Typography for the Web of Information

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As a concept, the Internet not life-changing.  It's a convenience, a tool for communication, and nothing more. The Internet's greatest strength is it's ability to transfer data: concepts. ideas, intellectual products.  Still, computer-computer networking is no alchemy.  At it's core, it is a construct, a framework of machines working together.

The Web has become a social arena, and as entire computer-literate generations come online, this trend shows little chance of slowing.  The web is a tool, a library, a place to buy and sell.  The web is also a forum for discussion, correspondence, and writing.  More than anything else, it is a web of text.

Text is the blood of the web and for that matter, computers themselves.  text mode browsing, programming, and software interaction is a day-to-day reality for millions of computer users throughout the world.  Human readable text, either as programming, content, or correspondence, is inseparable from the web.

In the context of the Web, text is as crucial.  The handling of text, aesthetically and technologically, is the key concern of this document.  As typesetting was cutting edge in its time, large-scale web publishing represents a significant step in communications technologies.

The aesthetics of text on the web are tied to these technologies.  The milestones of the past, software with origins in the Sixties, form the bleeding edge of Internet technology.  Conversely, web design has eschewed it's past, created a blinking wonderland of glitz and schlock.

If the web is a general tool for communication, then it's use is not limited to marketing and sales. The web is a valuable resource for universities, public entities, governments, and organizations, because it simply, and quickly allows for cheap widespread information distribution.  The web allows for mass self-publication.

This documents seeks to examine typography for the web, specifically for large-scale text  publishing. Through a study of history, technologies, and challenges, I will attempt to define effective,appropriate typography for the Web.  By defining an aesthetic which addresses the needs of commercial, professional publishing, we can help to realize the web's position as a top-notch information exchange.