Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 6, no. 12, December 1995

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  -

Contributors:Campbell Crabtree, John Ober, Margaret Phillips, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

[ Electronic Publishing ] [ Networks and Networking ] [ Optical Disc ] [ General ]

Electronic Publishing

Bank, David. "The Java Saga" WIRED 3.12 (December 1995): 166-169, 238-246. -- A fairly detailed description of the five year development of Sun Microsystem's object-oriented programming language, Java. Growing out of a project to build a 'simple computer for normal people' to control everyday appliances, Java, originally known as Oak, is now poised to become the "DOS of the Internet." After unsuccessful bids for interactive TV and CD-ROM development deals in 1993, Java seems to have found its niche in the Internet. Java is platform-independent and secure, enabling a distributed computing environment that Sun hopes can challenge the software monopoly currently held by Microsoft. Sun is giving away Java and the HotJava browser and licensing it to huge players like Netscape hoping to make Java the standard before competing technologies (most notably, Microsoft's Blackbird) arrive on the scene. [Note: On Dec. 7, Microsoft announced its intent to license Java] -- CJC

Stowe, David W. "Just Do It: How to Beat the Copyright Racket" Lingua Franca 6(9) (November/December 1995):32-42. -- If one can call an article on copyright "entertaining" then it is an adjective that I will apply to this one. Stowe's irreverent writing style and copyright permission anecdotes make this an engaging as well as informative read. But if you are looking for permission to put up electronic copies of articles, don't look here for it. He's talking about scholars quoting (reasonably, not wholesale) from published works in their own academic publications. -- RT

Networks and Networking

Atkins, Robert. "The Art World & I Go Online" Art in America 83(12) December 1995: 58-65, 109. -- The author offers a guide to international art resources in digital media. The guide is also an analysis of different media employed to deliver art information (or in some cases native digital art itself), as well as evaluation of content. Many specific sites and projects are mentioned to allow follow up on the reading with the reader's own tour through the cyber galleries of cultural heritage information. -- RR

Cortese, Amy. "The Software Revolution" Business Week (December 4, 1995):78-90. -- If this cover story is to be believed, the future of software will be program components delivered on demand to stripped-down PCs connected to the Internet. The technologies that are promising this future include Sun Microsystem's Java computer language and Netscape's Navigator Web client. Those who stand to win in this scenario include small developers and software houses who are unable to break the hold that Microsoft has on the market. Those presumed to lose big include Microsoft, which has any number of individuals and smaller corporations ecstatic over Java's possibilities. No matter what happens to Java, it seems apparent that there is a sea change toward a different software paradigm -- one that the industry has been moving toward with the development of such things as OpenDoc (Apple sponsored) and OLE (Microsoft). But the Internet may be poised to deliver that paradigm (applet by applet) in a manner unpredicted by most and feared by some. -- RT

Courtois, Martin P., William M. Baer, and Marcella Stark, "Cool Tools for Searching the Web" ONLINE 19(6) (November/ December 1995):15-32. -- One of the most difficult choices facing a user of the World Wide Web is which search tool to use from among the couple dozen that are available. Although hampered by the long publishing cycle of print publications (the article lacks information on Inktomi and Excite, both recently released search tools), this is an excellent and thorough review of seven Web search tools. Besides the handy chart of features, the authors provide some excellent sidebars (including one on sites that offer "one-stop" searching of multiple tools) in addition to the descriptive text. Anyone wanting to know more about the different Web search options would do well to sit down with this article and their favorite Web client. The URLs alone are well worth tracking down this article. -- RT

Optical Disc Technology

Beiser, Karl. "Getting From There to Here: Remote Access in the Internet Era" ONLINE 19(6)(November/December 1995): 105-108. -- Speaking from personal experience as the coordinator of a statewide CD-ROM union catalog project, Beiser outlines various problems and strategies related to providing remote access to DOS CD-ROM products over a TCP/IP wide area network connection. Among the options considered: EA/2+OS/2, TSX-BBS, Linux with DOS, UNIX+BBS, Major BBS, and BBSnet. -- TR

Notess, Greg R. "Using CD-ROMs with the Internet" ONLINE 19(6) (November/December 1995):40-44 ( -- Notess explores two ways CD-ROM can be used in conjunction with the Internet for information prospecting: 1) a CD-ROM can accompany a book with any in-text URLs, and 2) a CD-ROM can be used to store a major Internet index and search engine. In regard to the former, readers have the best of both worlds. They can "curl up in their favorite chair to read about interesting sites on the Internet, but when it is time to get on the Net, they can pop the CD-ROM in its drive and jump easily to the actual sites described in book." The most popular Internet index and search engine on CD-ROM is the SuperHighway Access CyberSearch CD-ROM which combines the small Lycos database of Internet resources and Frontier's SuperHighway Access Web browser. The upshot of the CD-ROM over the online version is there are no lines, no wait or unexpected network crashes. Of course the major drawback to both of these innovative online/CD-ROM hybrids is update frequency. Unless they are updated regularly, the information fast becomes obsolete, rendering the discs useless. -- TR


"Constant Craving" The Economist (November 11, 1995): 81-82, 94. -- This article, in the Science and Technology section, addresses recent research in mass storage and long-term storage of information. Especially with digital information, formats and strategies for long-term information storage & preservation of substantive amounts of data plague information specialists. There are many ways to tackle the problem: talk about mechanisms for refreshing data periodically, software based solutions such as SGML for certain information formats, and hardware storage solutions that are stable. This article covers the latter, with formats from multi-layered information in semi-transparent cubes read by laser, to micro-etched metal which does not even require a computer or software, just a powerful magnifier. -- RR

Current Cites 6(12) (December 1995) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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