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Web Resources, then and now

Wandering around the web, I came across a site that had copied my web page on pointers in Operations Research from 1994, presumably to avoid the then-slow cross-Atlantic downloads. It is stunning to remember what life was like pre-web. That page has about 50 pointers, about half of which were “ftp” or “gopher” (a http/html precursor). And I think that page was pretty complete! Compare that to the current INFORMS Resources page which has about 1500 pointers (100-200 of which are broken, but I’m getting to those) and is by no means complete.

I’ve been thinking about the value of these resource collections in the age of google. I spend a fair amount of time with the Resources page, but even I, when looking for something in OR, start at google. I think Resource pages are useful to get a handle on an area, and I am glad we have one for OR, but it certainly isn’t the critical page it was pre-google.

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