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Next: The help system Up: WAW Conference: pasian Previous: Introduction

Choice of the tools

While the user interface to control telescope and instruments has efficiency, robustness and fault tolerance as its main goals, the mechanism for browsing through internal and external information, as mentioned above, should be familiar to the user, and uniform through applications.

Therefore, while for the telescope user interface an ad-hoc development over X-Windows has been carried out, an hypertext approach was chosen to access information and data at the telescope. In order to increase users' efficiency, HTML is being currently used and is planned to be used for future applications, since HTML-based browsers, such as Mosaic or Netscape, are commonly used for NIR applications and are already familiar to users.

It is to be noted that access to the facilities at the telescope will be limited to observers and to the technical staff. This is justified by the need of refusing access to external users during telescope and instruments operation; on the other hand, external users may be possibly allowed to connect during the day, when no touchy operations will be performed. The use of de facto standards such as HTML implies the possibility of allowing a wider, although controlled, access. Conversely, users at the telescope can use the same interface to access both external and internal resources.