impressions from the third World Wide Web conference at darmstadt, germany

personal impressions from the third World Wide Web conference at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in germany.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: this is neither an official document in any respect nor should any statement be taken as a fact, this is just my personal opinion. reto ambühler, informatikdienste ETH zürich.


the 3rd WWW conference was held in darmstadt near frankfurt in germany from april 10th to april 14th 1995.
according to the printed attendee list, 1075 participants from 36 different countries all over the world attended this conference, but during the conference i heard numbers of participants up to 1400.

i did neither attend any workshops or tutorials nor did i stay for the developers day. nevertheless, i enjoyed this event very much.

to me, the following statements were the key messages:

  1. "we think the Web is a basic part of using a computer in 1996" (Microsoft)
  2. "the Web goes from browsing to publishing" (Xyvision)
  3. "we add 3D to the Web" (silicon graphics inc)

my most favorite papers:

  1. Hyper-G
  2. a new vision for the Web (VSHL)
  3. IDLE (presented by louis perrochon from ETH zürich)
  4. characterizing browsing strategies on the Web

award for a member of the ETH zürich

louis perrochon from the Department / Division of Computer Science of the ETH zürich won the 2nd price for the best paper presented in darmstadt !

congratulations louis !

overall impressions

mostly due to the huge number of participants, the "feeling of a big family" was not as strong as it was in geneva last year. but nevertheless this was still a remarkable event.

as in geneva, people still complained about the "chaos on the Web". in fact, the problem of navigation in Hyperspace has not been solved at all. even if there are some robots and a number of virtual libraries out there, there is no real alternative to surfing. one approach i really like is Hyper-G. i believe, it is mandatory to separate the link information from the document, as it is done in Hyper-G (see also my vision of a FutureWeb).

another approach i really liked was the 3-D stuff presented by SGI. the presentation of their Virtual Reality Model Language (VMRL) was breathtaking.

even if there might be some people out there who may disagree, i liked the presentation of Microsoft as well. i believe - in fact i hope - Windows 95 will be just another success. Windows 95 will include all the required software to access the Internet, including TCP/IP with PPP, FTP, Telnet, Bootp and so on. the so called Internet Explorer includes a version of Mosaic based on Spyglass' WWW browser which is perfectly integrated into the Windows environment.

all the presentations i attended were very interesting, even though it was sometimes hard to decide which stream i should follow. fortunately, all the rooms were close enough to switch during the breaks. the attendees seemed to enjoy the presentations as well. it is obvious that there is still an increasing interest in the Web. many services are now available on WWW and people who do not have access to it may miss important information everyday. one participant complained about the fact, that all the information about this conference was published exclusively on the Web, so a non-Web-user would not even know what is going on ...

more detailed information about the conference

tuesday, april 11

wednesday, april 12

thursday, april 13

for anyone who is interested in the World Wide Web in general and the third WWW conference in particular, the following printed documents are available at my office:

other WWW trip reports

WWW95_main / 27-jan-1999 (ra) / reto ambühler
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