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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

4.3.1 Network infrastructure

Figure 4-2 depicts the components that make up the electronic networking universe.

Figure 4-1: The Electronic Networking Universe. Source: The Internet Society


The digital transport pipes are what allow us to move information around, regardless of its original form. These pipes are increasingly built upon optical fibre technology. As the information we all work becomes created exclusively digitally, the arguments for managing it digitally from producer to consumer become overwhelming.

The management function applies across all activities built upon these pipes. For much of the management software it does not matter what form the information takes. If it is in the form of binary data it can be managed the same way. There are some important exceptions when it comes to distinguishing time-critical media such as sound and video from email and bulk data transfer. Networking technologies like Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) are designed to handle such data differently. The Internet is also implementing mechanisms to support different levels of quality of service (QoS) for different data types in the next generation of the Internet protocol suite (the so-called IPng or IPv6).

The three basic building blocks for all information activities are the mass media (television, radio, and print - increasingly being produced and delivered in digital form), voice telephony (also increasingly digital) and the inter-networking of computers.

Layered on top of these building blocks are the applications that people use to access information and communicate with others. This include traditional computer applications such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web as well as things like voice-response telephony systems and cable television.

Last modified: Monday, 11-Dec-2017 14:41:53 AEDT

© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * http://andrew.treloar.net/ * andrew.treloar@gmail.com