Campus Wide Info Systems

Neal Holtz (
Tue, 13 Apr 93 15:52:17 EDT

Our university is about to start installing some sort of a CWIS. It will
almost surely be using existing software, with little new being developed
here. The powers that be think it best to give the users a menu-based
system such as gopher or freenet.

I am arguing for a hypertext approach. I know that because of all
the gateways and compatibilities that exist, almost any information
provider is accessible from almost any user interface. Still, the hypertext
concept is a style of user interface that is usable with the lowest technology
(terminals on 2400 baud lines) but extends far further on better technology.
I'm not sure that my obviously wise [:-)] arguments are having enough effect.

If anyone has been through similar exercises and has some winning arguments,
and doesn't mind taking a few minutes to share them, I would be eternally
grateful. My arguments for are:
1. There is as much software available for that as any other approach
(the web and/or lynx, for example).
2. Other kinds of providers (WAIS, gopher, etc.) are still usable.
3. The user interface with VT100 terminal emulators and 2400 baud
lines are just as good.
4. They give you a much richer system with only a very slightly
more complex user interface.
5. The user interface is MUCH better when you can move to higher
transfer rates and more local power.
6. They will change to a hypertext concept in 3 or 4 years
anyway. Might just as well start that way.

Prof. Neal Holtz,  Dept. of Civil Eng.,  Carleton University,  Ottawa,  Canada
Internet:  Ph: (613)788-2600x5797 Fax: (613)788-3951