Trip Report WWW2007 - May 8-12 2007, Banff, Canada

[ WWW2007 - takes you to the official web site ]

table of contents:

  1. pre-conference activities (2..7-may 2007)
  2. conference at a glance
    1. the venue
    3. most popular topics
    4. next conference
  3. documentation
  4. other trip report
  5. history and statistics
  6. previous conferences

note: click on the images for an enlargement.

1. pre-conference activities:

vancouver / whistler / blackcomb mountain (may 2..7, 2007)

my wife susanne and myself spent some time in vancouver and whistler, where we had the chance to explore some of the slopes that will host the olympic winter games in 2010.

[ skyline of vancouver at very low tide ] [ totempoles at stanley park in vancouver ] [ blackcomb ski area in whistler ]
skyline of vancouver at very low tide totem poles at stanley park in vancouver blackcomb ski area in whistler

[ more details about pre-conference activities ] pre-conference activities in more details ...

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2. conference at a glance:

2.1 the venue:

the conference took place at the conference center of the fairmont springs hotel in banff, canada.

[ fairmont springs hotel in banff ] [ mount stephen hall at fairmont springs hotel in banff ] [ beautiful landscape of banff national park ]
fairmont springs hotel in banff mount stephen hall beautiful landscape of banff national park
[ conference center at fairmont springs hotel in banff ]
conference center at fairmont springs hotel in banff

[ more details about the venue ] the venue in more details ...


some quotes i really liked:

2.3 most popular topics:

tutorial "Web workloads: characterization, modeling and application":

virgilio almeida (federal university of minas gerais, brazil) and daniel menasce (george mason university, USA) presented methodologies and techniques used in workload characterization and modeling. this tutorial was held in a room that was probably the smallest room of this huge building, certainly smaller than our hotel room.
they explained why it is important that we need to know the workload of our systems. they introduced the subject using a bridge as an example: a civil engineer needs to know the various aspects of the load that will be put on the bridge, such as the type of vehicles that might cross the bridge, their weights, the traffic pattern and so on. they defined the workload of a webserver as the sets of all input. if we are about to configure a webserver or to develop an application, we need to know the types of services we are going to provide, the maximum number of concurrent transactions etc. if we understand the workload, we can create a workload model and apply that model to various systems, system configurations or application designs. the authors showed various statistical methods to analyze the workload. by changing the level of details (e.g. the time frame of the data analyzed), we may discover patterns that may allow to find the parameters required for the modelling. once these parameters are found, we can deploy the workload model.
i was particularly interested in this topic because i did some workload tests a while ago using Microsoft's WCAT (see Web Capacity Analysis Tool). this tutorial was an interesting supplement to my own experiences, especially how they varied the time range of the statistics to look for patterns.

Web history:

"we need to start to preserve the Web now !", said bill pickett, professor emeritus of history and co-founder of the Web History Center (WHC). in a few years, we may run into the paradox situation that we know more about the invention of the printed letters by gutenberg half a millennium ago, than we know about the invention of the Web. digitally stored information is very vulnerable to loss or change and requires as much careful preservation as any other historical artifacts. the Web history event confirmed my opinion, that we need to preserve digitally stored information, such as databases, emails and websites through long term archives, such as the ETHZ webarchive.

[ more details about Web history ] Web history in more details ...

RDF and semantic Web:
  • "the two magics of the Web", keynote by tim berners lee after the opening ceremony. [ more details about opening ceremony and tbl's keynote ] opening ceremony and tbl's keynote in more details ...

  • tabulator, a semantic web browser, presented by tim berners lee, see for details.

  • christian bizer from the freie university berlin presented his contribution to, a community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and to make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia and to link other datasets on the Web to Wikipedia data. in my opinion, this was one of the best and most interesting presentation of WWW2007. to programmatically extract and categorize information from a website like Wikipedia is an ambitious project. what they achieved is amazing and the opportunities this project provides are very promising. this is probably the first time that i see the beauty in semantic data and a very practical use of RDF. see for detailed information.


Web search and data mining was still the top topic. of about 750 submitted papers, 140 were related to search and 105 were related to data mining. in fact, there is such an immense interest in Web search and data mining that they announced a separate conference dedicated to this particular topic to be held in february 2008 in the san francisco bay area, see for details.
i must admit that i almost started to forget that there are other search engines available besides the well known google search. yahoo! was very active at WWW2007 and presented some quiet interesting developments and projects, for example yahoo!-pipes. like in Unix, pipes can be used to feed the output of one "thing" as input to "another thing". pipes were invented by a person who was looking for an apartment in san francisco that should be within walking distance to a day care center. instead of browsing through a list of available apartments and looking them up on a map, this person wrote a small generic application that could take input from various sources and do some comparison - this application became "pipes". for example, pipes takes the RSS feed of craigslist - a list of available apartments in the bay area, extracts the location information and compares the location with location information of other objects, such as parks, hospitals or day care center. if the two locations are within a certain range, we have a match and pipes draws a map showing the location of the apartments found. pipes has a number of given objects, such as various types of sources (e.g. RSS feeds, flickr (images), google base, yahoo! search), user input (date, location, text, number, URL), operators (counter, filter, content analysis, loops, regular expressions and many more) etc. pipes also include a graphical editor to connect the objects. a free yahoo! account is required in order to use pipes. see for details.

the screenshots below give an idea what yahoo! pipes looks like (click on the images for an enlargement):

[ yahoo! pipes: list of stored pipes (my pipes) ] [ yahoo! pipes: pipes' graphical editor ] [ yahoo! pipes: result of a simple pipe ]
list of stored pipes (my pipes) pipes' graphical editor result of a simple pipe

the banquet took place at the brewster's mountview barbecue [ more details about the banquet ] the banquet in more details ...

2.4 next conference:

the 17th world wide web conference will be held on april 22 - 25, 2008 in beijing, china, see www2008 for details.

to table of contents

3. documentation:

to table of contents

4. other trip report:

[ jann forrer of the university of zürich ] please read also the trip report by jann forrer, university of zürich. because jann wrote his report on a notebook running ubuntu, a bush drum plug-in may be required in order to read it :-)

to table of contents

5. history and statistics:

the series of Web conferences started in spring 1994 with WWW1 held at CERN near geneva, switzerland. in fall 1994, there was a second conference in chicago, USA. because they stated that there will be two conferences each year, one in europe and one in the US, i did not attend WWW2. but at WWW3 in darmstadt, germany, they announced that in the future, there will be only one conference per year. i managed to convince my boss, that i should attend WWW4 in boston, even if i was already in darmstadt and from then on, i did attended every Web conference up to today. the table below lists all conferences and provides links to my trip reports as well as links to the official conference website where applicable.

no logo
(link to my trip report)
year conference location country number of attendees*
1 [ WWW1 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1994 WWW1 geneva switzerland (CH) 380
2 [ lWWW2 logo - no trip report available ] 1994 WWW2 chicago USA 750
3 [ WWW3 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1995 WWW3 darmstadt germany (D) 1075
4 [ WWW4 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1995 WWW4 boston USA 2000
5 [ WWW5 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1996 WWW5 paris france (F) 1452
6 [ WWW6 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1997 WWW6 santa clara USA 2000
7 [ WWW7 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1998 WWW7 brisbane australia (AUS) 1100
8 [ WWW8 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 1999 WWW8 toronto canada (CAN) 1200
9 [ WWW9 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2000 WWW9 amsterdam netherlands (NL) 1400
10 [ WWW10 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2001 WWW10 hongkong hongkong (HK) 1220
11 [ WWW2002 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2002 WWW2002 honolulu USA 900
12 [ WWW2003 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2003 WWW2003 budapest hungry (H) 850
13 [ WWW2004 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2004 WWW2004 new york USA 1000
14 [ WWW2005 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2005 WWW2005 chiba japan (J) 900
15 [ WWW2006 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2006 WWW2006 edinburgh scotland (UK) 1124
16 [ WWW2007 logo - takes you to my trip report ] 2007 WWW2007 banff canada (CA) 940

*) note: it is very difficult to get an accurate value for the number of attendees. the numbers are either based on the printed list of attendees where available, on the statement made by the organizers or on my own observations. the number for WWW2 is just an estimation because i missed that conference and i didn't find any numbers on the web.

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6. trip reports from previous conferences:

to table of contents

production note:

this trip report was written on a Dell Latitude D820 notebook with Softquad HoTMetaL. this document is supposed to be HTML V4.0 compliant.

index.html / 05-sep-2007 (ra) / reto ambühler