More Flexible Client Programs

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More Flexible Client Programs

We have identified the following inadequacies in current WWW client programs such as Mosaic:

  1. Current general-purpose client programs are not easily customizable for users with specialized needs. Trying to anticipate and provide for all possible needs produces a monolithic application program that is difficult to develop and maintain and that performs some functions well but others poorly.
  2. Current client programs were designed primarily for browsing and file retrieval and do not provide good support for searching and for two-way transfer to data between client and server. Search capabilities should include query refinement, display and manipulation of search results, and built-in support for standards such as Z39.50.
  3. Current client programs don't support name-to-location resolution of location-independent filenames.

To solve the above problems, client programs should be constructed with a modular architecture so that special-purpose subroutine libraries for customization and for supporting new capabilities may be linked in easily. An open architecture should be used so that independent software developers may easily add modules to the basic client program.

Jack Dongarra
Sun Dec 18 14:22:28 EST 1994