I have created this Jendela Indonesia when I pursued Ph.D degree at IIT, Chicago. This was long time ago, It launched to the public on my birthday, Oct 5, 1995. First, I started with link address of Indonesian news paper and magazine used by myself. At the time, I used this for my research in the field of Natural Language Processing at Faculty of Computer Science , IIT. The address of the website is http://www.iit.edu/~syafsya/, but it no longer valid.
This blog version launched at October 30, 2008.
The beauty of Indonesia and the intricacies of its politics have generated increasing interest in recent years. Unfortunately, first-hand information about Indonesia was scarce. We felt that there was a strong needs to provide this kind of information. Thus started the idea to develop a “window” to Indonesia. Jendela Indonesia – “a window to Indonesia” – was developed to provide a window for everybody to look at Indonesia, and for Indonesians to look at the world.
Jendela Indonesia was not built in a night; it has been developed incrementally as part of an ongoing project. Jendela Indonesia saw the light of the day in 1995. Syafedi Syafei, a student at IIT, started to build Jendela Indonesia when he collected Bahasa Indonesia textual corpus from online newspaper and magazine articles for his research. Incidentally, he learned the art of HTML coding from the collected articles, which are formatted in HTML code. For the sake of convenience in accessing Indonesian newspapers and magazines, he collected links of all Indonesian newspapers and magazines available in WWW and, using his newly acquired knowledge of HTML, put them together in a Homepage called Jendela Indonesia (JI). This simple homepage was launched in October 5, 1995.
By this time, realizing that Jendela Indonesia could also be useful for other people who want to get information about Indonesia, Syafedi Syafei and Muhammad Marwali started to improve the content of Jendela Indonesia by adding other information about Indonesia. Others jumped in to help with various contributions. Thanks to Tunggul Birowo, Dodi Kripratmadi, Gogot Setiobudi, Puji Lestari, Ira Sigar, Martino Tangkar, Nanda Marwali and all for their support.
The first version of Jendela Indonesia was built using a SUN Workstation in the ECE Laboratory at Illinois Instiute of Technology. Many nights were spent in the Lab to program CGI scripts for JI – those were the days when Java Script and applet didn’t exist. We had to use whatever method was available in the early days of web browser technology. The advancement of internet technology brought new possibilities, which enables us to use a PC at home to develop JI.
JI has grown and more people get involved in its maintenance. Maurice Hoeneveld(*) volunteered to maintain the Travel Section from Netherlands. The Film and Music Section was maintained by Hendrik Makaliwe, now continued by Monika M. Sudirgo. Rudy Siawidjaja maintains the Academic Section.
Although it has barely passed its first year, JI has grown tremendously in coverage and depth. JI has developed a comprehensive collection of links to Indonesian news providers, which is continuously updated to keep up with the ever-growing number of Indonesian news homepages. Other features include the first online Indonesian-English dictionary in the world and “Visi dan Opini”, a popular discussion forum. And later, a music and film section was added, also focusing on Indonesian music and covering a large number of Indonesian radio stations and music providers.
All of these developments attracted a growing number of users. At once, it reached more than 5000 access, involving almost 1000 unique hosts, per day.