As the World Wide Web continues exploding across the technology scene, it may seem impossible to keep track of myriad new protocols, standards, and applications. The World Wide Web Consortium is chartered to help members understand the forces behind these developments and to lead the way to further innovation -- and the World Wide Web Journal is your direct connection to its work. Every quarter, the W3J provides timely, in-depth coverage of W3C's activities as well as independently refereed papers from around the world.Issue four focuses on the infrastructure needed to create and maintain an "Industrial Strength Web," from network protocols to application design. Over a year ago, the http protocol on the Web surpassed the file transfer protocol as the largest application load on the Internet. As a result, Internet performance is crumbling in many locations, network addresses are being consumed at a prodigious rate, and the extraordinary popularity of a handful of pages is crowding out the rest of the Web. In this issue we take a detailed look at the technology -- present and future -- that's required to scale the Web to work for millions of hosts, tens of millions of users, and billions of pages.The papers in this issue shed light on these challenges, and offer state-of-the-art remedies. Section 2, "W3C Reports," features papers from two workshops: the Joint W3C/OMG Workshop on Distributed Objects and Mobile Code and the Meeting on Distributed Authoring. Section 3, "Technical Papers," heralds the release of HTTP/1.1 with several papers in addition to the HTTP/1.1 spec, including Future Directions for HTTP, What's New in HTTP/1.1: Design Enhancements on the Road to HTTP-NG, and Using Cookies with CGI: Maintaining State on the Web.