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    Home : Net Life : Creating A Web Presence : Planning For The Future 
Planning For The Future
The Basics
Creating a Web Presence
Strategic Considerations
Content Considerations
Web Server and Internet Access Considerations
Design Considerations
Using Vendors
Evaluating Web Sites and Designers
Planning For The Future
Resource Locator
Electronic Communications
Electronic Publishing
Electronic Commerce
Online Marketing
Don't forget that the Web is still a young medium. Like personal computing and telecommunications, it is undergoing change at a phenomenal pace. Many of the changing elements can and will impact the design and development of your Web site.

HTML, the medium of the Web, is also changing rapidly. The creation and use of significantly more sophisticated tagging is already being reflected in more sophisticated Web sites. Moreover, growth in graphical Web browsers and the subsequent increase in Web traffic means that evolution will proceed and designers will need to keep pace. This cyclical pattern seems destined to continue, which means continuing improvement in the kinds of content, services and materials the Web can present.

There are also indications that the nature of HTML tagging will evolve. Currently, HTML documents are created using tools that convert existing documents to HTML code or by using HTML editors to author original HTML documents. Software tools now exist that allow the designer to compose the Web page to his or her liking, then the software automatically creates the necessary HTML tagging. Such tools are just emerging, and will make sophisticated Web document design accessible to an entirely new set of users.

It is also possible that the medium of the Web will change. At the very least, more possibilities will exist in addition to HTML.

  • Animation is beginning to appear on some sites through the use of tools like Sun Microsystem's Java™ programming language. It promises a whole new world in animation, interactivity and programmable user interfaces. It may change the Internet in ways that Web designers could only have dreamed about 5 years ago.

  • A new, 3-dimensional tagging language is available for high end graphics platforms called VRML or Virtual Reality Modeling Language. For more about VRML, visit the VRML Repository at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The hub of discussions and the details on the technlogy can be found there. Yahoo also has a fine list of VRML links.

  • Apple Computer Co.'s QuicktimeVR is another method for using virtual reality on the network. There are few sites currently employing animation or virtual reality, mostly because of the speed limitations of available telecommunications lines and equipment, but the Web can change with blinding speed, so that may be a very temporary situation. One of Quicktime VR's advantages is that its files are relatively small.

  • Real Audio is achieving new heights in the use of digital sound streaming over the net.

  • Many people are experimenting with connecting new and different devices on the Network. The California Freeway System, for examples, tracks highway speeds through mounted sensors feeding observations to a network server. California commuters are able to log on before they leave home or the office to see what traffic is like at that moment on different stretches of roads. For more on this kind of experimentation, see Yahoo's Interesting Devices Connected to the Net.

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