Archive for the 'xhtml' Category

The Dark Ages of the Web

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

The meme-whore in me has wanted to dive into the “What is Web 2.0 meme” for awhile, but I haven’t been able to crystalize my thoughts until now….

Now, I think Web 2.0 makes sense as a renaissance.

Of course, renaissance means simply “rebirth,” and therefore gives the implication that something which was once alive has died, but now came back to life. And in my limited understanding of history, I think of the European Renaissance as a time period where learning which was once well known in Europe (among the Greeks and Romans) was rediscovered and reintroduced into the intellectual dialogue.

Interestingly, though, much of that knowledge had been preserved in other realms, esp. in the Middle East among Arabic scholars. The knowledge was also largely available in texts all over Europe- but people didn’t read them.

I first connected the ideas of the Renaissance and Web 2.0 last night. I was hanging out in #microformats, where there was some lively discussion going on, when things turned to Web history.

  1. DanC: hey now… spacer gifs are not web1 technology. I dunno what the heck they are, but please don’t call them web 1
  2. Tantek: i didn’t
  3. DanC:*was responding to kingryan*
  4. kingryan: Danc: I know
  5. _limbo_: space tags are making do with web1 deficiencies
  6. kingryan: limbo has a point
  7. DanC: the original web browsers (for nextstep and linemode) had stylesheets.
  8. DanC: stylesheets got left off the program for Mosaic and Netscape 1 to 4, but they were there with web 1.0
  9. kingryan: it seems to me that alot of what we call “web 1.0″ (for lack of a better term), was really a regression from the original work
  10. kingryan: but I can’t say this from experience, just reading
  11. DanC: ouch. how about “the web dark ages”. not “web 1.0″, please.
  12. kingryan: ooooh
  13. _limbo_: sounds better
  14. kingryan: much better

(people: DanC, Tantek, kingryan, limbo)

Those familiar with the history of the Web realize that many of the so-called innovations of “Web 2.0″ were actually present in original version of the web as conceived and build by Tim Berners-Lee, et al. The original browser was read-write, had stylesheets and encourages structured markup.

Web 1.0 was really a regression from the original ideas, in Web 2.0, we’re just getting back to the original ideas and applications.

I don’t know who we should blame for the Dark Ages, but I’m sure you can think of some. :D