netomat(TM) is a meta-browser that engages a different Internet - an Internet that is an intelligent application and not simply a large database of static files. netomat(TM) dialogues with the net to retrieve information as unmediated and independent in form. It is a browser only by convention.
Our current point-and-click navigation, rigid information distribution, and passive browsing of "authored" information in today's interactivity will be of little use when using netomat(TM). With netomat(TM), the user has a dialogue with the Internet. You can ask the net a question using natural language. netomat(TM) responds by flowing text, images and audio from the net to your screen. You respond or ask further questions or write keywords and the flow of data to your desktop is altered in response. The data is not constrained by a web page or site but free floating and independent.
netomat(TM) can retrieve almost all types of data that resides on the Internet, including RealAudio, jpegs, gifs, aiff, wav, html, xml and plain text. netomat(TM) dialogues with you as well. It memorizes your session to further enable your search and exploration of the Internet.
netomat's structure is modular and adaptable. netomat(TM) is more accurately described as a platform for spawning countless browser interfaces that you or anyone can create! Instructions for creating browser interfaces are known as netomatic. When netomat(TM) is started it builds a browser interface and functionality on the fly by retrieving components and instructions for combining components from the net. The netomatic is the set of instructions that are written in a simple and very natural language known as, netomatics or nml (netomatic markup language). Eventually, netomat's meta-browser components will be available as open source software to be written by anyone who wishes to. As you can imagine, the potential is enormous for a countless number of browser interfaces to be created with a rich diversity of open source produced functionality written by a vast community of users. The Internet is clearly different with the launch of netomat!
In today's world of internet browsers, netomat(TM) has the feel of an anti-browser. netomat(TM) eschews the anachronistic page structure of today's web by not privileging layout and design. It atomizes text, images and audio loosening them from web sites and web pages. This allows the data to be recombined or viewed independently in a context determined by you.
netomat(TM) dynamically spawns multiple browser interfaces and functionality created openly and by many. The success of netomat(TM) relies on an active and distributed use by communities of Internet users. netomat(TM) is about engaging the internet differently, much like the way it was originally intended and much further than currently envisioned.
netomat(TM) is freely distributed on a network of web sites that are also available to host netomatic files written by its users.
Ron Wakkary, june 1999 http://www.netomat.net