Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

3.24. Why do we need navigators and front ends for the Internet?

The Internet is a continually growing and changing universe of resources: files that can be read and retrieved, computer programs that can be run, databases that can be queried, and so on.

Back when the Net was smaller and a given user could easily know everyone in his or her field, as well as every relevant site and resource, navigation wasn't as much an issue. Also, users were more likely to be computer-savvy (able to use UNIX, VMS, and other non-user-friendly interfaces). Plus, the percentage of new users was small enough that their learning curve and questions weren't a significant burden to the rest of the community. Today, almost none of this is true.

One last thought: As of early 1994, these Internet navigators and front ends helped ameliorate many of the immediate, obvious, and relatively easy aspects of navigating and using the Internet, but the real problems--the ones that make the Internet "the librarian's Full Employment Act for the 1990s"--have yet to be solved.

Table of Contents | Previous Section | Next Section