Safe at Home: An Anatomy of the World Wide Web Home Page

By Cohen, Lance | Business Communication Quarterly, September 1995 | Go to article overview
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Safe at Home: An Anatomy of the World Wide Web Home Page


Cohen, Lance, Business Communication Quarterly


Many instructors today with access to the World Wide Web are helping students create a presence on the Web as part of their business communication courses. A home page on The World Wide Web is simply the first page found when a particular URL (Uniform Resource Locator), or address, is accessed on the Web. The URL of the Einet/galaxy site is http://galaxy.einet.net.html.

HTTP, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, provides a common set of rules by which documents can be exchanged among different kinds of sources. With the advent of Web navigator software such as Netscape, NCSA Mosaic, or Einet MacWeb, these somewhat awkward strings can be accessed more easily by using hotlists or bookmarks.

What should students and instructors find in a home page? Let us analyze some examples. The home pages for Einet/Galaxy and NCSA Mosaic, two prominent Internet sites, provide the following:

* Welcome

* Copyright Information

* Release Information

* Flavors

* Starting Points

* Special Notices

* Comments and Problems

* Links

Welcome

Welcome to MacWeb!

Welcome to Einet MacWeb, your Macintosh (tm) vehicle for browsing the World Wide Web and navigating the Einet Galaxy.

The introductory welcome gives browsers a position on the Web and identifies the site.

Copyright/Release Information

Einet MacWeb was developed at the Microelectronics and

Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) and is provided

under an explicit Copyright notice and usage permission

set forth in the accompanying License.

In these sections browsers are apprised of the legal status enjoyed by the Web site. Einet also provides a description of its Web Navigator and previews forthcoming software releases.

Flavors

NCSA Mosaic comes in three applications. For information on each, follow the appropriate hyperlink:

* NCSA Mosaic for the X Window System

* NCSA Mosaic for the Apple Macintosh

* NCSA Mosaic for Microsoft Windows

In this section browsers learn about the various applications of the one basic program described in the NCSA Mosaic site. The word "flavor" is computer jargon for "style" or "type" and suggests an earthy, ice cream bar instead of a sterile promontory in cyberspace.

Starting Points

The following resources are available to help introduce you to cyberspace and keep track of its growth:

* What's New with NCSA Mosaic and the Internet

* Internet Resources Meta-Index at NCSA

* Suggested Starting Points for Internet Exploration

* The NCSA Mosaic Demo Document

* An index to Mosaic document and tutorials

This section is reminiscent of the main directory of a gopher server. Starting points include a description of the latest additions to the site, indexes of Internet resources, demonstration documents, and tutorials. Within this section lies a world of information encompassed in self-teaching programs. With such self-teaching programs, the World Wide Web is establishing itself as a major adjunct of higher education. Students and instructors can join in a genuine learning process to make education more a partnership and less a top-down, command-and-control communication system. The tutorials, demos, and indexes can be used in linked sites to give students and instructors greater autonomy in the educational process.

Special Notices

* NCSA has a NEW FTP Server

* How to change your home page

In this area browsers find what new information is emphasized or isolated for easier access and more immediate recognition. Instead of focusing on external sites or internal teaching mechanisms, these notices help browsers manage their navigation or care for their own sites.

Comments and Problems

If you have problems or comments concerning NCSA Mosaic, please send e-mail to one of the following addresses:

* mosaic-x@ncsa.

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Safe at Home: An Anatomy of the World Wide Web Home Page
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