Development and support of Willow is now discontinued. Willow was removed from production at UW on June 30, 1999.

Willow Technical Report

Willow -- the Washington Information Looker-upper Layered Over Windows -- is a general purpose information retrieval tool. It provides a single, easy-to-use graphical user interface to any number of text-based bibliographic databases. With it, you can use a point-and-click style application with even the most arcane command-oriented text-retrieval database system. Willow is produced by the University of Washington, and since early 1990, it has evolved in a spiral of test versions and refinements, based on user-analysis and feedback. Willow is fully compatible with the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Z39.50 database access protocol. It is available free of charge, but is copyrighted. Wilco, a character-oriented version of Willow, which can be run on virtually any system, has also been developed, and a version of Willow for Microsoft Windows is also available.

Willow is the primary interface to the University of Washington online database collection (including the Library Catalog), and has been installed on a large scale since 1992. There are approximately 250 public and staff NCD X-Terminals running Willow in the library system. All campus X users have Willow available to them, either on their PC's, installed on a Unix box in their department, or via dedicated campus willow servers. Many people with higher-end networked Macs also run Willow via X-emulators. Since Willow was released outside of the UW in April of 1994, thousands of sites spread all over the internetted world have downloaded it.

Willow Interface

The Willow user interface.

Willow Architecture

The Willow architecture.

Questions and comments about Willow to: