The reading on the process of coming up with and implementing the World Wide Web was interesting in that it raised many different questions. Previously, I had not known the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet, so the first few chapters from this book were very enlightening to me. Also, the site of the production of the Web interested me a lot. In the past, I had only truly known about CERN from the novel Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. In the novel, CERN is the site from which a canister that contains antimatter is stolen, and CERN is described as a place with incredible scientific minds. However, CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research and is never mentioned in the novel to be the birthplace of the Web, so the fact that Berners-Lee invented the Web there really surprised me. It seemed as though he too believed CERN was not the most ideal place for him to do his work. For example, when writing a proposal to create the Web, Berners-Lee had trouble convincing CERN to allow him to do so. On page 32, he states “Another reason for the lackluster response was that CERN was a physics lab,” which further emphasizes how strange it was that such an important computing technology came out of such a place.
As I mentioned above, before this reading I had not known the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet. I believe this is because the two are often used almost interchangeably in everyday language, although this is incorrect. This was confusing when first reading the chapters, because I believed the two words to be interchangeable, and thus believed Berners-Lee was incorrect in claiming he invented the World Wide Web. Yet as the chapters continued, the distinction between the two became evident. The Internet, created before the Web, connects different computers together and uses a variety of different computing languages to do so. However, the Web is only one part of the Internet and uses HTTP for hypertext. This made me a little bit confused. If the Web is only part of the Internet, what other parts exist? Are emails separate from the Web? And what about Instant Messaging? Are these separate from the World Wide Web, or have they become part of the Web as time has gone on?
Another detail that made me have questions was the idea of external and internal links. Although I understood the internal link, which could go in either direction, I had questions about the external links. If there were an external link that only went in one direction, would there be a way to go back to a previous link? (Is there a “back” arrow?). These different types of links were created so that external links could prevent information overload, while internal links could appear in both nodes, which may cause files to “get out of step.” Yet the distinction between the two and the need for both was confusing to me.