From the Director

A Word from Our Executive Director

The Pace of Change

We will bring to you, our members, a stronger, more versatile organization with a worldwide presence.

The concept of Web time refers to more than the passage of time; it is also a metaphor for the pace of change in our technical and business lives. We take on faith that Web time is progressing positively toward a grander future, a Hegelian leap of faith in which the coil of time winds tighter and tighter to spring us into a wondrous new world. Unfortunately, it is just as likely that Web time, if left to its own volition, is taking us to perdition.

It is up to us to catch up periodically and drive the changes to achieve a better world.

UniForum is changing. We are expanding our seminar program, we're putting our publications on the Web and we are broadening our base program to incorporate the whole range of open platform technologies--including Java, CORBA, ActiveX and the triad of Internet/intranet/extranet, as well as other platforms that have open interfaces for users to build applications on, whether on top of Unix, Windows NT, NetWare or other bases. You will see the entire spectrum at UniForum '97 next March in San Francisco.

Of course, the most notable change is that we are joining forces with The Open Group. We will bring to you, our individual members, a stronger, more versatile organization with a worldwide presence. Meanwhile, UniForum will bring to The Open Group the voice of you, the individual users and developers, and programs for education like our conferences, this magazine and, of course, UniForum '97.

While all these changes are good, we wanted to make sure that through them all we kept some things the same. So there will be no change to your membership benefits at UniForum, and your elected Board of Directors will still be driving UniForum's programs. Our employees will now be Open Group employees, but UniForum will be, for all intents and purposes, the same--only better.

Lastly, we are bringing a welcome change to the UniForum '97 trade show and conference. In addition to staging the Best of Usenix and the Best of UniForum in our preconference tutorials, we have for you 56 conference sessions on the latest trends in computing, networking and integrating heterogeneous solutions. The Open Group Research Institute will be holding its symposium at UniForum '97, and InfoTest (formerly NIIT) will be demonstrating there. The new NT users association, WANTUG, will also be meeting at UniForum '97.

We are also focusing the trade show floor on the issue of interoperability--not the "speeds and feeds" that you will find at Interop, but the interaction of applications within business and between businesses. We will be challenging the vendors to show us how to integrate our new NCs and ActiveX applets across an extranet, not to mention CORBA objects and data from the mines. Be there! We'll try to make sense out of Web time.

Tom Mace is executive director of the UniForum Association. He can be reached at