Weaving the Web

Its always fascinating to read about the origins of technologies we use every day, and when its a technology as ubiquitous as the world wide web, this is even more so. What  made this reading interesting to me is that the development of the internet was not a linear Research and Development project. The internet, from what I gathered in the writing grew organically from its beginnings in CERN and DARPANET. No one company government, or developer is responsible for it.

It was interesting how much of the writing is similar to a philosophical work.  I think that part of this comes from the way the fact that the origins of hypertext were basically an experiment to try to change the way that information and its connections were thought about. The author spoke of abstract connections between ideas and the quest to bring information to the world. These abstract ideas became the internet and the world wide web.

One point that I particularly found interesting was the differentiation made between internal and external links. While it seems that the decision to organize hypertext with two different types of links was made to save space, it had a profound impact on the future development of the web.  By making some links one way, a hierarchy within data was created, changing the way that the information is read and organized. Although it seems like something minor, the way that data is organized affects changes its impact on the world.

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