Dynamic HTML Hot Topic At Show

CobraBoy (tbyars@earthlink.net)
Sat, 8 Mar 1997 08:01:05 -0800

Dynamic HTML Hot Topic At Show
(03/07/97; 1:05 p.m. EST)
By Martin Marshall and John Evan Frook, CommunicationsWeek

LOS ANGELES -- The Internet has gone corporate in a big way, and the
evidence will be
on display the week of March 10 at the Internet World trade show here.

On center stage will be Web technologies aimed at linking universal
clients to enterprise
systems and networks. In addition, vendors will be displaying a range of
servers designed
for mission-critical applications and for access to host data. Also on
tap will be a wide
range of new Web authoring tools, as well as dynamic HTML applications
by Microsoft, Netscape and others.

The appeal of dynamic HTML is that it allows Web pages to interact with a
user, even to
the point of presenting a unique page to each user on the fly. The price
of this added
functionality, however, may be the limitation of an application to a
specific browser.

Microsoft will be showing a beta version of its dynamic HTML, which is
embedded in the
Internet Explorer 4.0 on the client side and Active Server Pages on the
server side.
Netscape will be showing its dynamic HTML capabilities embedded in a beta
version of
Netscape Communicator.

Microsoft's dynamic HTML uses the most recently adopted W3C committee
called cascading style sheets, but limits its browser audience to
Internet Explorer 4.0

Netscape has its own ideas about how dynamic HTML should be implemented.
has proposed its own standards on absolute positioning of Web pages, on
layering of pages, on dynamic styling and on something it calls "dynamic Web

According to Rob Enderle, senior analyst for the Giga Information Group
in Santa Clara,
Calif., Microsoft's initiative is closer to acceptance by the W3C
committee than any of
Netscape's propositions.

"Right now, though, I'd advise developers not to rush into Microsoft's
dynamic HTML.
There are no users on IE 4.0 except pilot sites using betas." Because of
its public
commitment to standards, Enderle says, Netscape will have to provide the
same cascaded
style sheet capability that Microsoft is now demonstrating.

IBM will demonstrate a step beyond dynamic HTML at Internet World,
combining the
capabilities of dynamic page generation with real-time feedback from data

"Imagine having an advanced neural net technique that guides users to Web
depending upon the paths they have traversed and the preferences they
have expressed in
getting to the Web server," said Drew Clark, IBM's Worldwide Technical
Executive for
Software Solutions. "That's a glimpse of how our Net.Mining demonstration
will run at
Internet World."

The Internet World spotlight, however, will focus on more than advances
in HTML.
Netscape, for example, also plans to disclose details on its next
generation of servers and
clients, which are scheduled for late 1997 or early 1998.

Marc Andreessen, Netscape's senior vice president of technology, is
expected to argue in a
presentation that an application model using HTML, JavaScript and
JavaBeans is the only
viable way companies can build meaningful applications rapidly enough to
keep up with

"There's a real feedback loop going on between the Internet world and the
world of
intranets. All the traditional information technology stuff is moving to
the Internet just as
Web-centric push technology, multimedia, distributed searching,
HTML-based E-mail and
other technologies [move to intranets],'' he said.

Also at the show, Digital Equipment will debut new features for its
Clusters for Windows
NT product for enterprise-scale Web sites. Version 1.1 adds support for
several leading
client/server applications, allowing them to run over an NT server farm
for enhanced
performance and reliability. They include Lotus Domino Server, Microsoft
Information Server, Netscape Enterprise Server and Oracle database servers.

Services also will be highlighted at the show. MCI and BT, through their
Concert venture,
will announce plans to include TCP/IP communication in its already
offered Enterprise
Services suite. WorldCom/Uunet are among a bevy of competitors expected
to follow suit
with similar offerings.

Users say they are pleased that the focus at Internet World has shifted
from the marketing
of high-tech toys to offering enterprise-quality products.

More than 700 exhibitors at Internet World will be showing sophisticated
tools for
corporate intranets.
-- CommWeek's David Joachim also contributed to this report.


I got two turntables and a microphone...

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