Re: O'Reilly's Global Navigator

Subject: Re: O'Reilly's Global Navigator
From: Ferstel John W <jwf3885 -at- USL -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1993 12:28:55 -0500

Here is some additonal information:

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Subject: First GNN Update
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GNN Progress Update

I want to update you on the progress of The Global Network Navigator.

First, the big date: We are preparing for GNN to go online on
October 1.

Right now, we are preparing instructions that will help you download
one of the World Wide Web clients you will need to access GNN. We
will be sending out these instructions by e-mail sometime next week.

We are also lining up local network providers as GNN distributors.
If your Net provider runs the GNN server on his system, you will get
better access and performance. Speed is still a critical factor in
Internet delivery, and having multiple servers available is one
approach to improve it. You can certainly help us by letting your
Internet access provider know that you'd like them to provide you
with local access to GNN.

While we are still adding a few things to GNN Magazine, and updating
the Online Whole Internet Catalog, we are spending most of our time
talking to potential advertisers. This requires explaining some basic
ideas about the Internet, the most important in my mind being that it
is a two-way communications channel. We also have to explain our idea
of content-based advertising.

Perhaps you saw the recent Technology article in the Wall Street
Journal that mentioned the Global Network Navigator. Below is a
letter from Tim O'Reilly that he wrote in response to some people's
concerns about our using advertising as a means of funding GNN. I
thought you might find it interesting, as we are very much concerned
that our subscribers understand our unique approach to advertising.

I look forward to bringing you GNN on October 1.

Dale Dougherty
Publisher, Global Network Navigator
dale -at- ora -dot- com

Is There a Right Way to Advertise on the Internet?

We've had a number of questions from people on the Internet in
response to a column in the August 27th Wall Street Journal.

The article described our new Internet information center, the Global
Network Navigator. The article was great, but the headline ("Internet
to Get Hit with Ad Clutter") raised fears in some readers' minds that
they would soon be hit with junk mail over the Internet. I wanted to
take a moment to make clear that that is very far from the truth.
People feel much more comfortable with the idea when they understand
how it really works. In fact, I had an angry call from a customer
yesterday, who started out saying he was going to boycott all our
products if we were going to be running advertising on the Internet,
and ended up asking how he could become an advertiser.

What we're doing is creating an information service, running on our
own computers or those of Internet service providers, that people can
contact to retrieve information that they want, entirely under their
own control. People who don't understand how the Internet works tend
to think only of e-mail broadcasted to all and sundry. The headline
to the article (though not the article itself) played to this
misconception. But in fact, the Internet is an interactive medium,
where people can use applications like gopher, WAIS and the World
Wide Web (WWW) to actively seek out information that they want.

The Global Network Navigator is a World Wide Web-based information
service about the Internet. It contains a news section that has
up-to-date information on new services available on the Net, plus a
magazine that contains feature articles giving in-depth background
on useful services. It also contains an online version of the catalog
portion of Ed Krol's bestselling book, "The Whole Internet User's
Guide and Catalog". What makes GNN so exciting to users is that it's
not just a magazine about the Internet, it's an easy to use interface
to it. Using a WWW client such as NCSA's Mosaic, people don't have to
type cryptic commands or long, obscure filenames; they can simply
click on a button to retrieve files or visit an Internet service.
Hypertext links in news items, articles, and catalog entries take you
not only to other parts of GNN but out to other servers on the Net.
You follow the links you're interested in, and only the articles you
want to read are actually transferred over the Net from the server to
your WWW client.

The Marketplace section works exactly the same way. We're working
with advertisers to create Resource Centers consisting of useful
information about their products. GNN readers can simply browse the
Marketplace using a WWW client, just like they do other parts of GNN.
They can also use the search function to look for particular kinds of
information...or they can follow hypertext links from sponsorship
icons associated with other parts of GNN to specific Marketplace

The point is that what information a customer retrieves is entirely
under his or her control. We firmly believe that people on the Net are
interested in solid, detailed information about commercial products.
They don't want unsolicited advertising, but they do want to be able
to retrieve information that they are looking for--and that includes
commercial information as well as free information.

The real beauty of this kind of Internet-based advertising becomes
clear in contrast to what happens in typical paper-based industry
trade publications. Someone reads an article or advertisement of
interest, and then circles a number on a "bingo card" that is sent
to the publication, and from there on to the advertiser. Some weeks
(or in some cases months) later, the customer gets an information
packet from the advertiser. The packet may or may not contain what
the person wanted.

By contrast, in GNN, the person can follow a link to information
instantaneously. What's more, an advertiser can provide far more than
a glossy brochure that leads to yet another request for still more
information. A company's GNN Marketplace Resource Center might include
a company background, detailed product literature, specifications,
technology white papers, price lists (always up-to-date), text of
reviews, software demos, names and contact information for local sales
representatives, and a host of other information that is far too
voluminous to send out in response to every casual inquiry.

People are justly skeptical of advertising because in many media, where
space is at a premium, getting attention has become more important than
actual content. People don't trust what companies are telling them.
What we are trying to establish in the GNN Marketplace is a framework
where companies can provide high quality information to their customers,
and those customers can respond right away and let companies know
whether or not the information is useful.

It's very important for those who want to commercialize the Net to
realize that there is a culture of the Internet and that to publish
or to advertise on the Internet, one has to respect that culture and
find a place to work within it. In many ways, this is like creating a
community newspaper. Advertisers and readers are part of the same

In this kind of community, advertising has to provide real value, not
just a distracting attempt to gain attention. We believe that what
we're doing with advertising in GNN is not only not "ad clutter" but
actually defines a new paradigm for Internet commercialization. Everyone
is looking for new value-added services on the Internet, and without
government subsidies, someone has to pay for them. An advertiser-
supported publication like GNN is a win-win situation for everybody.
It lets us develop a rich information resource for the Internet while at
the same time providing a non-intrusive way for advertisers to work with
this new medium.

-- Tim

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Subject: How To Access GNN
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How To Access GNN
Part One: Getting the Software

This document explains what you need to access GNN. If some of
the terms in this document are unfamiliar to you, ask your
system administrator, or send a message to listproc -at- online -dot- ora -dot- com
that contains the line:

get gnn-announce/web-info sanders-intro

In response, you will automatically receive a document written
by Tony Sanders that contains a general introduction to the
World Wide Web (WWW).

GNN is free to anyone with an Internet connection, but we ask
that you fill out a registration form. If you have not already
done so, please send mail to info -at- gnn -dot- com and you will be sent
a form automatically.

To access GNN you need three things:

1) An Internet connection
(that isn't hampered by a security firewall)

2) A World Wide Web (WWW) browser

3) A Universal Resource Locator (URL) for GNN, or a local copy
of the GNN home page

We'll deal with the first two here. The third, the GNN URL, will
be sent out to you October 1. If you already have a connection
and a WWW client, you do not need to read any further, unless
you want to consider trying one of the browsers we mention.


To use GNN, you must be connected to the Internet. If you are not
yet connected, O'Reilly & Associates publishes a book that will
help you get connected. To order "Connecting to the Internet:
An O'Reilly Buyer's Guide," by Susan Estrada, visit your local
bookstore or call 800-998-9938.

If you don't know whether you have an Internet connection already,
ask your system administrator. If you don't have an Internet
connection, and don't plan to get one :(, we are planning to offer
part of GNN, the GNN Magazine, via email. Send mail to
gnnlist -at- gnn -dot- com if you wish to be notified when the email version
is ready.


GNN is an application of the World Wide Web (WWW), developed at CERN
in Switzerland. You need a WWW browser to see GNN. We are currently
recommending twelve WWW browsers available by anonymous ftp, some of
which are still under development. If you know of others that are
in beta or later, please send information on them to gnnlist -at- gnn -dot- com
and we'll add them to our list.

Before you install one of these, make sure you don't have one on
your system already. Ask your system adminstrator or others, or
even try typing 'xmosaic' or 'lynx' and see what happens.

Most browser packages you retrieve are in the form of a compressed
file (identified by .Z, .zip, .gz, etc.). If you don't know how to
uncompress the file you end up with, many of the ftp sites have a
readme file that might help. Most packages contain a README or
INSTALL file, a Makefile that builds binaries, and files for the

Following is a brief description of various WWW browsers, with
instructions for obtaining them. We'll go into detail on the
first one--the rest are almost identical. Remember to be
considerate--ftp at night (the ftp site's time ;) ) if possible,
and never stay connected unnecessarily (for example, if you ftp
a 10K "readme" file, disconnect, read it, *then* reconnect).

If you have problems using ftp with any of these sites, you
can get an example ftp session by sending a message to
listproc -at- online -dot- ora -dot- com with this line:

get gnn-announce/getting-software abc

where abc is the name of the browser you're trying to get,
as used in this message. For more help, send email to
support -at- gnn -dot- com, or see the last section of this message.

1. Mosaic

This is the leading graphical WWW browser. It's available in versions
for UNIX; PC and Mac versions are in beta testing but have not yet
been published. Mosaic was created by Marc Adreesen at the National
Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Urbana-Champaign.

Here are instructions for obtaining Mosaic by anonymous ftp:
(Lines after '%' and 'ftp>' are commands that you type.
Comments are preceded by '*')

% ftp
* at the login prompt, enter: anonymous
* for the password, enter your email address

ftp> cd /Mosaic/xmosaic-binaries
* move to the directory where the files are

ftp> binary * (sometimes 'type binary')
* Set transfer mode to 'binary'. Everything
* except text files (such as 'README' files)
* should be transferred in binary mode. Type
* 'ascii' to reset the mode.

ftp> ls * (Show the directory. If you have limited
* space, type 'dir' to see the size of each
* file.)
* You'll see a list that includes the
* following:

xmosaic-sun.Z * (Sun 4, SunOS 4.1.x)
xmosaic-sun-lresolv.Z * (Sun 4, SunOS 4.1.x, no DNS)
xmosaic-sgi.Z * (Silicon Graphics, IRIX 4.x)
xmosaic-ibm.Z * (IBM RS/6000, AIX 3.2)
xmosaic-dec.Z * (DEC MIPS Ultrix)
xmosaic-alpha.Z * (DEC Alpha AXP, OSF/1)

ftp> get xmosaic-dec.Z
* (if you have an Ultrix machine, for instance)
* Note: this can take awhile

ftp> cd /Web/XMosaic
* (moving to the directory with the readme
* file.) You should usually get the readme
* file first, but I wanted to demonstrate
* the next command.

ftp> ascii * don't forget about the mode... :)

* type 'ls' if you don't know the name
* of the readme file.

ftp> bye * sometimes 'quit'

% * and you're back on your own machine,
* with the files.

To get a VMS version of Mosaic, ftp to
Look in /pub/www/README.XMOSAIC for directions.

If you want to do beta-testing for the PC Windows version of
Mosaic, send email to "mosaic-win -at- ncsa -dot- uiuc -dot- edu"

The beta of the Mac version is in

NCSA also has instructions for obtaining Mosaic at the following
URL (for those of you who already have a WWW browser):

2. Lynx

The leading character-only WWW browser is Lynx, created by Lou
Montulli at the University of Kansas. Lynx works on VT100's or
any terminal that can be run as a VT100 (ASCII) terminal. It is
available in several versions, including one for the IBM PC and
compatibles. To obtain Lynx, ftp to:

The releases are in /pub/lynx

You'll see a list that includes the following:

lynx2-0-10 (previous version, for the PC)
lynx2-0-11.tar.Z (current version, for the PC)

3. www

The www line-mode browser for plain (non-window) terminals was
created by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN (inventors of the WWW). It
runs on most machines: Unix, VMS, PCs and Macs. To obtain it,
ftp to:

The README file is located in /pub/www/README.txt The binaries
for various computer types are in /pub/www/bin/xyz, where xyz is
the computer type. Many of these have a file called readme.1st
that you should read. Sources are located in /pub/www/src/xyz,
where xyz is the computer type.

For detailed information on how to install the client you ftp,
you can telnet to (no login required).

4. w3browser

This tty-based browser runs on Unix and is currently in beta.
The browser was written by Tom Fine in Perl. To get the whole
package, ftp to

The package is /pub/w3browser/w3browser-0.1.shar

5. VMS

The VMS browser is an alpha version, created by Dudu Rashty at
the University of Jerusalem. To get it, ftp to

The directions are in /www/vms_client/readme

6. Emacs

A version of the WWW line mode browser for Emacs. It was created
by William Perry. To get it, do an anonymous ftp to

Look in /pub/elisp/w3/README for directions.

7. MacWeb

MacWeb is a Mac browser created by Robert Cailliau. To get it,
ftp to

Directions are in /pub/www/bin/mac/README_V1.03

8. Cello

Cello is a GUI browser for PCs with MS-DOS and Windows. Created
by Tom Bruce at Cornell Law School, Cello is currently in beta.
To get it, do an anonymous ftp to

Directions are in /pub/LII/Cello/readme.1st

9. Viola

The ViolaWWW browser is an XWindows browser currently under
development. Created by Pei Wei of the University of California
at Berkeley, Viola can display formated text, bitmaps, inlined
icons, tables, and input forms. We will post an announcement to
the GNN mailing list when Viola is ready for public distribution.

To get the source version of Viola, ftp to:

The file is /pub/www/src/viola/920730.tar.Z

10. NeXTStep

This browser for NeXT machines was created by Tim-Berners-Lee.
This GUI browser has a Mosaic-like interface. To get it, ftp to

Directions are in /pub/www/bin/next/README

11. tkWWW

This browser is tcl/tk based. To obtain it, ftp to

The files are in /contrib/tkWWW-*

12. MidasWWW

This requires both Motif and UIL utilities. It is available
from: in /pub/www/src/midaswww-1.0.tar.Z

and from: in


- For general information about the World Wide Web, you can
get an introduction written by Tony Sanders by sending a
message to listproc -at- online -dot- ora -dot- com with the following

get gnn-announce/web-info sanders-intro

- CERN maintains information on WWW browsers. From a WWW client,
use this URL:

From a character-mode terminal, telnet to
(you'll actually be using the www line-mode browser)

- For help on Xmosaic, use this URL:

This WWW information is also available through the Manuals menu
in the Xmosaic frame, if you have Xmosaic running.

- The newsgroup comp.infosystems.www is a general discussion
of Web issues. Read the FAQ before asking lots of questions.

----- End Included Message -----

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