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a new web article about web evolution

From: Yihong Ding <ding@cs.byu.edu>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2007 19:58:02 -0700
Message-ID: <8cbe5b450701211858g6a4259d6qe1c99e96cc8359c6@mail.gmail.com>
To: semantic-web@w3.org

Dear researchers,

Here is a new online article about web evolution.

http://www.deg.byu.edu/ding/WebEvolution/evolution-prelude.html (prelude)
http://www.deg.byu.edu/ding/WebEvolution/evolution-review.html (part 1)

As we know, World Wide Web evolves.  Especailly in recent years when
the research of Semantic Web moves fast forward, the emergence of Web
2.0 brings a new hype of new-generation web applications.  But what is
behind all of these phenomena?  This article is an attempt to explain
them and from which we can predict the future evolution of the web.

In this article, I try to make an analogy between web evolution and
the growing up of human generations.  In fact, these two evolutionary
orbits are amazingly similar to each other. By this analogy, we can
successfully explain many of current detates.  Such as, why Web 2.0 is
a revolutionary new stage rather than a simple jargon, and why it is
inappropriate to name Semantic Web as Web 3.0.  Then based on these
explanations, we can watch clearly how the web evolves forward.

In the meantime, I want to particular denote this article to the <a
href="http://www.webscience.org/">initiative of Web Science</a>. I
believe that this initiative is a landmark: World Wide Web has been an
objective existence that is independent to the human society. World
Wide Web has its intrinsic laws (which are focuses of Web Science
research) that controls its evolution.  Although we may think that
humans control all these processes, indeed we do not, however. We
humans invent the web and build the web.  But after the web is built,
it becomes an objective existence. More importantly, this existence
has become so powerful and influential that it contains its own laws.
This is what the initiative of Web Science tells us.

As its result, we researchers need to be aware that our duties are
starting to be changed.  Previously, the majority of our duty is to
create rules to make the web work.  With the mature of WWW, more and
more duties of web research are going to become discovering the
intrinsic laws on the web and how these pseudo-natural laws may guide
us effectively consume web resources.  As an interesting observation,
the Web 2.0 practices tell us that the web is self-growing when we
consume its resources.  The reason is that the process of consuming
web resources is a process of producing new web resources.  This
observation leads to a certain conclusion: unless we stop using the
web, we cannot stop the evolution of the web; and this process of web
evolution is not controlled by any small group of people but by the
entire human behavoirs.  Therefore, the web evolution itself becomes a
natural process, or at least it is pseduo-natural since humans need to

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which
is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under
the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?
it hath been already of old time, which was before us." (quoted from
Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)

The web is a clone of our society.  From its beginning, people use it
as an extension of our life.  On the web we clone ourselves, not
physically but virtually. We leave all information about ourselves on
the web, what we believe, what we care of, what we are interested in,
what we are living with, who we love, and who we dislike.  Web records
everything, through which it can rebuild us by our knowledge, our
interest, our friendship, and everything else except physically
cloning us. It is true that the current web has not been so powerful
yet.  But it is the future.  And this article is discussing this

This article is planned to contain three parts: past and present of
WWW, future in dream, and inventing the future. Currently, I have
finished the first draft of Part 1.  Part 2 and Part 3 will be online
soon.  Sincerely I welcome any comments, critiques and discussion
about this issue.  For comments, critiques and discussion, please drop
me an email to "ding@cs.byu.edu" (Web 1.0 method) or leave your
comment on my blog at "http://yihongs-research.blogspot.com/" (Web 2.0

http://www.deg.byu.edu/ding/WebEvolution/evolution-prelude.html (prelude)
http://www.deg.byu.edu/ding/WebEvolution/evolution-review.html (part 1)

Thank you very much for reading this post and reading my article.


Yihong Ding


Department of Computer Science
Brigham Young University
Web 1.0: http://www.deg.byu.edu/ding/
Web 2.0: http://yihongs-research.blogspot.com/
Received on Monday, 22 January 2007 03:25:29 UTC

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