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Re: Berners-Lee awarded prize

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 10:53:48 -0800
Message-ID: <3C20E23C.7050306@munat.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Denise Wood wrote:

>I am sure most of you are already aware that Tim has been awarded the Japanese 
>prize for the invention of the World Wide Web.
The only problem with this is that Tim Berners-Lee did NOT invent the 
World Wide Web, or even a very significant part of it.

What Tim did was take a few well-known ideas and give them a new twist. 
Then he showed his work to others and asked them what they thought. And 
he got plenty of response.

Over the years as the WWW grew in complexity and importance, literally 
thousands of people contributed to its "invention." When you say "World 
Wide Web" to someone today, how much of what they associate with that 
term was actually contributed by Tim?

It is a disease of our society -- perhaps caused by our worship of the 
individual (and particularly of "celebrities") -- that we invariably 
strive to give to one person the credit that truly belongs to a group of 

Tim has played a key role in the invention of the Web, and for that he 
richly deserves praise. But he did not "invent" it. And my guess is that 
if you asked him, he'd tell you this himself. He has never impressed me 
as a credit hog.

(While I'm at it, Linus Torvalds did not "invent" Linux either.)

Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Wednesday, 19 December 2001 13:52:50 UTC

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