Interactive Internet Training Workshop Web Archives


Posted by: Patrick Douglas Crispen
Date Mailed: Tuesday, November 15th 1994 06:30 AM


     "I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts."
      -- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Back to work.

Yesterday I told you that "URLs" is pronounced "earls." In fact, a lot
of people still use the initials and call them "U-R-Ls." I personally
prefer calling them "earls" because "earls" rhymes with "squirrels,"
but the choice of what you call them is completely up to you :)

Let's take a look at how a sample WWW browser works. There are three
basic types of WWW browsers available: line-mode browsers, full screen
browsers (like Lynx), and graphical browsers (like Mosaic).

Line-mode browsers are about as user un-friendly as you can get.
This is hard to describe, but line-mode browsers work a little
like FTP inasmuch as you type a command, get some information
on your screen, type a new command, get some more information, and
so on ...

A full screen browser puts a menu on your screen that looks a little like
the Gopher menus that we saw last week. You move the cursor up and down
the screen, select a highlighted link, press enter or return, and you
are automatically taken to a new document or file (your fill screen
browser may work differently than this, though).

Graphical browsers allow you to access not only text, but also pictures
and sound (a.k.a. "hypermedia"). In fact, these pictures can be put in Web
documents (a.k.a. Web pages), making that Web page look less like a
Gopher menu and more like a page from a color magazine! Most graphical
browsers use a mouse, and you point-and-click on a highlighted link to
access it.

The URL for the sample Web page that we are going to use today is

and I am going to be using the UF WWW Browser for CMS to access this
page. I'll talk a little more about how you can access a WWW browser
in a few minutes, but I first want to show you what a basic Web page
looks like.

The UF WWW Browser for CMS is the browser that my service provider
uses, and it is a full screen browser. The browser that you use -- if
you can even access a WWW browser -- will probably look and work a
little differently than what you will see in this example.

Finally, in real life my browser highlights the links by making them
a different color than the rest of the text. There is no way for me to
use different colors in this letter, so I have highlighted the links
in this example by surrounding them with a (* *).

Just like I can access an item in a Gopher menu by pointing at it and
selecting it, I can access a WWW link by pointing at it and selecting

Enough talk. Time for the example.

I access my provider's WWW browser, and the following appears on my

     Albert 1.2.0 (UF WWW Browser for CMS)    Screen 1 of 2 (more screens)
     Title=UA1VM WWW Home Page
             Welcome to The University of Alabama's CMS WWW Server

     This CMS server is still under development. Any (*comments*)
     or (*suggestions*) will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

     Gopher Sites:
        - (*UA1VM CMS Gopher Server*)
        - (*UA1IX AIX/370 Gopher Server*)
        - (*RISC/6000 Gopher Server*)
        - (*RICEVM1 CMS Gopher Server*)
     Telnet Sessions:
        - (*UA1VM.UA.EDU*)
        - (*UA1IX.UA.EDU - Line Mode*)
        - (*RISC.UA.EDU - Line Mode*)
     WWW Sites:
        - The University of Alabama Libraries (*WWW*)
        - The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (*WWW*)
        - The Alabama Supercomputer Network (*WWW*)
        - NASA Information Services via (*WWW*)
        - (*Intertext Magazine*) - Electronic Fictional Magazine at The
          University of Michigan
        - (*Wiretap*) - a gopher to Cupertino, California
        - (*NNR*) - UA1VM's Network News Reader
     Other Neat Stuff:
        - The University of Alabama Library's On-Line (*Card Catalog*)
        - a (*map*) of The University of Alabama campus
        ... snip snip snip ...


I can select any of these links -- the words set apart from the rest
of the text with a (* *) -- and be transported to that particular link.
From this one Web page, I can access Gopher, telnet, and even other
Web pages! (I can also access FTP, although this page does not show

We've seen a lot of Gopher and telnet recently. Let's take a look at
another Web page. Since I used to be a Simulations Director at the
United States Space Camp (did I forget to tell you that?), I'm going
to move my cursor down to the (*WWW*) link next to "NASA Information
Services", press enter, and see what happens:

     Albert 1.2.0 (UF WWW Browser for CMS)    Screen 1 of 2 (more screens)
     Title=NASA Information Services via World Wide Web
     National Aeronautics and Space Administration

     NASA Logo

     (*World Wide Web (WWW) information services*)

     (*Hot Topics*)  NASA news and subjects of public interest
     (*NASA Strategic Plan*)
     (*NASA Strategies, Policies, and Public Affairs*)
     (*NASA Online Educational Resources*)
     (*NASA Information Sources by Subject*)
     ... snip snip snip ...

This is certainly more interesting than SURAnet! ;)

From this Web page I can access OTHER Web pages, and from those Web pages
I can access even MORE Web pages, and so on ...

Yesterday I told you that it is possible for you to connect directly
to a specific Internet resource so long as you know the resource's
URL. *HOW* you do that depends on the browser that you use.

For the line-mode browser at CERN, for example, the command to connect
to a particular URL is

          GO <URL>

replacing <URL> with the URL of the Internet resource that you want
to access. In Lynx, you just select the "GO" link on the browser's
start-up page; in most graphical browsers (like Mosaic), there is
usually an "Open URL" option in one of the menus. (1)

Before you can do this, however, you have to first access the Web.
There are three ways that you can do this:

     1. Through a browser stored on your local Internet service provider's
        machine. Ask your provider if your site has a Web browser, and how
        you can access it.

     2. Through a browser stored on your own machine. Until recently,
        you had to have a SLIP or PPP connection to do this. Some
        providers -- providers who FLOODED my mailbox when I did
        not talk about the special Level 2.0002746278546723 access
        that they offer -- now allow you to store a Web browser on
        your own machine even though you only have Level 2 access.

        If you do not have a SLIP or PPP connection, contact your
        provider BEFORE you store a Web reader on your own computer
        and double-check that your provider will support the browser.
        *MOST* service providers can NOT support a Web browser unless
        you have a SLIP or PPP connection.

     3. Through a telnet connection to a publicly-accessible Web

If you have a SLIP or a PPP connection, the WWW FAQ that I have stored on
the University of Alabama's LISTSERV file server (WWW FAQ1) has a list
of FTP sites where you can get specific Web browsers.

(Do me a favor ... re-read that last sentence. Did you EVER think you
would understand a sentence like that? Isn't this workshop COOL?!!)

If you do not have access to a Web browser through your site, you may
still be able to access a Web browser through telnet. The following are
a couple of the public Web sites: (1)

     telnet address            comments
     --------------            -----------------------              No password is required. This is in
                               Switzerland, so U.S. users might be
                               better off using a closer browser.          The "Lynx" full screen browser, which
                               requires a vt100 terminal. Login as www.
                               Does not allow users to "go" to arbitrary
                               URLs.              Login as www. A full-screen browser at
                               the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

     sun.uakom.cs              Slovakia. Has a slow link, so only use
                               from nearby.             Login as www. Offers several browsers,
                               including Lynx (goto option disabled
                               there too).             Hungary. Has a slow link, so use from
                               nearby. Login as www.

Once you are on the Web, it is possible for you to do keyword searches
(much like the Veronica searches we did last week) using one of the
Web's many search engines. One of the best Web search engines is the
WebCrawler. The WebCrawler's URL is

and the WebCrawler searches for documents whose title *AND CONTENT*
match your keyword.

Another Web search engine you probably will want to check out is
the World Wide Web Worm. The Worm's URL is

The Worm is not at thorough as the WebCrawler, but it is still a
pretty competent search engine.

Both of these search engines provide really good on-line help and instructions.

One last thing, and I am though for today. Please remember:

     - The "Web" is the collection of all of the files and information
       that can be accessed by a Web browser.

     - Mosaic and Lynx and just BROWSERS that allow you to access the


     (1)  WWW FAQ Part 1 - August 94, available from the University
          of Alabama's LISTSERV file server (GET WWW FAQ1 F=MAIL).



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