RE: boundaries for the Web

 I'm not sure I agree with Simon that there always has to be a person
involved in a Web information transaction somewhere. That may be a
"flesh-centric" bias that will seem quaint or even prejudiced in a couple of
decades. :)
 However, I do believe there is another good reason to constrain the
definition of the Web - complexity. When this whole thing started, anybody
who could learn a few tags could put up a "home page" and call themselves a
"Webmaster". We are on the verge of totally losing that highly democratic
aspect of the Web. With so many "standards" now it's hard for an average
person to know where to start. I've been around this thing since 1993, I've
written over 20 books about the Web, and I'm still not sure where some of
the XML related standards fit into the projects we're doing here at John
Perhaps it would be useful to define the Web in terms of expanding rings of
protocols and standards (like the seven circles of hell?) with a simple base
like HTTP:HTML/XHTML in the middle and more specialized and powerful
protocols and standards expanding its functionality ever outward.
 It still seems to be that anything without a URI reference that isn't
linked to the rest of the world, certainly isn't a part of the World Wide
Web. However, that begs the question of Intranets, CD-ROMs and other
applications built using exactly the same technologies. Like Topsy, the Web
'just growed', and maybe it's too late to try to put the genie back in the
bottle. (How's that for a mixed metaphor - and with two cliches, no less!)

-Mark R. Brown, author - Special Edition: Using HTML, etc.

Received on Friday, 22 March 2002 09:33:52 UTC