From: Winters, Joan M.
Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2000 2:49 AM
To: Lynda F. Winslow
Subject: On WWW History at SLAC; Ideas for the Future
Lynda - Sometime recently you were asking about the history of the Web at SLAC.
I just ran into something I wrote about my work in the early Web that
includes some description of the broader efforts.
A couple of things pop to mind that aren't covered. These are Tony
Johnson's creation of the GUI MidasWWW browser before Mosaic and Louise, Tony, and George's work (among others) to get compressed Postscript files of HEP preprints available on the SLAC Web. N.B.: Tony was the first to install a SLAC "front page" named SLAC HTML (in SLACVM). That was in August 1992. An updated version of that, which was very occasionally modified by George, Bebo, and myself was the page I started from to create the first "official" SLAC Home Page of the November 1993 installation. (Or it might be more accurate to say I started from the test version of the SLAC Home Page, which I think was more frequently modified, but haven't actually checked.)
Below is the info I found. Additions are in [ ]. I deleted one titling word. (If you care, it was "Charge" when I added the link to the Style Committee's final report). Hope it's useful.
P.S. You also asked about how I would revise the SLAC central space. I looked at the foils for the talk I gave at SHARE in March 1997. From a quick check, I think what I said in the sections, "Page Layout and
Structural Components" and "Problems along the Way Resolved or Pending"
still have a lot of relevance. See:
and select foils from those sections in the left-hand column.
Background on the Support and Evolution of SLAC's World Wide Web
In December 1991, SLAC put up the first WWW server in the United States. In February 1992 I was asked to join the group of volunteers (WWW Wizards, led by Louise Addis) that was developing the Web at SLAC. First I worked on change management design. I was asked to take on SLAC Front Page design. Early in 1993 I started designing various test front pages. These evolved into a set of central pages. In November 1993, I installed these as the first "official" SLAC Home Page and related pages (about thirty in all). I was also the key author of early policies and procedures documents, such as Privacy and Confidentiality, URL and File Naming, and Installation Procedures. SLAC's work in this area was well-regarded at CERN, I've been told. I helped numerous new authors throughout the Lab get started creating clean Web spaces, pushed to form a group of Web Czars (like the current Web Support Coordinators), and migrated the center of SLAC's production Web from VM to AFS UNIX in 1994/5.
As the Web grew in comprehensiveness and importance, pressures emerged to institutionalize its support. In October 1994 the WWW Wizards evolved into the WWW Technical Committee led by Tony Johnson. In February 1995 the WWW Style Committee was formed under P.A. Moore to address issues regarding the Home and Institutional pages. A redesign effort followed that included a working prototype and user survey. I installed an iterative implementation in December 1995 that included the three SLAC-Core-Page model (with the Welcome Page replacing the Institutional Page and becoming the server default), logo and button bar graphics, and updates to about seventy pages. Kathryn Henniss and I led the design; Pat Kreitz selected key elements of the SLAC Home Page, especially of its Highlighted format. (In October 1995 Pat Kreitz had become head of the new WWW Coordinating Committee, which contained representatives from each Division. The committee's purpose was "to develop and recommend policies and standards" and to identify gaps in SLAC's Web information.)
[Then in September 1996 there was another fairly major update that
involved another Pat Kreitz ad hoc committee. The main purpose was to
incorporate new WWW policy and procedure information along with Ruth's
ideas for a WWW "jump page" at:
SLAC Announcements replaced SLAC Hot Topics on the SLAC Home Page. The
button bars may have changed look and feel; what was linked in the bottom one was changed. More details are at:
Installations (1993, 1995, & 1996)
Privacy and Confidentiality
URL and File Naming
WWW Style Committee
WWW Coordinating Committee Charge
[Now this links to the Welcome Page Committee Charge. A terse WWWCC
charge is now at http://www.slac.stanford.edu/slac/www/wwwcc.]