Welcome to WWW9!

After several years, the World Wide Web conference comes back to Europe, this time to the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Since the last time the conference was in Europe, the Web has changed significantly, both technologically and in its applications. It has become part of everyday life, influencing society, business, politics, national and international law, art, and scientific development. And the development goes on: we can safely predict that the Web will remain an exciting world far into the future.

The integration of Web technologies into other areas of our daily life has just begun. For instance, the synergy between the Web and the traditional entertainment industries such as television, movies, radio, and printed media will revolutionize the way we perceive and personalize content. The appearance of Web services on our mobile phones and PDAs, in our cars, boats and other vehicles and, in the future, on wearable computers and various electronic appliances is another example of where the integration will certainly open up new perspectives.

The programme of the 9th International World Wide Web conference truly reflects some of these exciting developments. We have five keynote speakers, representing not only the Web industry, but also the telecommunication world, palm computing, and society. We offer a very rich Web & Industry track addressing E-commerce, the mobile Web, publishing, and Web & TV. Representatives of various industrial segments of our society will share with us their vision of the future and point to the challenges that must be addressed by our community to turn these visions into reality. We have also organized five panels on various topics, addressing issues like accessibility, multilingualism, and mobile applications. A separate track looks at the relationship of the Web and culture in general, inviting representatives of musea and art galleries to tell us about their experiences.

Of course, the backbone of the conference is the technical programme. We have 57 high quality technical papers selected, by an International Programme Committee, from a pool of 280 submissions. A strenuous task, which was superbly accomplished by the Chair and the Vice-chairs of the Programme Committee, with the help of a large number of technical reviewers. We hope you will enjoy listening to the paper presentations and read the papers. We also have a rich poster programme, including 65 posters and demonstrations. As in previous years, a separate poster proceedings is also available. These poster papers may be short, but they contain exciting ideas - do not forget to read them!

The W3C track has become a traditional part of these conferences. This track provides a unique opportunity to get first-hand information on the excellent work done by the World Wide Web Consortium in developing new specifications and guidelines to move the Web towards its full potential. We can safely say that this track will again be one of the highlights of this conference.

WWW9 follows the same pattern as earlier conferences; a rich tutorial programme, as well as a series of workshops where researchers can exchange their ideas and their latest results, precedes the core conference. The conference is followed by a Developers' Day, allowing developers to show and discuss their latest ideas and tools, and give further impetus to all developers around the world. The topics chosen for all these events duly represent the variety of technologies and applications that proliferate around the Web.

Organizing such a conference is a huge team effort. The credit goes to all the track chairs, vice chairs, reviewers, and all those who have taken part in this endeavour. We can only thank them for their cooperation and dedication. Please take a moment and scan through the list of organizers just to appreciate the international character and variety of people who were involved! We owe thanks to our Meeting Planner, Web Developer, Conference Registrar, and Sponsor and Exhibition Coordinator who were instrumental in ensuring a smooth operating conference. Our very special thanks goes to the Conference Coordinator, who kept the whole organizing team together, and reminded us of our shortcomings, errors, and missing deadlines; she played a central role in the success of this conference.

We, the Conference Co-chairs, wish to express our gratitude to the conference sponsors and exhibitors without whom we would not have been able to bring such a successful conference to fruition.

Amsterdam truly represents the new European economy hosting the European headquarters of numerous Asian and North American companies, as well as a major hub on the European part of the Internet, and is home to a large number of exciting new Web related ventures. It is also a beautiful city, rich with historical buildings and neighbourhoods, with a special and appealing atmosphere. We hope all of you will find the time to walk around the canals, visit Amsterdam's Musea, and enjoy your evenings in one of the numerous restaurants or pubs. Welcome to Amsterdam, and enjoy the conference!

Ivan Herman (CWI) and Albert Vezza (CNRI)
WWW9 Conference co-chairs