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Future of the World Wide Web

A couple days ago, Tim Berners-Lee (aka, father of the web) gave testimony at the US House of Representatives, as part of hearings on the Digital Future of the United States. A written version of his testimony is now online in The Future of the World Wide Web. Here's just one tidbit of a great talk:

The Web's ability to allow people to forge links is why we refer to it as an abstract information space, rather than simply a network. Other open systems such as the mails, the roads or the telephones come to perform a function in society that transcends their simple technical characteristics.

In these systems, phone calls from the wireline networks travel seamlessly to wireless providers. Mails from one country traverse borders with minimal friction, and the cars we buy work on any roads we can find. Open infrastructures become general purpose infrastructure on top of which large scale social systems are built.

The Web takes this openness one step further and enables a continually evolving set of new services that combine information at a global scale previously not possible. This universality has been the key enabler of innovation on the Web and will continue to be so in the future.

Altogether, I think this is a must-read for anyone interested in the history and future of the web (via Danny Ayers).

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