FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Initial SIG-Web meeting (held 10/7/93)

Christopher J. McRae (
Mon, 18 Oct 1993 12:36:15 PDT


FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Initial SIG-Web meeting (held 10/7/93)

I'm very pleased to report that the first SIG-Web meeting was a definite
success! We had about 70 people show up from many different sorts of
institutions from all over the Bay Area and beyond; I believe most of the
people found on the "List of Attendees" actually showed up. That means we
had participants from Industry, Government (including local, state, and
federal levels), Education (including high school, college, and university
levels), and also from the Public Service sector.

I failed to post the original SIG-Web announcment to the gopher list. I
thought I had, but apparently I screwed up. My apologies to those on that
list who would have come, but didn't know about it. Thanks to Mitra for
pointing out the omission.

- The SIG-Web home page is at

- A text version of the original announcement is at

- The list of attendees is at
- My notes are at
- A recording of the meeting will be available in sometime soon; we'll let you
know when we get it installed.

Here is a brief outline of the meeting -

2:00 PM -- Meeting Begins
- Welcome
- SIG-Web is a Special Interest Group devoted to distributed information
systems and related standards. This includes, but is not necessarily
limited to WorldWideWeb, WAIS and Gopher, as well as the Z39.50, HyTime,
and SGML standards.
- Announcements
- Thank you WAIS, Inc. and O'Reilly & Associates for generously donating
$100 per meeting, as well as for providing moral support to the SIG-Web
- Who's who (or who's here)
- We are a rather diverse group in many respects. We have people here
from the computer and telecommunications industries, from university
libraries and other academic research institutions, from the education
community, publishers, historians-and-museum-curators, and from the
state government. There are representatives here from eight University
of California institutions, as well as from Stanford University, San
Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, and even
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In addition, we have members of the San
Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco Public Library the California
Academy of Sciences, California Historical Society, the American
Astronomical Society and from NASA's Ames Research Center. Pacific
Bell, Xerox PARC, the Santa Cruz Operation, Silicon Graphics, Amdahl,
Lockheed, and Netcom are among the *high-tech* companies with us today.
The publishing industry is represented by O'Reilly & Associates, and
also by John Wiley & Sons.
- SIG-Web: how and why
- We are all here because we share an interest in information and
communication, even though we may each tend to focus on different
aspects of the information production and delivery process.
- Hopefully, this SIG will be able to serve the needs and interests of
both the software developers and the content providers among us, and
thereby ultimately serve the interests of the entire community.
- One of the goals of this SIG is to inform and educate. With support
from all of you, we will be working to make all of these technologies
more accessible to novice and non-technical users.
- More later
- Brief description of Gopher, WWW, WAIS and underlying technologies
- See <> for
full text.
- Terry Allen's SGML talk
- Terry Allen is the Editor of O'Reilly & Associates Digital Media Group
- SGML references
- The SGML Handbook, by Charles F. Goldfarb
- The definitive reference, but not quite as readable
- Practical SGML, by Eric van Herwijnen
- Best of the bunch, perhaps (but watch out for the cover!)
- SGML, An Author's Guide, by Martin Bryan
- Well written, but primarily intended for authors
- Description of SGML and how it is being used at various places,
including O'Reilly & Associates.
- Terry's presentation was followed by a lively and rather interesting
- See the audio recording for more details. (not available yet)
- Break (more discussion)
- About the CKM
- The Center for Knowledge Management, or CKM, is a branch of the UCSF
Medical Library. Our mission is to boldly go where no librarian, or
computer scientist for that matter, has gone before. We are focused on
developing state-of-the-art academic information systems, specifically
with respect to the needs of the Health-Care research community.
- In the course of fulfilling this mission, the library will be
transformed from a static repository of published materials to an online
source of information-related expertise and services. We see the
library as the campus' gateway to the internet's universe of online
- Classes are taught through the Library's Interactive Learning Center,
which maintains a lab of computers and audio-visual equipment.
- As part of our commitment to becoming a nexus of information-
processing expertise for the campus community, the library is building
what we call an "Informatics Federation" by providing space and support
services to the Laboratory for Radiological Imaging and to people from
the Computer Graphics Lab.
- The CKM is composed of two groups. The Computer and Communication
Services group is primarily dedicated to providing support services for
the library and campus information systems. The other half of the CKM
is the Innovative Software and Systems Group, which is focused on
developing software systems for Knowledge Management such as the
- Michael Doyle is the Director of the CKM.
- Staff
- David Martin is Asst. Dir. of CKM in charge of the ISSG.
- In addition to David, the ISSG is Chris McRae, Marc Salomon,
and Cheong Ang.
- Marc is, among other things, our WAIS and Postgres expert.
- Cheong is working mostly on computer graphics, visualization,
and distributed processing.
- Chris knows a little bit about everything, but not much about
anything; lately, he spends a lot of time answering email.
- Projects
- Added support for TIFF images and postscript printing to
Xmosaic, a WorldWideWeb client.
- Worked on image decoding, WAIS searching, and access control
for Plexus, a WorldWideWeb server.
- RedSage
- Delivers an online collection of Springer-Verlag medical
journals, complete with full-text searching and automatic
notification on the arrival of new issues which match a
user's specified interests.
- For more information, see <>
- Visible Embryo
- An effort to electronically preserve a medically valuable
collection of hundreds of human embryos.
- Please see <>
- About the CKM and SIG-Web
- The Center for Knowledge Management is commited to supporting SIG-Web.
- We are maintaining the sig-web mailing list, and a WorldWideWeb/FTP
server with related information.
- We intend to build up an archive of related software, papers,
newsgroups, and mailing lists. We are investigating automatically
waisindexing those archives and converting them to HTML hypertext.
- We will be building a biblography of books and papers of interest to
the SIG-Web community.
- We will be teaching various internet-related courses through the
Interactive Learning Center. Priority for these classes would go first
to UCSF people, and then to SIG-Webbers.
- We're investigating the possibility of using our staff of professional
librarians to formally catalogue network resources.
- We will be able to provide limited support to new sites which need
some help in getting started.
- We may be able to provide hardware resources to information providers
who do not yet have network connectivity or who would otherwise be
unable to publish their material.
- We will help coordinate a volunteer-based mentorship program through
which experienced people help set-up and educate new users.
- We will be continuing to develop documentation and software tools
for online publishing, and continue to make those resources available
via FTP and the Web.
- We will help coordinate a volunteer effort to get experts talking to
those in need of help.
- Other Projects
- San Francisco Freenet (community network)
- a network which available free of charge all members of the
- Now forming
- For more information contact Professor Gerald Eisman, who is
Chair of the Computer Science department at San Francisco State
University (
- Richmond High School (Getting them networked)
- Currently on the internet as
- Part of a larger project called the Regional Occupational Program,
or ROP, which includes networking the entire school district there
in Richmond, CA.
- ROP is the brainchild of Les Radke, who has really done most of
the work. His email address is
- The wires are in place, and a good deal of equipment is available.
The internet feed has been live for the last few weeks and we've
been using it.
- We need more money, more equipment, and especially volunteers who
have some technical expertise and who would be willing to act as an
email mentor to a high school student learning about the technology.
- Note that the primary focus of ROP is to give the students an
opportunity to learn skills which will make them competitive in
seeking the best jobs available.
- SIG-Web organization/administrivia
- Chris McRae of UCSF-CKM was nominated/elected President.
- Marc Salomon of UCSF-CKM was nominated acting V.P.
- Robert Hartman of Informix graciously volunteered to act as
- Next meeting: 11/19/93, 2-5 PM
- At Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, courtesy of Larry Masinter.
- Additional information coming soon.
- Future Meetings
- No specific dates yet, working...
- WAIS, Inc. will host our December meeting. Brewster Kahle will
be the speaker. More info when it's available.
- In addition, the following organizations have committed to hosting
a SIG-Web meeting (but not necessarily in this order)
- Silicon Valley Public Access Link
- Pacific Bell
- Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
- UC Office of the President/UC Berkeley
- If you would like to host a meeting or have any other
administrative comments/suggestions/questions, please send email

Christopher McRae mail:
UCSF Center for Knowledge Management at&t: 415/476-3577
530 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0840 fax: 415/476-4653
San Francisco, California 94143