Business and IT leaders to discuss future of the web

The global World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006), which comes to Edinburgh next week, is set to be one of the most influential IT events in the UK this year.

The global World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006), which comes to Edinburgh next week, is set to be one of the most influential IT events in the UK this year.

This annual conference, which takes place in a different country each year, comes to the UK at a crucial time in the development of the web and aims to showcase the new wave of web-based technology.

The conference has been organised for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in the UK by the School of Electronics & Computer Science at Southampton University in conjunction with the British Computer Society.

Computer Weekly is the media sponsor for the event, which will be attended by about 2,000 delegates from around the world. It will provide a forum where IT directors, business decision makers, web specialists and techies can meet the people making the decisions about the future of the web.

Keynote speakers at the event include director of the World Wide Web Consortium Tim Berners-Lee, Nato’s director of policy planning, Jamie Shea, chairman of the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Michael Rawlins, executive vice-chairman and founder of online bank Egg Mike Harris, and senior figures from Reuters, Nortel, Motorola, Microsoft, RM and Reed  Elsevier.

The conference is broken down into four one-day themed sessions. The first day will focus on the web’s impact on business, looking especially at the impact of web-based innovation on advertising, publishing and the media, as well as e-commerce and on traditional business.

The second day will focus on the next wave of web technologies such as the Semantic Web, the mobile/pervasive web, and their impact on applications. Delegates will also hear about the impact of the web on networks, devices and interfaces, including browsing technologies.

The final two days will focus on security and on what steps are being taken to ensure that the web is secure. There will also be a focus on the impact of the web on education and science, as well as the impact on health, both for healthcare professionals and patients.

Attendees can expect to hear  about what is going on behind the scenes to provide a richer user experience to the web. One such area, for example, is where the W3C is developing standards that support web interaction through the eyes, ears, voice and touch.

They will also be brought up to date with W3C’s work to enable the “ubiquitous web” to become reality – this is a series of standards and recommendations designed to make the web more easily accessible to mobile devices. In this area W3C is building a database of device descriptions and developing best practices for the creation of mobile-friendly websites.

On security, the W3C is exploring ways to give users and service providers more confidence in online transactions and provide easier identity management.

The conference is likely to hear about advances in managing the huge amount of data thrown up by the web through the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused  across application, enterprise and community boundaries.

The wider context of the web will also feature at the conference, for example the Web Accessibility Initiative, which sets out guidelines to help people with disabilities access the web.

More information about the conference:

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