> match up to last year's "Museum of Shoes" fercripessake!
> The workshops don't have much science to them, either:
> W1: Virtual Documents, Hypertext Functionality and the Web
> W2: Learning Online
> W3: Creating Effective Public Access Science Education Websites: What
> Works and Why
> W4: 3D Graphics and the Web
> W5: Second Workshop on Adaptive Systems and User Modeling on the Web
> W6: Web Engineering
> W7: Managing Intellectual Content on the Web: Use of the Digital
> Object Identifier (DOI)
> And that's the heart of the matter: is there really a field of web
> studies? I think there's definitely potential -- or, to be precise
> there *WAS* potential. It needed to have strong champions [1],
> institutional backing [2], and a compelling agenda [3].
> The people involved in the early Web didn't provide [1] -- few were of
> an academic bent; it was mostly engineers or academics who thought the
> Web was "just engineering". The professoriate -- especially the
> hypertext community, but also the internet-usenix community -- looked
> down on the Web. The twist was in the decision [2]: it moved away from
> a quasipublic quasieducational institution (CERN) into the W3C, which
> chose not to run a paper journal, not to host research work, not to
> participate in the 'scientific' process (in favor of -- very
> respectable -- industrial standards work). This led to the formalized
> split between IW3C2 and W3C -- W3C is not a formal sponsor of the
> conference technical program. So without a permanent journal, program
> committee, or professional membership, it has remained a haphazard
> event from year to year (different hosts). This in contrast to
> SIGGRAPH, for example: its meeting combines cutting-edge research and
> massive trade interest, all under the aegis of the ACM. But you need
> [3] to define research -- and without [1], there's no manifesto that
> lays out the boundaries of 'web studies', and hence no rational
> explanation for the WWWn paper selection.
> For the record, *of course* I'm speaking from passionate personal
> experience from the Web Journal's demise. That was *my* best effort
> to organize a coherent field of 'web studies', but I'm not a [1]...
> Anyway, Al's spam is attached below (I received four copies so far
> just while composing this message!)
> Rohit
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject: Join Tim Berners-Lee at WWW8
> Join Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the Web Consortium (W3C)
> and inventor
> of the Web, at the 8th International World Wide Web Conference in
> Toronto, Canada May 11-14, where he will present the opening Keynote
> Address. It is hard to believe, but the Web is ten years old
> this year,
> and Tim is sure to reminisce about the Web's development and
> growth and
> share with us his thoughts for its future.
> Three other prominent Keynote Speakers will address the
> delegates: John
> Patrick, Vice President, Internet Technology, IBM Corporation, Greg
> Papadopoulos, Chief Technology Officer, Sun Microsystems, and Robert
> Metcalfe, Vice President of Technology, International Data Group. John
> and Greg will give us some insight into where they think the Web is
> headed.
> In addition to providing a critique of the conference, Bob is sure to
> make one of his outrageous predications for the Web as he did
> in Boston.
> And who knows what the atonement penalty will be if he is wrong.
> These visions for the future will be contrasted by ten years of Web
> history gathered by James Gillies from the recollections of conference
> delegates and recorded on a special History Wall.
> The conference will last a full four days with Tutorials and Workshops
> on day one, Keynotes and tracks for Refereed Papers, Poster Sessions,
> presentations by the W3C team, Panels and Invited Speakers on days two
> and three, and a Developers Day on day four. Please check the
> Conference
> Web site at for the full program and other details.
> Register now and get the early bird discount.
> I hope to see you there.
> Albert Vezza
> President
> Foretec Seminars, Inc
> 1895 Preston White Drive
> Suite 100
> Reston, VA 20191-5434
> Internet mail:
> Tel: (703) 620-9053
> Fax: (703) 620-9071
> Cambridge Office
> Tel: (617) 621 1536
> Fax: (617) 621 7157