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Lesson 3Pre-browser technologies
ObjectiveImportance of pre-browser Internet technologies.

Pre-browser Technologies

Browser Functionality
Pre-browser interfaces

Explain Importance of pre-browser Internet technologies.

Prior to the introduction of the graphical Web browser in 1993, the Internet was accessed through text-based interfaces such as ASCII[1] green screens and the UNIX command line interface. Finding that these were unfriendly to the typical user, universities and researchers began developing more usable tools for searching the Internet.

Browser Networking

Search Technologies

Search technologies like Gopher , Veronica , and Archie offered users on client machines a means to search and retrieve documents and files located on servers. Other advances in search tools included retrieval of documents by title, as well as file location and identification.

Question: What are some of the weaknesses in search technologies ?
Even with search technologies, searching for information was a time-consuming process. Once a search was done, users needed to download the file and then read it to see if the content was relevant to their needs. Bandwidth issues frustrated users and left researchers wanting more efficient and useful tools.

Communication/collaboration technologies

Collaboration on the Internet became widespread. Research facilities around the world were able to exchange, distribute, and categorize their research. Virtual communities began to take shape using tools like electronic bulletin boards,Email, newsgroups, and the famous AOL chat room.

Foundational Components of the World Wide Web

  1. Gopher: A document retrieval system from the University of Minnesota. Through Gopher, a user can access files from many different computers by looking through hierarchical menus to find specific topics. Gopher sites can now be accessed through the World Wide Web.
  2. Veronica: An acronym for Very Easy Rodent Oriented Netwide Index to Computerized Archives. Veronica is a search and retrieval program that works with FTP sites and software like gopher to better index and display retrieved information from a variety of FTP sites.
  3. Virtual communities: These are on-line communities where individuals gather together to share common interests, exchange ideas, etc.
  4. Archie: This is a pre-graphical interface software program that helps one find files available through ftp. Tell Archie what you want, and Archie tells you the location of the directory that contains the file.
  5. Electronic bulletin boards: These are electronic message databases that allow people to log in and leave messages. Messages are typically split into topic groups called news groups. Like email, electronic bulletin boards are asynchronous.
  6. Email: Provides the ability to send and receive messages via a network connection. Each person and institution on the network has an electronic address. As long as you know the person' s address you can send and receive files. Email is asynchronous.
  7. Newsgroup: A forum, or discussion group in which Internet users can participate through posting and responding to messages. Comparable to posting a message on a bulletin board.

[1] ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77. Most computers used to use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another. Nowadays, Unicode is used for representing text on the web.