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Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web Paperback – November 7, 2000
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About the Author
- Publisher : Harper Business; 1st edition (November 7, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 246 pages
- ISBN-10 : 006251587X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062515872
- Item Weight : 6.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.58 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #185,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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62 years ago when Tim was born (happy birthday!), ENIAC was in the final few months of its life and the 5,000-tube UNIVAC was just 2 years into commercial production. Computers were monstrous beasts with (by today's standards) minimal processing, storage and communications capabilities, yet ironically they were known as 'electronic brains'. Networking was virtually nonexistent, and email wasn't even invented until Tim was 16. In that historical context, the foresight that led Tim to create the Web is quite remarkable.
Tim's early fascination with the 'power in arranging ideas in an unconstrained, weblike way' led him to create technologies to support that aim. This was true innovation, not merely coming up with bright ideas, wouldn't-it-be-nice pipe-dreams and theories but putting them into practice and exploring them hands-on. He has remained hands-on ever since, and is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
Tim's vision extends way beyond what we have right now, into the realm of artificial intelligence, machine learning and real-time global collaboration on a massive scale, the 'semantic web' as he calls it. But in the sense of a proud parent watching their progeny make their way in the world, I suspect he is keen to see the Web develop and mature without the shackles of his own mental framework. The free Web ideal is closer to free speech than free beer.
He begins with the early days of the web as a project at CERN, the difficulty getting people to conceptualize a worldwide network of hypertext, (how long did it take you to "get it" when you were first introduced to the web?) its tremendous growth and commercialization in recent years, and his vision of the future.
The book discusses the various interests that pull the web in different ways and the possibility of the development of a future "semantic web" in which a variety of standards and technologies combine to enable search engines to respond more intelligently to queries when people search for information on the web.
The case is made that research, commerce, communication, and any number of other activities has its place on the web and all serve to enrich the web as a worldwide network of communication and knowledge. In order to continue to grow and thrive, there must be basic standardized protocols. In addition, no one party should be vertically integrated and grow large enough to be able to control access, technology, and content such that it inhibits the free flow of information and global communication.
It would be tough to find a better figure to pioneer and contribute so profoundly to the development of the Internet and World Wide Web. Had it been pioneered and developed on proprietary patented protocols and technologies; access, usability, and overall usefulness of the web would be nowhere near what they are today.
To gain an understanding of where the web came from, where it's headed, and how various companies, technologies and other interests may affect the future development of the web; pick up a copy of "Weaving the Web".
A must read for anyone who is intrested in Web history and doesn't settle for the common place acceptance of what the Web is today, but want's to learn of it's origins. Are you a grandma who loves checking email from her distant relatives and doesn't care how yahooappears in front of you when you type the URL? Then this book isn't for you. This book is for techies like myself that are tired of every John, Dick and Tom who use the "www" acronym and have no idea of what the heck they are talking about. How can you fully understand a technology if you don't know where it came from.
This book is a litle dry (hence 4 stars) but will keep the intrest of any knowledgable Unix/dot.com geek, even if you have ADD. =)
Much love to the folks @ CERN and to Tim...even though we evolve into new entities, lets not forget how or when we first started this wonderful Web process.
Top reviews from other countries
Also good to understand the history of the W3C and how important they've been in coordinating rather than dictating the evolution of the web.
Overall, the first few chapters are definitely a great read as they provide the history of the web. However, the last few chapters that discuss the then current (late 90s) state of the web are too detailed and boring.