WWW Introduction: Parts 3 and 4

Florian Eggenberger eggenber
Mon Oct 17 03:04:05 EST 1994


WWW INTRODUCTION        October 1994
================

PART 3: What is available on the Web
------------------------------------

This is the third part of a series of postings describing the concept of 
the World-Wide Web and guiding anyone who is interested in obtaining and 
setting up the software required to access the Web.

The rules that computers must follow to exchange messages are defined in 
protocols. Most network retrieval systems use their own protocol with 
limited access to other protocols. In contrast, the HTTP protocol used by 
WWW servers and clients allows communication with other systems including 
Gopher, WAIS and FTP. Thus, WWW clients provide access to anything at:

* WWW sites (>3000)
* Gopher sites (>1000)
* WAIS sites (>100)
* anonymous FTP sites (>1000)
* Usenet News, etc.

This feature makes the WWW system one of the most comprehensive network 
retrieval tools. Moreover, WWW clients are easy to use and - depending on 
the user's operating system - are available as character-based or graphical 
user interface. An overview of currently available browser software will be 
given in part 5 of this series of postings.

The vast array of information available on the Web covers almost any field 
of interest. However, as these data are widely dispersed over the Internet, 
finding specific information is usually a difficult task. To solve this 
problem, a number of people have begun to catalogue the data into lists 
organized by subject, provider, or access method. These so-called virtual 
libraries help to reduce the material to browse and often allow searches 
with queries. Sources of interest for biologists include:

* Abstracts of articles in press
* Addresses of biologists
* Archives and extracts of print journals
* Biological software
* Guides and tutorials
* Job offers
* Journal indexes and databases
* Molecular biology databases
* Newspapers, newsletters, and discussion groups
* Peer-reviewed electronic journals

A comprehensive list of locations of biological information archives can be 
found in Una Smith's "A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources". Services 
that provide on-line help to find useful information available on the Web 
include the Meta-Index of NCSA, CERN's Virtual Library, the Nova-Links 
created by Rob Kabacoff, and Joel's Hierarchical Subject Index. Keith 
Robinson at Harvard University maintains a list of WWW servers providing 
information of interest for biologists. These on-line services are 
accessible by any WWW client. Written in hypertext they provide a 
convenient and quick route to everything on the Web. A number of other 
sites provide similar services using Gopher servers. These sites are 
accessible by WWW clients as well but lack the hypertext functionality of 
WWW. Biology-relevant Gopher sites include Don Gilbert's IUBio service, Rob 
Harper's Finnish EMBnet BioBox, and Reinhard Doelz's list of the European 
Biology Gopher tree.

A list of some WWW starting points for an exploration of Web resources that 
might be useful for biologists will be given in part 15 of this series of 
postings.


Florian Eggenberger
EMBnet Switzerland


REFERENCES
----------

Smith, Una R. (1993) A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources. Usenet 
sci.answers. Available on the Web. For a free copy via email, send the text 
"send pub/usenet/sci.answers/biology/guide/*" to the email address mail-
server at rtfm.mit.edu.

OTHER USEFUL REFERENCES MAY BE FOUND THEREIN OR ON THE WEB.



WWW INTRODUCTION        October 1994
================

PART 4: How to get to the World-Wide Web
----------------------------------------

This is the fourth part of a series of postings describing the concept of 
the World-Wide Web and guiding anyone who is interested in obtaining and 
setting up the software required to access the Web.

To access the information provided by a WWW site you need a program (called 
WWW client or browser) that allows communication with the WWW server. The 
browser may either be installed locally or on a remote computer. If you are 
directly connected to the Internet it is recommended that you install the 
client software locally. The disadvantage of accessing the Web by a 
remotely running client is the lack of full functionality and poorer 
performance compared to a locally running client. However, remotely running 
WWW clients allow you to try out what WWW looks like before installing a 
browser yourself. Sites that let you access the Web by remote login are:

IN ORDER TO AVOID UNNECESSARY NETWORK TRAFFIC, PLEASE TRY OUT BROWSERS ONLY 
IF THEY ARE CLOSE TO YOUR LOCATION.

********************
***** US SITES *****
********************

The University of Kansas:
(supported terminal types are vt100 and xterm)

1) enter the command you need to open a "telnet" session
2) connect to "ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu"
3) at the login prompt enter "kufacts"
4) use the arrow keys to select an item of interest
5) press <enter> to follow the link
6) for help press "?", enter "q" to quit

The Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
(supported terminal types are vt100 and xterm)

1) enter the command you need to open a "telnet" session
2) connect to "toad.pc.cc.cmu.edu"
3) at the password prompt press <enter>
4) at the login prompt enter "lynx"
5) use the arrow keys to select an item of interest
6) press <enter> to follow the link
7) for help press "?", enter "q" to quit

**************************
***** EUROPEAN SITES *****
**************************

The Finnish University and Research Network (FUNET):
(supported terminal types are vt100 and xterm)

1) enter the command you need to open a "telnet" session
2) connect to "info.funet.fi"
3) at the login prompt enter "www"
4) select "www" as service
5) enter your terminal type
6) select "lynx" as interface
7) use the arrow keys to select an item of interest
8) press <enter> to follow the link
9) for help press "?", enter "q" to quit

The European Centre for Particle Physics (CERN), Switzerland:

1) enter the command you need to open a "telnet" session
2) connect to "info.cern.ch"
3) enter a number to follow the corresponding link
4) enter "Help" for help, or "Quit" to quit

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland
(supported terminal types are vt100 and xterm)

1) enter the command you need to open a "telnet" session
2) connect to "ezinfo.ethz.ch"
3) login as "GAST"
4) select "OTHERS" as service
5) select "lynx" as interface
6) use the arrow keys to select an item of interest
7) press <enter> to follow the link
8) for help press "?"
9) to quit enter "q" then "EXIT" and "LOGOUT"

Both CERNS's LineMode browser and the full-screen browser Lynx are 
available as C source code and in executable form for several platforms. An 
overview of features of currently available browsers will be given in the 
next part of this series of postings.


Florian Eggenberger
EMBnet Switzerland


-- 
+------------------------------+--------------------------------+
|  F. Eggenberger, Ph.D.       |  eggenber at comp.bioz.unibas.ch  |
|  Biocomputing                |  eggenberger1 at ubaclu.unibas.ch |        
|  University of Basel         |  Fax  +41 / 61 267 20 78       | 
|  Switzerland                 |  Tel  +41 / 61 267 22 47       | 
+------------------------------+--------------------------------+




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