5. Summary and conclusions

It is probably no exaggeration to say that the technology and ideas currently being introduced by the World Wide Web are just the start of a fundamental transformation in the way information and documentation is produced and distributed. Rather than printing thousands or even millions of copies of a publication, the technology is emerging which will support the ability to store a single on-line copy, which can be retrieved and viewed on screen, on demand across international computer networks.

A general purpose technical documentation system like PLINTH cannot afford to ignore these developments, and therefore a PLINTH interface to the WWW would be a very important addition to its functionality. In this paper we have examined the formats and protocols used in WWW information interchange, and discussed the various levels of support that PLINTH can provide for them. A great deal of work still needs to be invested in researching, developing and implementing these ideas, but the potential return could be very great.