((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) December 26, 2000
Got a special treat for you this holiday week, a report from the IETF meeting in San Diego on speeding up the Net. Don't miss our newest RSS applet, plus the Doc continues his quest to program Netscape 6. Papa's got a brand new DOM. In other news read about object-oriented DHTML that makes short work of new browsers and gizmos through an extensible API, plus the need for narrative voice on the Web. Oh, and we bought most of EarthWeb.com today.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. PRODUCTION GRAPHICS: Fireworks Effects: Enhance Your Designs
Add that professional touch to your designs with fancy Fireworks fills and styles. By Wendy Peck.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. EXPLORING XML: RSSApplet and Xparse-J
RSS Applet is an open source Java tool that displays RSS news feeds. Improved for speed and compatibility the applet now weighs in at only 13K, unoptimized. By Michael Classen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. FEATURED ARTICLE: Usability Design Tip: Do It Over
In site design, knowing when to reboot is half the battle. Visibone's Bob Stein reveals the varicolored design process with his own site.
ATTENTION WEB DEVELOPERS - Interested in turning your ordinary graphics into spectacular visual displays? Streamingmediaworld.com gives you the latest resources, techniques and tutorials for adding audio, video and flash to your web site. http://www.streamingmediaworld.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. NEW CONTEST: Submit & Win Dreamweaver 4 Fireworks 4 Studio, Signup & Win ProJPEG, SuperGIF, and SpaceAgent
>Submit & Win Dreamweaver 4 Fireworks 4 Studio!
Yes that's right folks. Submit your article today and you could win Macromedia's killer Web design combo. Don't delay, send us your ideas today.
>Signup & Win!
Sign up for the Webreference Update newsletter, and you could win a killer software bundle from BoxTop Software and Insider Software including ProJPEG, SuperGIF, and SpaceAgent. Each week we'll draw new winners from our new subscribers - you could be next. Already a subscriber? Not a problem - just fill out the form, and you'll be automatically entered to win. Tell your friends!
Luck winners this week are Olaf Kolling of Stuttgart, Germany, Katherine Delmont of Westminster, CO, Marchykov Sergey of St. Petersburg, Russia, and David Twist of Sussex, England. Congrats and enjoy the software!
Our man Rodger Roeser at the 49th Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an Internet standards body, interviewed one of the 3,000 Internet leaders during this five-day event held recently in San Diego, CA. The IETF is a large, open community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. The actual technical work of the IETF is done in its many working groups which are organized by topic, such as routing, security, and content delivery.
Minutes from the 49th IETF conference will be posted and available at http://www.ietf.org shortly. Minutes from previous meetings are currently available, as is a host of history and information on the IETF.
We interviewed Dr. Sergei Kaplan, VP of Engineering at XOSoft, a leading provider of content delivery technology specializing in dynamic and streaming content delivery. XOsoft continues to push for standardization of content delivery protocols throughout a sometimes slow and cumbersome Internet, in both wired and wireless spaces. Headquarted in Somerset, New Jersey, XOsoft believes that software, not infrastructure, is the solution to an overtaxed and cumbersome Internet.
RR: What was your overall impression of the forum?
SK: My impression was quite positive as we look toward the future and attempt to tackle so many problems we face with the Internet and its lack of overall standards and protocol. The Internet is certainly very much still in its infancy and there is much "parenting" that we have to do to make sure it grows up to be strong, vital, and a good "citizen" of our world. Meeting the very best of the best, nearly 3,000 of them by my account, of Internet professionals is quite humbling. You work in your niche and spend years of learning and growing and establishing your expertise, and you spend a week with people who know as much if not more than you do, it's truly an amazing sharing of expertise and knowledge. I feel that we accomplished some good things, and continue to lay a strong foundation for future work. There were tens, if not hundreds, of working groups discussing the inner workings and intricacies of the Internet at the highest technical level. We discussed future Internet and networking standards, and I felt that you could literally "see" the technological future of the world in the data communications field. The whole experience left me with much hope and optimism toward the future, and I believe that by working together, we can make significant strides and an immense impact in just how the Internet can continue to proliferate and blossom.
RR: Exactly what was discussed at some of the higher level meetings?
SK: Generally speaking, I was able to attend about ten sessions, but prior to the Internet Engineering Task Force conference, I did quite a bit of homework so I could make a more significant impact on areas I believe are the most important for the future of the Internet and to increase peak performance for users and business. Most notably, three specific discussions revolved around Web replication and caching, open proxy extended services architecture, and content distribution internetworking. You see, infrastructure is simply not the answer to solving the cache problem and slow, cumbersome sites. Creating more and more infrastructure is incredibly expensive, literally billions upon billions of dollars, and current infrastructure additions are not going to address and wireless Internet solutions in the future. In fact, current methodologies merely speed up static content, and do little to affect dynamic and streaming Internet protocols, which is surely the wave of the future. The development of silent caching and incremental updating will have a significant impact on speeding the Internet throughout its varied languages and protocols. However, it is also intricately important that we continue to standardize the methodology on which we work and which we discuss, so platforms and software are only part of the overall solution. All of us want the Internet to work better and to also be prepared for the wonderful creativity of Web designers throughout the world who continue to create more complex sites, as well as the business community who need increasingly robust content to cut through the clutter and deliver to its customers a great Internet experience.
RR: How do you feel the conference will impact the future of the Internet?
SK: As I touched on earlier, as an active participant, I felt I could see the future. Surely, the previous sentence of somewhat of a metaphor. The truth is, the top Internet professionals throughout the industry meet to discuss the results of efforts done between quarterly meetings in developing industry standards, vision and terminology. Some of the efforts succeed and some do not, but from year to year, the authority of the forum grows. Now, more and more, customers require that vendors comply with IETF driven standards. Because of this combination, I believe the forum will have a significant impact on the future. If we're saying the same things, but saying it in different ways, that can be a stumbling block. Because the technology is increasing so quickly and things change and literally become dated within days or even hours, it's important that this hodge podge of creativity not be stifled, but rather directed to a common good and a worldwide goal. As the IETF continues to develop standards by which the top researchers and designers and engineers work with, that will become the standard by which the Internet operates. It will take some time, but as with everything in this fast paced new economy, time runs a little differently in this space. I expect to see more standards adopted soon, and more users demanding better operations for existing and future protocols. As with most consumer applications, business to business usually leads the way, and I expect no difference here. Businesses are demanding more creative solutions without spending millions of dollars on reworking Web languages or technology. Increasingly, as they see the fundamental uses of the Internet becoming more apparent, there will be a pressing need to better compete for user interest. The top problem sited by users is slow sites.
RR: What were some decisions made during the forum?
SK: I believe the most important thing right now concerning the business and personal Internet user is the Internet and Web infrastructure problem. Sites crash, they slow down, eRetailing is simply not growing, and user frustration on sites is at an all time high. People get to a site, if it doesn't load within a few seconds, they leave. There is huge interest in the Internet community surrounding this area. We decided to create three new working groups who will specifically be assigned to finding solutions and addressing this pressing need. Instead of the existing Web replication and caching group, we created the following: Web Infrastructures (WEBI), Open Proxy Extended Services Architecture (OPES), and Content Distribution Internetworking. Several drafts for each group already exist and still many others we decided to create as well. The IETF is really a living, growing entity that is going to continually adapt to the existing environment to make things better. We are all working together on new, mutually agreed upon definitions for delivery time and caching standards. You can say something is ten times faster, but it depends on which standard you are using to compare. It is important that we all work from the same frame of reference and parameters so we can compare apples to apples, as opposed to comparing apples to automobiles, which is what happens all too often now. We are pushing for very specific standards of measurement.
In addition, we're working on descriptions, protocols and algorithms concerning Web infrastructures, and those proposals will be thoroughly discussed on mailing lists and future meetings. In about two or three years from now, all the drafts will be completed, but in the meantime, part of those proposals will be implemented, at least experimentally. It is rather difficult to say whether the whole industry will follow the ways paved by the IETF, but for sure all these efforts cannot be ignored.
Interview conducted by Rodger Roeser, APR, Senior Public Relations Consultant at HSR Business To Business, (http://www.hsrb2b.com) a high tech integrated marketing company headquarted in Cincinnati, Ohio. He can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. OTHER VOICES: Better DHTML Through Object-Oriented Design, A Case for Web Storytelling, Usability Experts are from Mars, Graphic Designers are from Venus
>Better DHTML Through Object-Oriented Design
Find yourself writing the same DHTML repeatedly? By applying object-oriented design and software design patterns to DHTML Dave Peckham of Frog Design came up with a new way of writing DHTML that creates reusable components that are easily extensible. http://home.cnet.com/webbuilding/0-7310-8-3785096-1.html Builder.com, 001218
>A Case for Web Storytelling
In our techno-geek acronym-filled society we call the Web, we sometimes forget it's not the technology behind the content but the content and how it is presented that's important. Without a mature and perspicacious narrative voice, your stylish content will fail to engage your visitors. http://www.alistapart.com/stories/storytelling/ A List Apart, 001222
>Usability Experts are from Mars, Graphic Designers are from Venus
A war is brewing between the Nielsen's and Kioken's of the wwworld. Can usability coexist with spontaneous fun? Are these folks from other planets? With apologies to John Gray may the best Web paradigm win. http://www.alistapart.com/stories/marsvenus/ A List Apart, 001222
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8. NET NEWS: Internet.com Nabs EarthWeb's Content Business, Users cry foul with Netscape 6, Web Inventor Envisions Next Wave of Innovations
>Internet.com Nabs EarthWeb's Content Business
>Users cry foul with Netscape 6
Disgruntled users say AOL released Netscape 6 too soon. http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/00/12/22/001222hnnetscape6.xml Infoworld.com, 001222
>Web Inventor Envisions Next Wave of Innovations
TBL waxes poetic about the "Semantic Web" and its history. Edit this page anyone? http://www.sltrib.com/12252000/business/56860.htm http://www.sltrib.com/12252000/business/56861.htm AP/Salt Lake Tribune, 001225
That's it for this week, see you next time.
Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com email@example.com
Catherine Levy Assistant Editor, WebReference.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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