Posts tagged Web Technology

Hypertext Wants To Be Free

From an article a couple weeks back, on anniversaries and Resurrected Landmarks, by Eric Meyer. Boldface mine.

It was just last week, at the end of April, that CERN announced the rebirth of The Very First URL, in all its responsive and completely presentable glory. If you hit the root level of the server, you get some wonderful information about the Web’s infancy and the extraordinary thing CERN did in releasing it, unencumbered by patent or licensing restrictions, into the world, twenty years ago.

That’s not at all minor point. I don’t believe it overstates the case to say that if CERN hadn’t made the web free and open to all, it wouldn’t have taken over the net. Like previous attempts at hypertext and similar information systems, it would have languished in a niche and eventually withered away. There were other things that had to happen for the web to really take off, but none of them would have mattered without this one simple, foundational decision.

I would go even further and argue that this act infused the web, defining the culture that was built on top of it. Because the medium was free and open, as was often the case in academic and hacker circles before it, the aesthetic of sharing freely became central to the web community. The dynamic of using ideas and resources freely shared by others, and then freely sharing your own resources and ideas in return, was strongly encouraged by the open nature of the web. It was an implicit encouragement, but no less strong for that. As always, the environment shapes those who live within it. . . .

–Eric Meyer, Resurrected Landmarks
meyerweb.com (May 8, 2013)

It’s worth noting that as hypertext technologies go, the web stack (HTTP, HTML 1) wasn’t the most sophisticated implementation; in many ways it still isn’t. But it was operational, and available, and learnable, and it was free and open. And that has made all the difference between science-fiction dreams and a fundamental, transformational shift within world culture, society and learning.

In other news, thanks to Eric for reminding me to wish a very happy belated 10th anniversary to CSS Zen Garden.

Monday Lazy Linking

    <ul>
<li><p><a href="http://www.copblock.org/1504/policebad/">Why All Police Are Bad — for Society. Ademo Freeman, <cite>Cop Block</cite> (2010-12-30)</a>. <q>I’m often questioned about my stance on police which is fine — anyone who knows me is aware that I don’t mind sharing my thoughts. Oftentimes during the conversation I’m accused of being a “cop hater” or told that not all cops are bad. I understand the reasoning most people...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Friday 2011-01-14.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DownsizeDCorg/~3/-LmP3jphEs0/from-the-downsize-dc-foundation-the-dictator-fallacy">From the Downsize DC Foundation: The Dictator Fallacy. <cite>DownsizeDC.org</cite> (2011-01-13)</a>. <q>The Downsize DC Foundation's website, www.DownsizeDCFoundation.org, continues to grow. Today, we bring you one of those articles, from the Our Lexicon category . . .  &quot;The Dictator Fallacy&quot; by Jim Babka fal·la·cy  -  * a misleading or unsound argument.  * Logic. any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-01-15.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2011/01/nothing-natural-about-it.html">Nothing Natural about It. Sheldon Richman, <cite>Free Association</cite> (2011-01-15)</a>. <q>The sharp historical division between labor and capital ownership is not a natural emergent feature of the market economy but largely the conscious result of government privilege.Atom</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.modestoanarcho.org/2011/01/two-little-pigs-how-some-cops-get-jail.html">Two Little Pigs: How Some Cops Get Jail While Others Go Free. <cite>Modesto Anarcho</cite> (2011-01-16)</a>. It's not that police "protect their own," exactly. It's that police protect their power. Rape your step daughter or get plastered and drive your car off the road, and you're well behind the blue wall. Do something that disrupts command and control within a prison, and the long knives come out. <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/2011/01/kiva-lending-team-anarchists-for.html">Kiva Lending Team: Anarchists for Empowerment. tolstoyscat, <cite>things along the way</cite> (2011-01-11)</a>. <q>Join here: Anarchists for EmpowermentKiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.Anarchists for Empowerment: We loan...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.theagitator.com/2011/01/16/mistakes-were-made-guns-were-pointed-a-family-was-terrorized-pets-were-threatened/">Mistakes Were Made. Guns Were Pointed. A Family Was Terrorized. Pets Were Threatened. Radley Balko, <cite>Gangsters in Blue</cite> (2011-01-16)</a>. <q>The DEA has apologized for the wrong door raid in the Hudson Valley that I blogged about last week. Sort of. John P. Gilbride, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, issued a statement Friday clearing Spring Valley resident David McKay and his family of anything to do...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://realtech.burningbird.net/web/web-technology/why-read-about-it-when-you-can-play">Why read about it when you can play? Shelley, <cite>MyTech</cite> (2011-01-16)</a>. <q>Earlier today I got into a friendly discussion and debate on Twitter about a new web site called W3Fools. The site bills itself as a &quot;W3Schools intervention&quot;, and the purpose is to wake developers up to the fact that W3School tutorials can, and do, have errors. The problem with a...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2011/01/take-it-to-limit.html?showComment=1294502769776#c69564467185806158">The state begins in robbery; some patterns of robb... Gary Chartier, <cite>Comments on Free Association: Take It to the Limit</cite> (2011-01-08)</a>. <q>The state begins in robbery; some patterns of robbery are doubtless spontaneously ordered, but surely others are planned by groups of robbers.Once the state has been established and mechanisms for obtaining power have been regularized, it will surely be unsurprising if people who do obtain power are people who like...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.3489,y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx">The Semicolon Wars » American Scientist. <cite>www.americanscientist.org</cite> (2011-01-16)</a>. <q>I mock the pettiness of these squabbles—and I believe some of them deserve mocking—and yet I don't want to give the impression that only cosmetic issues are in dispute, or that programming languages are really all alike under the skin. On the contrary, what's most fascinating about programming languages is...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://decafbad.com/blog/2010/12/19/let-a-million-bookmarks-bloom">Let a million bookmarks bloom. l.m.orchard, <cite>0xDECAFBAD</cite> (2010-12-19)</a>. <q>TL;DR: Don’t depend on Delicious; host your own, pay for it elsewhere, or hope for the best. Use real-time feeds to stitch the bookmarking diaspora back together into topical aggregate indexes. In the last entry, I wrote about why my use of Delicious has dropped over time, and what I’ve...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2011-01-16.)</em></p></li>