More Web history: two proposals

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 22, 2001

More Web history: two proposals by Tim Berners-Lee outlining his plan for a hypertext-based system for information management (a system that would eventually become the Web), Information Management: A Proposal from March 1989 and WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project from November 1990.

It's interesting to go back and read TBL's original vision for the Web because it tends to lay it all out in broader terms than we do today. We're all caught up in the specifics these days: JavaScript, XML, making sure our sites work in IE 5 on the Mac, pondering whether Flash is bad for us and why. It's nice to hear a simple description of why the Web is at once so simple and powerful:

"HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help. We propose the implementation of a simple scheme to incorporate several different servers of machine-stored information already available at CERN, including an analysis of the requirements for information access needs by experiments."

Ah crud, BlogVoices is shutting down. In the short time that I used it, I grew quite attached to it. There were some rough spots due to the fact that it was run by one person who didn't really have the time to support and develop it, but I really liked the ability to change kottke.org from a one-way thing (i.e. me spewing out content to you) to more of a two-way forum where people can talk back at me and also amongst themselves. So, while I'm sad to see it go, I'd like to thank Chris for providing this service for as long as he did.