W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > March 2002

Re: boundaries for the Web

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 21 Mar 2002 17:13:30 -0600
To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <1016752411.26064.142.camel@dirk>
On Thu, 2002-03-21 at 16:47, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> The introduction to the TAG architecture document [1] currently states:
> -----------------------------------
> The World Wide Web ("Web" from here on ) is a networked information
> system consisting of clients, servers and other agents that
> interchange information.
> -----------------------------------
> 
> This definition is extremely broad, and the W3C's notion of the Web
> appears to grow every year,

I wonder what makes you say that... from what I can tell, this sort
of description of the Web has been used pretty consistently,
since before W3C was even formed:

  "The WWW project merges the techniques of information
  retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful
  global information system."

	-- 6 Aug 91
  http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/1991/08/art-6487.txt



  The World Wide Web (known as "WWW', "Web" or "W3") is the
  universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment
  of human knowledge.

	-- About The World Wide Web
	http://www.w3.org/WWW/
	(this text has been there since at least 1995/05/15;
	that's as far as our CVS records go.)


> well beyond the common understanding of the
> Web among developers.

Could you elaborate on that? What do developers think about the
Web that conflicts with the stuff in section 1?

If they think the Web is just HTTP and HTML, then I think
that's an unfortunately limited view of the Web, and I hope
to persuade them to broaden their view a bit.

>  The definition above applies to the Internet as
> well as the Web and to any number of other networked systems.  

The bit you excerpted does, but you clipped perhaps
the most relevant part:

  Web Architecture is the set of rules that all agents in
  the system follow that result in the large-scale effect
  of a shared information space.


> I would like to request that the TAG establish in this document a
> definition of "the Web" that includes clear boundaries for the Web -
> what is the Web, and what is not the Web.

Any suggestions?

The main things that I can think of that are not Web Architecture
are technologies that are local to one system; i.e. cut-and-paste
desktop standards, CGI and other inside-the-server stuff. Is that
the sort of boundary you had in mind?

Another fairly clear boundary is that if URIs don't figure
in somehow, it's pretty disconnected from Web Archtecture. e.g.
TCP, french minitel, AOL, etc.

> A more constrained view of the Web might in fact help the TAG (and
> eventually the W3C) sort out which issues are relevant to the Web and
> which issues are not relevant, as well as provide clear guidelines for
> which projects should be considered part of the Web Architecture and
> which projects should have other homes.
> 
> [1] - http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/intro
> 

-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 21 March 2002 18:13:31 GMT

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