Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Computer Users Begin to Explore `World Wide Web'

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Computer Users Begin to Explore `World Wide Web'

Article excerpt

FEW people really liked the "information superhighway." The metaphor was wrong. It spawned too many cliches. The term hung around only because no one could come up with a better one.

Now, we have a replacement. It's called the "World Wide Web."

The Web already exists. It's the graphical part of the Internet. That means you can point or click with your mouse to get to information instead of typing in obscure commands. It's like moving from DOS to Windows or the Macintosh operating system.

The Web, in other words, is the future of the Internet.

For the past two weeks, I've been browsing the Web with the Prodigy on-line service. It is simple to log on. The commands are straightforward. In no time, you're moving from Web site to Web site, merely by clicking on the blue-coded text.

I visited an on-line art gallery, played a couple of word games, looked up a document from the Internal Revenue Service, and downloaded a huge State Department report that the editors couldn't get in paper form.

This is just the beginning. Companies and information providers will hang out their shingles on the Web. New kinds of publishers will come to the fore. It will be tremendously exciting and a little sad, like turning a quaint old neighborhood into a strip of new shops, the likes of which we've never seen before.

Internet purists will rail against this, but I'm afraid the die is cast. The Internet will be commercialized, largely through the Web. Use of the Web is set to explode this year.

If you're going to visit the Web, it helps to know the lingo. Prodigy's blue-coded text is actually a link that can log you onto another site in the Web. (That's why it's called a web. Each spot has links to many other spots.) To see all this in action, you need a piece of software called a Web browser. …

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