the interactive web

tim berners-lee:

So, I still have a dream that the web could be less of a television channel, and more of a sea of interactive shared knowledge...

The "World Wide Web" program, the original browser/editor, was in fact an editor, and you could make links as easily as you could follow them. And that was fundamental. There are two things which seem to me to be totally bizarre:

One of them is the fact that you can't do that, that we've lost that. So in fact the thing is not interactive. I don't know if I can think of any hypertext experiments in research where you haven't been able to make links just as easily as following them. Authorship has always been right up there. And now, for some historical quirk, which I could go into, I have gone into, I won't go into, we have a whole bunch of things out there which are "browsers".

So that's the first thing I'm a little embarrassed about. And the second thing I'm embarrassed about is when you made the links, and you edited the text on the screen, you didn't see any of these URLs and HTML and all that stuff. The weirdest thing for me, if you can imagine, is to see an advertisement in the "help wanted" of the Boston Globe, saying they want HTML writers, HTML programmers. I mean, give me a break! That's like asking somebody to come along with the skills to write a Microsoft Word file in binary. The whole thing is totally inappropriate.

funny, how different the vision of inventor of the world wide web was and is compared to what we have now.

Want more ideas like this in your inbox?

My letters are about long-lasting, sustainable change that fundamentally amplify our human capabilities and raise our collective intelligence through generations. Would love to have you on board.