Re: Web conferencing

Rob Hartill (
Tue, 10 Jan 1995 03:10:38 +0100

> On Mon, 9 Jan 1995, Kurt Westh Nielsen wrote:
> > Having seen examples of integreted conferencing on some web sites, I
> > am very much interested in exploring the possibilities of
> > establishing such a feature at my local web site. The most impressive
> > example I have seen, has been Time Magazines' web site. I imagine the
> > task of implementing an electronical conferencing system involves
> > Perl scripts or other programming efforts. Does anybody know of
> > available examples on how to conduct this ???
> Time magazine implemented theirs using Hypermail, a free package written
> by Kevin Hughes at EIT -

I don't think Kevin wrote it, he converted an existing lisp (i think)
version of hypermail into C.

> <URL:>. As the author of
> another Web-based conferencing system (at hotwired -
> <URL:> - don't blame me for the
> interface!) I've become increasingly convinced that conferencing could be
> more efficient using news://host/group rather than
> http://host/cgi-bin/whatever. Comments?

I've also hacked Hypermail for use as a conferencing system.

We use it as a means for people in the physics community to make
annoucements about conferences and jobs. It works better than conventional
USENET groups since the announcements are available indefinitely, so
you can browse them whenever you like, without worrying about missing
an important annoucement because your local news is only kept for a
day or two.

Most of the web conferencing systems I've seen don't seem to have any
direction, they appear to have been written just for the sake of writing
something, rather than to serve some useful purpose. USENET does a good
job of providing a forum for anyone and everyone to communicate; if a
web conference fails to offer any advantages, then it is doomed.