[ih] Twenty Years of the Web

Craig Simon cls at rkey.com
Thu Aug 18 08:29:46 PDT 2011

There was woefully little attention given this month to an 
Internet-related anniversary of great historic significance. Tim 
Berners-Lee announced the availability of Web-enabling code bases on 
Usenet's alt.hypertext group twenty years ago, August 6, 1991. He began 
participating in IETF meetings shortly after that. The Informational RFC 
1945 for HTTP/1.0 finally emerged in 1996.

In his memoir, "Weaving the Web," Berners-Lee hints at some tension 
between him and other IETF members over issues ranging from nomenclature 
(he wanted URLs to be Universal Resource Identifiers rather than Uniform 
Resource Locators ) to time-consuming disputes about issues he regarded 
as "philosophical rat holes." One of his working groups was apparently 
disbanded by the IESG due to slow progress.

I wonder if any of the folks on this list would be willing to reflect on 
Berners-Lee's interactions with the Internet standards coummunity. I'm 
currently working on a piece about the evolution of hypermedia, and it 
would help to know more about this chapter in its history.


Craig Simon

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