By Mark Wilcox,
Campus Web Administrator
Are We There Yet?
Every family car trip has at least one occurrence of
this phrase "Are We There Yet?". It also seems
to be a fitting question for computers and the Internet.
Of course the answer is "No". We're not
there yet. In fact I don't even think we know where we
are really going. For all we know, we have already been
"there" and left.
1998 saw some leaps forward on the Web and I think
1999 will continue along the same lines, unless the Year2000 bug
soaks up every available computing resource to fix it.
The following improvements need to be made for things
on the Internet to progress smoothly:
- Improve Connectivity -- We need to improve
the speeds at which people connect to the
Internet from home. Once this is accomplished, we
can truly offer interactive services including 2
- Improve Reliability -- Too often we put up
with computers that crash on us at least once or
twice a day. We spend too much money to buy these
things and spend way too much time doing
work-arounds to make up for short-sightedness and
- Improve Usability -- Just because your
computer has a GUI interface doesn't mean it's
easier to use. Sometimes it's just the opposite.
On the Web it's even worse because there is no
consistency. You may not really care for the Mac
or Win95 GUI, but at least they are consistent.
The Web will have to develop a consistent
interface for it really to become the dominant
interface to computing for the future.
- Improve Privacy and Security -- Just about
any site that you make purchases on requires you
to send some information about yourself. Many
sites also require this for personalization. Who
has control over this information and who can see
it? These questions need to be answered before we
allow even more rapid commercialization.
Until next time.