RealTime IT News

Israeli Branch of W3C Opened

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) last week opened a branch in Israel, with several analysts on hand to present their views on the future of the Web.

This event was held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led by Mr. Jean-Francois Abramatic, chairman of the W3C and Daniel Weitzner, W3C's technology and society domain leader.

Analyst Avi Weiss stated that the opening of the Israeli branch under the auspices of the Israeli Internet Association and Hebrew University heralds Israel's integration into the standardized activities of the W3C.

Abramatic, the chairman of the W3C, was the keynote speaker for the launching of the Israeli branch. He spoke on trends in Internet development, saying that the hottest issues for the consortium are the applied uses for IP telephony; coding, dependability and standards development for e-commerce and online transactions, including securities trading; and the continued development of the XML protocol and complementary protocols such as SML, SVG, DON, XSL and CSS.

The consortium's current priorities are the development of a voice-directed browser and Net access for non-PC alternatives such as TVs and mobile devices. Abramatic expects accelerated expansion of cellular Internet. The consortium standard WAP will soon set an official standard for cellular phones and other devices.

According to Abramatic, the chief problem for Internet designers today is the conversion of sites designed with older tools to the XML language, explaining that sites that will not be converted will lose viewers.

Daniel Weitzner described the new developments in his area of expertise, termed the semantic Web. The current situation on the Net, termed sintac Web, approaches the Web pages from the point of view of what the surfers are allowed to see. In the future, viewers will be able to control the information 'behind' the pages, taking control from the site designer or builder.

These developments will translate to a need to build a user-oriented browser, catering to the interests and classifications of the user, not the site designers. This is a revolution that will take time to digest and understand, according to Weitzner.