web's eye view web's eye view
12.04.97  [current] and [back] issues and a bag of urls!

alan levine ~~ Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction ~~ http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/eye/

This Web is a MESS!

what a mess!

Microsoft fights NetScape!

Java Java Shmava Java Java! Push? Push WHAT?

HTML? DHTML? XHTML? Plug-in? Active-X? Video?

the web junkyard

yearn for the good ole days? were they really that good?
IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY LONG LONG AGO.... there was only one browser (Long live Mosaic! Who uses Mosiac?) and HTML was truly a standard. We coded HTML by hand and it worked lovely on all kinds of computers. Sure it was slow, and the pages were a dull grey...

But there is no going back. The Web is such a social phenomena that you no longer have to refer to it as the "Internet World Wide Web"... just "the web". You cannot spit these days anymore without hitting a URL. It moves faster than any one person can follow it. It is insane. It is wonderful.

a standard no more?
HERE'S A NEWS FLASH!There is no standard anymore. Huh? Sure all the billions of pages in webspace are grounded in HTML, but does the W3 consortium lead the dog or does it simply hang on to the tail? With the so-called "Browser" war between NetScape and Microsoft (and side jabs by Sun and the U.S. Justice Department), there is little hope of the average Joe/Jane being able to create content that can handle all of the permutations of browsers * versions * plug-ins.

Is that so bad? Well, it means (like always) that it pays to know your audience, whether they have the latest-greatest or if they are on a network built of rubber bands and tape.

It will never be like it was and it will only get more fractured.

so what? why read this?
"YEAH. BUT WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" Good question... if you scan closely around this site, you will notice that it's been almost a year since we wrote up a little tirade! "We've been busy?" Like everyone. Maintaining a few web pages can be easy, but as they grow, and begat one another in biblical and rabbit proportions, new approaches are needed.

At the MCLI web site (of which a re-design has been on the shelf for months) we've been switching many of pages that were once maintained manually in HTML to a series of web systems. We have server scripts that are activated from other web pages, to dynamically create new pages. Every night, our server rebuilds many of its pages to reflect new content. Some examples are our searchable index of community college web sites and resources and a similar collection of examples of how teachers and students use the web in particular courses.

In fact, we had a recent little piece describing this process published in the Journal of Electronic Publishing .And soon, we will be writing up some detailed explanations of how we create our webs.

what's next? another year layoff?
WE HAVE SOME IDEAS IN STORE for the next few months. Our next piece will cover the over-abuse of graphical images of text. We will revisit and update the Web Fashion Revue. We will dig around and try to (guess) whether DHTML is the next killer thing or just another fading "push" on the technical horizon.

Want to stay tuned? Join the Web's Eye e-mailing list-- its how we announce only the most useful stuff we come across. Check out our regularly (well semi-regularly) updated Bag of URLs. And you can help us by finding great web sites and dropping them into our Bag.

So what do you think> Is the Web a mess? is that okay? Is it still exciting when you are able to locate something you could not easily get before?