Mosaic and the other web browsers, which take advantage of graphics, are a natural medium for the growing number of public relations resources for cities and countries available on WWW. Few sites, however, are as well-conceived and informative as Slovenija. Not only does this site manage to boast the pride of this country in a tasteful manner, but also one does not have to dig far to find an abundance of information on everything from the country's culture and recent history to permitted blood alcohol levels for drivers.
As a welcome relief from many home pages, graphics at this site are used cleverly to punctuate the content, rather than overwhelm it. A small map showing its location in Europe precedes the simple opening: "this is Slovenija, on the sunny side of the Alps. Young state, old culture, fantastic scenery." In another paragraph the sentence "The first impression of the landscape: _green_, _green_, and still _green_" links to a picture of a lush hillside vineyard. Although the home page does read like a travel brochure, the links at the end point to much more, including Slovenian information servers, science in Slovenija, and a Slovenian newsgroup.
Of particular interest to tourists is a high resolution interactive map - "the virtual tourist" - which links to city information, ski resorts, spas, airports, caves, vineyards, and bordering countries. The symbols here are not always self- explanatory, but it's a simple click to see what is behind them. Click on a neighboring country such as Croatia, and you jump to its home page, which links to a host of other European sites on the web.
Graphics at this third level are used more liberally to illustrate such places as the caves. But one may also access all of these points quickly from the home page, and since there is so much text overall, this site may be more useful than many via Lynx.
Under the general category, one may find country statistics, Slovenian currency, electricity and television standards, and links to information on individual national holidays and the climate. Assistance for travellers includes information on border crossings, numerous contact phone numbers, working hours for banks and post offices, and tips for drivers, including fuel used and speed limits. There are also links to language-learning materials, traditional food recipes, and Slovenian wine.
In addition to information which might attract tourists, this site also provides links to dozens of information servers in Slovenija which are arranged, by organization, protocol type, and subject. Some of these are in Slovenian, and, although most are also available in English, an ambitious person could use the searchable electronic Slovene-English, English-Slovene dictionary to translate text. Most of these servers describe (or advertise), scientific and technical activities in the country, both at the business and academic level. But there is also a library link which connects one to several online catalogs available throughout the country.
Deeper digging through links reveals that Mark Martinec, the system manager of the National Supercomputing Centre at J. Stefan Institute in Ljubliana is largely responsible for this site. Further, the site is connected to EUnet Slovenija (part of EUnet, a commercial network connecting Europe to the Internet) courtesy of NIL Ltd., an internetworking and consulting company.
In general this site is designed to appeal, especially at the superficial level, to the English-speaking tourist. There is, however, a wide range of information to interest both the business person seeking new markets and the academic, especially those in the technical sciences. Graduate and undergraduate students might use this site both to find out about Slovenija itself and to communicate with someone there through a link to a Slovenian newsgroup. For those who know little about Slovenija or even the networld in Europe, this site is rather an adventure.
Reference and Systems Librarian