|Just to get started|
Usually, free e.g., Netscape Navigator
Server is a selector of information, and this is seen as the essential service in an age of information overload. It really pays to have the information customized to your needs. Ergo, a good server is not necessarily a provider of information, but a provider of pointers to other sources of information. Of course, it could be both.
Servers often provide information free, but this is where the "content providers" see their income coming from in the future, and some commercialization is already taking place!
Other types of URLs may open up an interactive computer session, or examine the "gopher" space (a text-only predecessor of the Web), etc.
Since the Web is a living and growing body of knowledge, our expectations of what we can achieve on the Web must change. One way is to use a sort of "fuzzy logic", only following the flow of information very loosely and approximately - surfing the Web - until we hit exactly what we are looking for. There are always multiple ways to get to virtually any piece of information on the Web, some completely unforeseen by the creators of that information, so it needn't always make sense.
Someone once compared the Web with a library where all the books have been pulled down and scattered around the floor. True, but then a clever spider has linked all the loose pages in multiple ways, and we have a fast tool (a computer) to explore this intricate Web. Not a bad tradeoff!
As always, good sleuthing techniques help! Some of the information comes in a subtle form; for example, by sliding the cursor across highlighted Web links one can sometimes see that a particular link needn't be followed.
Case in point: how many of you noticed that you now know that the fundamental building block of biological membranes is a double layer (of lipids) in which proteins and other biologically active molecules are embedded?
Here's a list of the Web-served materials for the course:
Here's a partial list of computing-related materials served on our Web site. The Web provides a convenient common interface.
Consider, for example, this report by a first-year B.Sc.-B.Ed. student. Some things suggested in it could have been in place this year, we simply never thought of them.