Re: The Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource GuidesTim Berners-Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 93 10:55:57 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <email@example.com>
To: Lou Rosenfeld <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: The Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides
Cc: email@example.com, Jill.Foster@newcastle.ac.uk,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
[For www wizards, there is some background to the clearinghouse
at the end of the message. This is a source of hypertextable
stuff, for anyone in a linking mood...]
>Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1993 13:51:04 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Lou Rosenfeld <email@example.com>
> The Clearinghouse' mission (at present) is
>to provide subject-oriented information in the *lowest common
>denominator*, i.e., ASCII texts. Other formats (e.g., WWW) are
>now which we'd love to do. The reasons for this are as follows:
>1) Many Internet users do not have access to higher level tools,
>Gopher and WWW, due to their hardware configurations and
Yes, one would want to provide data in both forms from the
>ASCII guides ensure the widest possible access.
They can be generated from the HTML very simply:
www -n xxxx.html > xxx.txt
>2) Most of the guides are produced around the Net in ASCII format;
>just trying to collect them in one central location.
That is the crunch. One has to get the raw information in the
form easiest for the originator. Perhaps a simple task-oriented
markup could be used -- anything which could later be machine-
munged into both HTML and plain ASCII versions. You might be
interested in the UU-NNA's input form
and the subject list and coverage codes which are linked to it.
>3) We don't have a formal staff to create HTML docs or other
>right now. In fact, we don't really have a staff. New means for
>accessing the Clearinghouse will depend upon either me learning new
>formats like HTML (on my list of things to do), my students' ability
>learn and produce these documents in new formats, or the efforts of
>volunteers (ideally, someone who is reading this message! ;-) ).
That, after all, was how the Library of Congress stuff
(now "EXPO") came on line: Frans Van Hoesel
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> just noticed that the FTP
archive of the Vatican Library Renaissance Culture
exhibit just cried out for being in hypertext. Maybe
you can find your Frans van Hoesel.
> I don't know anything about the UU_NNA
>metalibrary, so a pointer would be appreciated. I know a little
>O'Reilly, but don't have a pointer at this moment and would
>someone who has it handy sending it to me so I can have a look.
All the other virtual library top nodes I know of
(including now your gopher tree) can be found by following
references from the end of our virtual library top level. See
>only way to feasibly create something that works. One problem I've
>with many subject-oriented gophers, for example, is that the
>administrators cannot keep up with the volume of resources. Perhaps
>someone reading this would consider systematically creating a
>clearinghouse of Internet how-to's and other guides? Or has some
>somewhere already done this?
There are so many (collections of)**n collections about
the internet that someone ought to make a collection of
And I must say that the aim of the web is to make an
understanding of the ins and outs of the net unnecessary:
it is the real information people should be dealing with,
not the differences between FTP and "finger".
>> Looking at Lou's current collectin, if I could make a suggestion
>> or 6, they would be, to make online access more efficient,
>> 1. The reviews be broken down into smaller sections;
>> 2. Headings and other mark-up be used for clarity;
>> 3. Direct pointers (URLs) be put in to "real" online sources;
>> 4. URLs of the "mailto:email@example.com" form be used for
>> mail addresses for example in the bitnet world
>> 5. Where listserv groups are gatewayed into usenet, URLs
>> of the form <news:bit.listserv.xxx> be used (as listed in
>> 5. The general information which is repeated under many headings
>> be reduced, using cross-references instead.
>I agree with many of these ideas, and would love to implement them,
>many of these require editing works that are someone else's
Hmmm... I suggest you ask for a limited copyright
waiver allowing you editing rights as a matter of course.
Also, you might ask for update rights in the event
that the original author does not maintain the list.
> I'd love some help in creating more detailed
>guidelines (perhaps starting with those Tim mentions above) to pass
There is a guide to hypertext style on the web which
might provide some more points. I'd like to add any futher
guidelines to it, or put in a section specifically on making
lists of resources, if you would be interested.
World-Wide Web project
Excerpts from Lou Rosenfeld's Original message:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lou Rosenfeld)
Subject: new resource for Internet guides
Date: 3 Sep 1993 19:19:13 GMT
The Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource
The University of Michigan's University Library and School
of Information and Library Studies are sponsoring a new
Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides.
The goals of the Clearinghouse are to serve as a common
location for the many subject-oriented guides now produced
by citizens of the Internet, and to increase use of these
guides by providing multiple means of Internet access to them.
Questions and comments are welcome; please contact Louis