Weaving the Web - Chapter 1
Weaving the Web (WTW) is a rare book written by a rare individual. To grasp what you're reading, the story of the Web's invention, the describing of the Web's essence and potential by its creator, you might have to change the way you look at the Web. If you have always looked at the Web in narrow lines as simply a means to an end you are missing the big picture. While you are reading think back to last day when we spoke of how our media, our modes of communication, change us. We shape our tools and forever thereafter our tools shape us. Think of how the Web has changed communication, knowledge, meaning and think about what this means for us in the long term. And think about the architecture of the web - the principles on which it is based; how it functions.
Whether you know it or no, by reading the first few chapters you have already been introduced to the ideas which shaped the web.....and which now are reshaping our world. Here are some pointers to what I mean.
The challenges that TBL faced in delivering a collaborative document managment system at CERN helped to shape the Web. Those challenges, of sharing different kinds of information among different kinds of applications and groups, working independently, remotely, and asynchronously, as it turned out, were challenges which we all faced - even if we didn't realize it.
To understand the Web in the broadest and deepest sense, to fully partake of the vision that I and my colleagues share, one must understand how the Web came to be.
The story of how the Web was created has been told in various books and magazines. Many accounts I've read have been distorted or just plain wrong. The Web resulted from many influences on my mind, half-formed thoughts, disparate conversations, and seemingly disconnected experiments. I pieced it together as I pursued my regular work and personal life. I articulated a vision, wrote the first Web programs, and came up with the now pervasive acronyms URL (then UDI), HTTP, HTML, and, of course, World Wide Web. But many other people, most of them unknown, contributed essential ingredients, in much the same almost random fashion. A group of individuals holding a common dream and working together at a distance brought about a great change.
My telling of the real story will show how the Web's evolution and its essence are inextricably linked. Only by understanding the Web at this deeper level will people ever truly grasp what its full potential can be.-TBL, WTW p. 2
Posted by Mark Hemphill on September 13, 2005 | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Weaving the Web - Chapter 1:
As I'm reading Weaving the Web, at the start of Chapter 2 there is a subtle analogy of the web. Where TBL is talking about CERN he says " Research on this scale was so expensive that it had to involve collaborations aomong many nations. Though it was a central facility, CERN was really an extended community of people who had relatively little common authority."
Isn't that pretty much exactly what the web is? When you open up a browser, to you the "viewer" it looks like a virtual central authority....but in reality it is made up of millions of authors putting their ideas into a "virtual centre".
TBL goes on to say "The scientists brought a wide variety of computers, software, and procedures with them, and although they came from different cultures and spoke different languages they mangaged to find a way to work together because of their sahared interest." This is an early sign of the community power of the web.
Posted by: Chad MacGuigan | Sep 18, 2005 11:54:28 AM
I was thinking the same thing as I was reading through the chapters. As I read the same line as your example about how different people manage to find a way to work together, I thought "that's what the web does!". I think I'll be looking for more of these analogies as I read further in the book.
I just finished chapter 3 today. It's an interesting book.. I just keep on asking myself "how could someone think of all this?!!?". Of course, there are parts too that I find less interesting - like when it gets all technical (which I don't always understand as well). What do you guys think of the book so far?
Posted by: Suzanne | Sep 18, 2005 4:56:41 PM
Yes. I think you two are on to something! Well said.
Posted by: Mark | Sep 19, 2005 8:44:09 AM