NCSA is developing a new X/Motif-based networked information systems browser called X Mosaic. Comfortably stable beta versions of it are now available, including full source code and binaries (for SunOS 4.x, SGI IRIX 4.x, AIX 3.2, and DEC Ultrix), at ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu in /Web/xmosaic.
X Mosaic provides a consistent and easy-to-use hypertext-based interface into a wide variety of information sources, including Gopher, WAIS, World Wide Web, NNTP/Usenet news, Techinfo, Texinfo, FTP, local filesystems, telnet, tn3270, and others. A canonical list of current features follows:
o Friendly Motif user interface.
o Color and monochrome default X resource settings.
o Multiple independent toplevel windows.
o History list per window (both 'where you've been' and 'where you can
o Global history with previously visited locations visually distinct; global
history is persistent across sessions.
o Hotlist/bookmark capability -- keep list of interesting documents,
add/remove items, list is persistent across sessions.
o Personal annotations with GUI annotation entry dialog; annotations can
later be edited or deleted, and hyperlinks to existing annotations are
inlined into subsequent accesses of an annotated document.
o Options for new window per document (aka TurboGopher interface) --
always, or via middle mouse button.
o On-the-fly font and hyperlink style selection.
o Many common document and data source choices accessible via menubar.
o Keyword search capability.
o Cut and paste formatted text into other X windows.
o Smart handling of documents too big for single X window -- virtual
document pages via inlined hypertext.
o Save/mail/print documents in several formats.
o Online hypertext help.
o No config or resource file installation required; self-contained
o Extremely customizable.
o Integration with NCSA Collage and NCSA DTM to broadcast documents
into real-time networked workgroup collaboration sessions.
We are continuing to develop X Mosaic, with the end goal of making it a useful tool for networked asynchronous collaboration specifically, and global hypermedia and information system resource discovery and retrieval in general.
Comments and suggestions on X Mosaic's capabilities and interface would be very much appreciated. We are releasing new versions about every 7-14 days, so your feedback has an excellent chance of directly influencing near-term development. (Support for handling GIF, JPEG, MPEG, audio, DVI, and PostScript will be in the next version, so don't suggest that. :-)