Research in
WWW Architecture and Technology:

A Next-Generation WWW Server

John B. Smith & F. Don Smith


The goals of this project are to extend the World Wide Web to support authorship as an integral part of the architecture and to guarantee the reliability of links as objects ( files or "nodes," in our terminology) are moved from one context to another. An additional goal is to explore the capabilities of Java Remote Method Invocation and Object Serialization with respect to Web-like hypermedia.

Additional details can be found in the project overview.

Project Components

The project has two phases.


First, we are building a WWW interface to an existing enhanced server, called The Distributed Graph Storage System ( DGS). DGS supports a graph data model in which graphs correspond to directories and nodes to filesor contained directories. The model includes reliable hyperlinks that are similar to WWW hyperlinks, although they are stored outside the node/file. It also includes structural links and several graph types, includingtrees, lists, and general directed graphs.

As part of this project, we are building a user interface, using JavaScript, to allow us to explore authoring operations first-hand. This work is nearing completion. Tellis Ellis has been the primary designer and implementer of this system, which we call WWW-DGS. Users may run the system, although the WWW-DGS server is not always running..

This phase of our project will be completed by Summer, 1997.


In a second phase of work we are building on the knowledge we have gained from our experience with DGS and WWW-DGS but not their code. This redesign, which we have named GraphDomain , is being implemented in Java and will include applets that provide graph authoring and editing functions. We will also include editing applets for other MIME types, but we don't anticipate writing them ourselves.

This work is still in the design and prototyping stage. Our design notes show some of our current thinking. A work-in-progress graph editing applet can be run, but it is not yet linked to our persistent storage system..