They also had a system whereby a FORTRAN (ugh!) program could be analyzed and given a Mosaic forms-based interface. This amounted to looking at the parameters of a given subroutine (FORTRAN-speak), building an HTML document with the necessary forms, and making it so that the server, when given a form, with the necessary input fields filled out, would execute the FORTRAN program and return the results in another HTML document.
This time, however, it looks like they're beginning to get the right idea. They're freely distributing browsers for the PC, Mac, and Unix platforms, and intend to charge you for programs that convert from other formats into PDF. The fellow I spoke to claimed that they had a program capable of reverse-engineering PostScript files into PDF. It sounds quite impressive, and they appear to be offering substantial educational discounts.
Besides being a good place to catch a lot of people who like electronic publishing, they came to the conference because Acrobat includes hypertext (i.e., URL) link capability.
All of the big workstation vendors, and that other company up in Redmond, had booths. None of them appeared to have much to say, although IBM appeared to have their own Mosaic client running under (ugh!) OS/2.
The commercial online service providers were conspicious in their absence. They even got some bad press in one of the plenary sessions, something along the lines of
In many ways, the Web is experiencing a new wave of immigrants. Like other immigrants, it is necessary to treat them well, even if they behave badly. So if you see an address ending with aol.com, don't be prejudiced.
's David Chaum deserves mention for his blatent commercialism. During his talk in one of the plenary sessions, he briefly described his company's new digital cash system, and proceeded to launch it. He went so far as to put a slide in his Mosaic-driven presentation with Click to start the Ecash launch (Ecash is the name of DigiCash's electronic cash system) and announce that all WWW Fall '94 attendees would be given $50 ``cyberbucks'' on their system just for attending. I've not yet tried taking him up on it.
After he clicked on the click to start page, the server froze ominously.
See my comments on other commercial transaction systems for more information.
Of course, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. had a booth with their Internet books and product catalog. Try also this URL to get at them.