SLAC Introduction to WWW

22 Dec 1995

SLAC Welcome Highlighted Home Detailed Home What's New Search Phonebook

o System Change: On the Migration to the New SLAC Page Design

Page Contents

What's the World Wide Web (WWW)?

The World Wide Web is a globally distributed software application that provides access to a wide range of information at SLAC and elsewhere around the earth. World Wide Web is also known as WWW, W3, or the Web.

Some Web information is presented as hypertext. With it you may not only read a screen from beginning to end, but also jump to related information from highlighted text like this if you select it with your mouse (if you're using a GUI interface) or enter the attached number ( if you're using a line-mode interface). When you come to the end of a WWW page, move the scroll bar down (GUI) or press the "enter", or sometimes the "return", key (line-mode) to get to the next page.

WWW provides access to many information sources other than hypertext screens. You may directly query data bases like SPIRES and Oracle, view USENET news items and plain text files, explore FTP, Gopher, and other network information systems, look at images and movies, listen to speeches, and invoke commands--as these sources have been made accessible to WWW. Material from remote locations is retrieved over the Internet and may actually reside almost anywhere in the world. The point of origin is often not directly communicated to you.

WWW is a highly distributed, client-server application. You use a client called a "browser" (like Mosaic) to see WWW information. Several browsers are available at SLAC, which support GUI or line-mode style for various platforms including Macintosh, PC, UNIX, and VMS.

N.B.: World Wide Web information is particularly dynamic. Over time links may move around on a page, migrate to others, or be removed entirely as more appropriate locations are found, links become obsolete, or they are superceded by improved ones.

SLAC Core Pages

To learn about SLAC, the institution, take a look at the SLAC Welcome Page. This "public page" provides an introduction to the laboratory, its activities, and sponsorship. The material is designed for guests, visitors, and those new to the institution. The page is the default when you enter the URL,

For a detailed summary of the World Wide Web from SLAC, peruse the SLAC Home Page. It is designed to provide diverse information for the various needs of active members of the SLAC community, wherever they are in the world.

There are actually two forms of the SLAC Home Page, a Highlighted one and a Detailed one, because people have different styles of work. All the information on the "SLAC Home Page: Detailed" appears on the "SLAC Home Page:Highlighted" or on one of its major Secondary Pages like "SLAC Research." To investigate the central SLAC Web and the pages linked to it, start out at either of the following Home Pages:

These three pages, the Welcome and the two Home Pages, comprise the SLAC Core Pages.

For background on the reasoning that led to this structure, see "A Model for the SLAC Laboratory Core Pages" in the WWW Style Committee's Report. (Note that the Welcome, Highlighted, and Detailed pages were called the Institutional, Sparse, and Dense pages there.)

In addition, there may be a Test version of the Detailed SLAC Home Page.

You may change your default page from the Welcome Page to either of the Home Pages or another of your choice. Some general instructions are given in " Changing Your Browser's Home Page Default."

Standard Formatting Elements

SLAC has developed a family of graphic institutional identifiers and top and bottom button bars that serve to identify quickly most of its central Web pages, among others.

SLAC Graphic Institutional Identifier

Central SLAC pages are usually marked with the SLAC graphic institutional identifier, a "colliding particles" image. It comes in three sizes. The biggest is used only to identify the SLAC Welcome Page. The medium one is used only to identify the two forms of the SLAC Home Page, Highlighted and Detailed. The smallest is used to identify other central pages and may also be used by various groups and individuals when they want to make the SLAC institutional association clear at a glance. The design has been approved by the SLAC Institutional Page Committee and the Associate Directors' Committee on Computing.

SLAC Button Bars

Notice the standard top and bottom "button bars" on most pages near the center of the SLAC Web. These are to provide direct access to popular sources of SLAC information from numerous other pages. The top button bar is generally addressed to the general user; the bottom emphasizes Web information. Major groups like SLD are likely to have their own button bars containing links of particular interest to themselves.

See also the WWW Style Committee's Report, which treated these and other recommended page elements.

Other Introductory Information

Out of the plethora of introductory World Wide Web documents these days, here are a few pointers to help you get started.

On the Web Itself

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with answers about WWW. Or check out the original, small list by Tim Berners-Lee.
SLAC introductory, annotated bibliography on the World Wide Web.
Mann's Intro
An introduction to the Web and surfing it with Mosaic by Laurie D. T. Mann. An earlier version was published in CMU's Cursor.

On Exploring the Web

Getting Started
A collection of information to help members of the SLAC community get started working at the Lab or in a new area.
A popular, hierarchical index of the Internet you may search or browse. See also its quick tips on usage.

For more information about the Web at SLAC, see WWW Support. A good place to check for more introductory information is your local bookstore or the SLAC Library. Here's a sample of its current Web holdings.

WWW Support WWW Authoring Test Home Stanford