It is my pleasure to welcome you to Kuala Lumpur and the Internet Society's seventh annual conference, INET'97. Each year, we establish a theme for the INET conference. This year, the theme is "The Internet: The Global Frontier." As in previous years, our Program Committee for 1997 has assembled the finest collection of speakers, sessions, and workshops to address this exciting set of opportunities we call the Global Frontier.
I remember some thirty-five-plus years ago, when I first came into the computer business. I thought I had missed being a real "pioneer" by as much as seven years! But I was convinced that I was nevertheless poised on the edge of a great frontier that would still have many phenomenal opportunities.
Today, that frontier that I believed existed has still not been conquered. Indeed, with the truly incredible innovations that have occurred technologically, the frontier has expanded so greatly that we are still only poised on its edge. Think of the opportunities that exist today as a result of the merging of computers and communications and the superlative emergence of the commercial Internet!
The participants in INET'97 will be challenged by an impressive group of speakers and panelists who represent the best minds from multiple disciplines, discussing those issues and initiatives that are determining the evolutionary direction of the Internet today. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have researched, created, and prepared presentations and discussion ideas. They make INET'97 the premier conference in the world.
Certainly, a conference such as this outstanding one cannot be successful without committed leadership from the Chair, Dr. George Sadowsky. George's unbounded energy and enthusiasm have had a multiplier effect on all of those involved with INET'97. Thank you, George.
Finally, with sincere appreciation, I want to thank our INET'97 sponsors, those organizations who unselfishly contribute resources, time, people, and money to the conference and the workshop. Thank you!
I know that you will value the content and stimulation that this conference offers. Please do so, fully!
Donald M. Heath
It is a pleasure to welcome you to Kuala Lumpur and to INET'97! No site could be more fitting this year for INET'97 than Malaysia. The dynamic economic progress of the Pacific Rim can be seen everywhere, as can the coexistence and peaceful progress of a country combining different cultures of the region. On the technological front, the multimedia supercorridor is but one example of the seriousness with which Malaysia understands the value of information technology and is moving to make major investments in the area for its future. It's an exciting environment to be a part of, even if only for a short time.
INET conferences are a reminder for me of the importance of the human side of networking, and that the value of the electronic contact we maintain over time depends fundamentally upon the human relationships that underlie it. INET conferences allow us to enjoy and refresh these contacts in a special way. I hope that INET'97 is special for you in this way--a chance to meet old friends and make new ones, a chance to share ideas and learn about new developments, and the opportunity to make lasting personal and professional contacts that you can exercise and maintain over the Internet in the years ahead.
Many people have contributed substantially to the success of INET'97. The Program Committee has provided a rich and inviting selection of topics for your consumption. The Developing Countries Workshop instructional staff, all volunteers, have helped to train yet another group of network professionals who will return to their countries and help to further spread the Internet. The K-12 speakers have helped to explore the opportunities that internetworking offers to primary and secondary education. The focus on Africa in the African Networking Symposium, a new feature at INET'97, focuses attention appropriately on a major remaining challenge for the completion of the global Internet.
The commitment, hard work, and support provided by the local organizing committee has been outstanding. The Internet Society staff have been unflagging in their efforts in support of making INET'97 a successful event. We owe them all our gratitude for making INET'97 possible.
Enjoy your time at INET'97!
Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen
Vice President of Education
Five years ago, Kobe, Japan, hosted the first INET Conference, held under the auspices of the Internet Society. This year, INET returns to Asia for the first time since 1992, with INET'97 in Kuala Lumpur. Five years is a long time in the Internet world, and a comparison of the programs of these two conferences demonstrates the ways in which the Internet has pushed out frontiers around the globe.
Of course, everything associated with the Internet grows. Only forty papers were submitted to INET'92, and the final program was dominated by invited papers. Sixty-one papers were presented in four tracks at INET'92. This year the Program Committee started with 259 extended abstracts that proposed papers or panels on important issues ranging from government policy through technological advances. The Program Committee developed its view of the key issues that needed to be presented at the conference and invited 150 of these proposals to be developed into full papers or panel outlines for review. The final program contains 103 selected papers in seven tracks.
But it's not just the size of INET that has evolved; it is the character and the breadth of issues. At INET'92 there was no commerce track, no education track, and no user track! The network policy track dealt with technical policy, reflecting the highly collaborative nature of Internet development. The Domain Name System was notable for its absence, existing in a period of technical maturity and political innocence.
This year's program retains the solid engineering and technological base that we have come to expect from INET conferences. At the same time, it has squarely addressed many of the controversial issues surrounding the Internet today. A feature of this year's program is seven plenary panels, which will provide delegates the opportunity to participate, to be heard, and to be part of the decision-making process.
Finally, I would like to thank the members of this year's Program Committee, who have worked so hard to put this program together, and the support staff at ISOC headquarters, who have attempted to meet our every need. It has been an outstanding team to work with. I look forward to sharing a successful INET'97 with you.