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posted by janrinok on Monday March 10 2014, @01:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the happy-birthday-to-you dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"For those of you who remember Gopher, Minitel, and Compuserve, the article is an interesting reminder of what once was, and for those born more recently a chance to read about a time before 'http' and 'www' had any meaning."

From an article by phys,org,

Twenty-five years ago, the World Wide Web was just an idea in a technical paper from an obscure, young computer scientist at a European physics lab. That idea from Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN lab in Switzerland, outlining a way to easily access files on linked computers, paved the way for a global phenomenon that has touched the lives of billions of people. He presented the paper on March 12, 1989, which history has marked as the birthday of the Web. But the idea was so bold, it almost didn't happen.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by regift_of_the_gods on Monday March 10 2014, @02:23AM

    by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:23AM (#13718)

    During much of the early history of the Internet and WWW, is that simple, shipping code written by one or two guys beats complex specifications painstakingly crafted by a committee of experts who are intent on solving "the whole problem, not just the immediate need."

    For another couple of examples, see the first chapter of Mark Pilgrim's "HTML5: Up and Running" for a fascinating discussion of how HTML got the IMG tag, and how we got to HTML5 (basically, XHTML was pushed aside). Ironically, Mr. Berners-Lee was on the losing side of these last two bake-offs.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday March 10 2014, @02:55AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:55AM (#13727) Homepage

    So what do we do from here? Do we accept the internet as being one band-aid fix on top of another, with all of its existing exploit potential? Or do we risk fundamental technical change which is on its face beneficial but could be subject to even more nefarious subversion? Or something else?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bogibear on Monday March 10 2014, @03:17AM

      by bogibear (475) on Monday March 10 2014, @03:17AM (#13731)

      While technical change is good, I fear that the only change we will see is more control over the Internet from governments and business. I think we can all concede that with some small exception, the Internet is no longer anonymous and free. Now that we have the NSA scanning for threats (perceived and real), companies like Verizon and Comcast throttling traffic, and the death of net neutrality, I can't help but feel that the "Golden Age" of the Internet has come and gone.

      --
      The world's cumulative IQ is a constant. The population is growing.
      • (Score: 1) by Cyberdyne on Monday March 10 2014, @09:30AM

        by Cyberdyne (403) on Monday March 10 2014, @09:30AM (#13802)

        Yes, but you're talking about the old-fashioned, hierarchical, 'ISP' version of the internet. If you haven't already, look up 'mesh networks' and be prepared to be inspired. Once they become fast enough, and they will, we will be much more likely to get our net neutrality back.

        And the monopoly of the Internet as we know it today will gradually die off.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by juggs on Monday March 10 2014, @03:23AM

    by juggs (63) on Monday March 10 2014, @03:23AM (#13732) Journal

    To my mind we entered a world of over-engineering simple web delivery once we strayed beyond HTML 4.01 Strict (not that that is not without it's problems of course).

    I have no idea what is going through the minds of current web developers where if you visit a page with scripts disabled you get....... nothing. Every single element on the page is expected to be sucked in and loaded by javascript. And in a lot of cases sucked in from a bajillion seemingly unrelated domains (images from here, js snippets from here there and everywhere - fsck knows what they do but have to let them run client-side anyway, some text from somewhere else). It's frankly shambolic.

    It is also horrible in accessibility terms. It's bad enough we cripple blind users' ability to interact by throwing up captchas all over the place (have you tried making sense of a captcha audio alternative recently???!) - but this kind of nonsense decimates screen reader abilities. What happened to the spirit of inclusivity and being egalitarian that the foundations underlying the web built? Just where did it go so horribly off the rails? /ethanol-fuelled rant

    • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Monday March 10 2014, @03:30AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Monday March 10 2014, @03:30AM (#13736) Homepage

      Same rant I've been known to vent :(

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by demonlapin on Monday March 10 2014, @03:36AM

      by demonlapin (925) on Monday March 10 2014, @03:36AM (#13737) Journal
      You don't even have to disable scripts. I've lost track of how many web pages have zero content if you have AdBlockPlus and Ghostery configured. Lots of them won't load the main article until Ghostery lets the Disqus comments through.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by threedigits on Monday March 10 2014, @08:42AM

        by threedigits (607) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:42AM (#13786)

        Maybe it's because an increasing share of web "content" are really adds in disguise?

    • (Score: 2) by regift_of_the_gods on Monday March 10 2014, @03:54AM

      by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Monday March 10 2014, @03:54AM (#13739)

      Site owners need revenues. Maybe not SN, but all the big sites do, especially those with hundreds or thousands of employees. Some of them can sell merchandise or paid online subscriptions; most of the rest have to sell ads and/or visitor tracking data. In order for them to get the right amount of ad revenue (right amount = maximum amount possible, given the content and service they are providing), they need analytics and data mining, and often intersite tracking so they can really get a feel for what their customers are interested in. And since they're competing with TV and other sites, everything's gotta look good with professional design values, not the way the WWW was in the '90s (except for Craigslist). But hey, practically all of the content is still free.

      I've often felt that I wouldn't mind paying extra for really good content and maybe a little privacy, but I've never gotten around to signing up for a subscription at wsj.com or nytimes.com or any of the others. I imagine their marketing managers run into that phenomenum quite a bit.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:56AM (#13745)

      That is precisely the problem I had with "The Old Site" -- they use fsdn.com for their graphics and scripts; so does SourceForge. Since my work doesn't want anyone downloading arbitrary code, they blocked SourceForge, and fsdn.com along with it, which made visiting "The Old Site" like returning to using lynx.

      Please, please, please SoylentNews, don't ever split across domains like that. I need doses of intelligence at work, or I won't long survive.

      • (Score: 1) by hankwang on Monday March 10 2014, @07:10AM

        by hankwang (100) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:10AM (#13769) Homepage

        ""The Old Site" -- they use fsdn.com for their graphics and scripts; so does SourceForge. Since my work doesn't want anyone downloading arbitrary code, they blocked SourceForge, and fsdn.com along with it,"

        You can proxy "the other site" using Avantslash (see sig), if you have a webserver available somewhere. That is, if you still want to visit TOS.

    • (Score: 1) by timbim on Monday March 10 2014, @08:54AM

      by timbim (907) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:54AM (#13794)

      TIL Shambolic is a word.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 10 2014, @03:13PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 10 2014, @03:13PM (#14012) Homepage Journal

      4.1 is what I'm using on my site. Nothing fancy there, just text, hyperlinks, and two (so far) images. I hate playing that "hit the moving link" game and hated seeing text that was covered by an image (not on my machines, but at work they had IE. Glad I retired).

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 1) by danomac on Monday March 10 2014, @04:16PM

    by danomac (979) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:16PM (#14055)
    Back in the early days of the internet, giving the finger meant something totally different. :-)
    • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Monday March 10 2014, @09:40PM

      by EvilJim (2501) on Monday March 10 2014, @09:40PM (#14306) Journal

      yes, I've fingered a few ports in my time, but maybe not as you mean.