by László Kovács
The first World Wide Web (WWW) server at SZTAKI, Computer and Automation Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences was installed in the middle of 1994, as one of the first servers in Hungary. Since that time the activities in the WWW area have been continuously expanding. At present the Distributed Systems Department (DSD) governs all WWW-related activities at the Institute.
One of the basic ideas behind the Web project at the SZTAKI was the integration of WWW and the other institute on-line services (on-line library catalog, gopher, news, ftp, etc). Through a WWW client interface a complete set of local and global network services is accessible in a uniform way. During the development, our target has been channeled in the direction of developing an information system to increase group productivity and the competitiveness of the Institute through a better circulation of corporate knowledge, and a more efficient management structure. We think this may support the human innovation and creativity process. New aspects have been revealed with the introduction of the knowledge memory of the SZTAKI. Through the activities of the Institute a tremendous amount of information is handled, disseminated, and preserved in the human and electronic memories. Knowledge memory of the SZTAKI is now based on the WWW and other related services. Besides the technology development, this project integrates organization work as well.
From a technical point of view, DSD develops static and dynamic WWW services and does research targeted at the groupware extensions of WWW technology. Sun's Java, and VRML-based projects have been initiated recently.
DSD is a partner in national and international WWW-related R&D projects. DSD participates in the VASIE (Value Added Software Information for Europe) project of ESSI (European Systems and Software Initiative) providing WWW and other services aimed at promoting improvements in software development practice throughout the continent.
DSD is the main contractor in development projects targeted at the creation of large WWW-based integrated information services in the country. Our facilities, among other things, include the development and maintainence of the WWW services of: the National Information Infrastructure Development Program; the Inter-ministerial Committee for Information Technology of the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office; and the intranet WWW-based information service of the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior. DSD established the SZTAKI WWW Support Center to provide an on-line WWW service for SMEs and non-profit organizations as well.
Another important area of DSD's activities covers the R&D for digital libraries (DL). In the framework of the ERCIM Digital Document Repository Initiative DSD is going to work together with other member institutes of ERCIM on different joint DL projects (eg SAMOS). DSD is a member of the DELOS working group supported by the EU for promoting digital library R&D activities. In Budapest in November 1995 a demonstration of a preliminary prototype of integrated ERCIM-DIENST Technical Report Library was provided by members of DSD for an audience consisting of ERCIM directors and George Metakides, the head of the EC IT programme.
Last but not least an mbone-based audio/video/shared-workspace conferencing environment has now been installed by DSD members for a project supported by the Hungarian National Information Infrastructure Program. This project aims at the technology demonstration of different audio/video Internet technologies and their integration into World Wide Web.