Apr 122011

Date: 28 June 2004
Subject: The Future of the Web
Speaker: Professor Wendy Hall CBE (BCS President)
Venue: Pomme D’Or Hotel

This talk considered the missing links in today’s Web environments and looked forward to a richly linked future as the Semantic Web evolves.

Long before the Web existed hypertext visionaries and researchers foresaw a richly inter-linked world that allowed authors and readers alike to move easily between related items of information in a global network.

The Web provided the infrastructure to enable those ideas to become reality but in some ways is far more limited than many of its antecedents. Links, the fundamental building blocks of any hypertext system, are still difficult to author and maintain.

Associative, personalised links, which formed the basis of Vannevar Bush’s off-cited article “As We May Think”, are largely missing from both the theory and the practice of building Web sites, and it is left to search engines to fill the gaps.

However, the development of the Semantic Web promises to provide a much richer environment for exploring these ideas. The Semantic Web will extend the existing Web by using semantically-annotated data to enable the creation and publication of machine-processable information.

Wendy Hall is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK and currently Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). She was the founding Head of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) Research Group in ECS. She is the co-author of the book “Hypermedia and the Web: an Engineering Approach” (Wiley, 1999) and has published over 300 papers in areas such as hypermedia, multimedia, digital libraries, multi-agent systems and knowledge technologies.

She is currently President of the British Computer Society, a member of IW3C2, a member of the executive committee of UKCRC and a non-executive director of several companies and charitable trusts. She was awarded a CBE in 2000, and is a Fellow of the BCS, the IEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the City and Guilds of London Institute.

A longer biography is available at:


0.5 BCS CPD points were awarded for attendance for this event which was attended by about 100 people.