Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has been hailed by
Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest minds of this century. His
creation has already changed the way people do business, entertain
themselves, exchange ideas, and socialize with one another. With new
online businesses and communities forming every day, the full impact of
Berners-Lee's grand scheme has yet to be fully known.
Berners-Lee's creation was fueled by a highly personal vision of the Web as a powerful force for social change and individual creativity. He has never profited personally from the Web but has devoted himself to its continued growth and health. Now, this low-profile genius tells his own story of the Web's origins-from its revolutionary introduction and the creation of the now ubiquitous WWW and HTTP acronyms to how he sees the future development of this revolutionary medium. Today, Berners-Lee continues to facilitate the Web's growth and development as director of the World Wide Web Consortium and from his position at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science.
Berners-Lee offers insights to help readers understand the true nature of the Web, enabling them to use it to their fullest advantage. He shares his views on such critical issues as censorship, privacy, the increasing power of software companies in the online world, and the need to find the ideal balance between the commercial and social forces on the Web. His incisive criticism of the Web's current state makes clear that there is still much work to be done. Finally, Berners-Lee presents his own plan for the Web's future, one that calls for the active support and participation of programmers, computer manufacturers, and social organizations to make it happen.
His vision of the Web is something much more than a tool for research or communication; it is a new way of thinking and a means to greater freedom and social growth than ever before possible.
Enquire Within upon Everything
When I first began tinkering with a software program that eventually gave
rise to the idea of the World Wide Web, I named it Enquire, short for Enquire
Within upon Everything, a musty old book of Victorian advice I noticed
as a child in my parents' house outside London. With its title suggestive
of magic, the book served as a portal to a world of information,
everything from how to remove clothing stains to tips on investing money.
Not a perfect analogy for the Web, but a primitive starting point.
What that first bit of Enquire code led me to was something much larger, a vision encompassing the decentralized, organic growth of ideas, technology, and society. The vision I have for the Web is about anything being potentially connected with anything. It is a vision that provides us with new freedom, and allows us to grow faster than we ever could when we were...
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