Marimba is a company that has introduced a somewhat new way of using the World Wide Web. Using their Castanet Tuner product, a program separate from your Web browser, computer users can set up a menu of "channels." Marimba provides the user a list of channels to choose from. Each channel can be updated automatically with time-sensitive information (for example, daily stock reports, local weather, television schedules). The user simply accesses desired channels assured that they have been updated.
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The content of a channel can be a Web site, a stand-alone Java application, or a Java applet. The application or applet can be programmed to request updated information from Web servers at some periodic interval. Thus, a Castanet user can be assured not only of having up-to-date information, but having it already available on the user's hard disk without having to wait to download pages from the Web.
The information or application provider uses the Castanet Transmitter applications to create the "transmitter" that provides channels and uses Bongo to create the application that is on the channel.
Several books on using Castanet and Bongo are planned for February, 1997.