Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Mosaic definition
Name: Linda
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995

I am writing a project for 4th graders using telecommunications. I de- scribed Mosaic as a multimedia relational database, but I have noticed some journalists refer to it as software. Is it the software that runs a bulletin board system, or is it a new type of bulletin board system?

Mosaic consists of at least one executable file, therefore it is referred to as software. Obviously it is much more than just the program, there are lots of supporting data files so your description seems appropriate as well.

Gregory R Bradburn

Also, I do not think it is a relational database. The "database" is the array of documents available on the world-wide-web (and by anonymous ftp and other methods) - mosaic is just a front-end to all this information. And it does not have the "relational" capabilities usually available - for example, searching for specific information requires either somebody to have already done the searching for you and put it up in their own document (in which case you somehow have to know that document exists) or requires a robot which has nothing to do with mosaic. Mosaic, in other words, is incapable of even the most elementary searches beyond simple browsing. It is good at browsing though.

A Smith

Click here to return to the Computer Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory