Re: two webs?

Garrett Arch Blythe (
Wed, 20 Jul 1994 00:23:58 +0200

Let's pull this back to a development perspective....

On Tue, 19 Jul 1994, Alastair Aitken CLMS wrote:
> Brandon Plewe writes @ Tue, 19 Jul 1994 08:01:08 +0200
> ...
> >Are we seeing the beginnings of a rift in the WWW? Recent developments (W3O,
> >the commercialization of Mosaic) have led me to wonder if there are two camps
> >out there, that are becoming increasingly polarized:
> I too have spotted a little fraying on the web and this is of *grave*
> concern to me. Once a crack develops it is very difficult to repair.
> There are, in theory, twenty million or so of us and my experience leads me
> to believe that orchestrating that many people is virtually (sic)
> impossible. If a crack exists then I suspect that people are falling into
> it at the rate of tens every minute. Now, am *I* being paranoid?

Whatever choice a developer or team makes regarding their project is, of
course, their decision.

To continue compatibility with the WWW is paramount, if they are to be a
WWW client.

All that needs to be done is adhere to the protocols used by the WWW in a
client, or send correct messages back from a server, to maintian this

The most important advantages to keeping all developers using the same
common code is that it enforces compatibility, allows new developments to
be shared by all using the common code, and provides a standard API.

If an organization can stay compatible through their own devices, then so
be it. They should cause none of us worry. Even if they decide to
enhance their products to meet their own ends, they will do it in a manner
compatible with the Web, or they will split but keep their WWW
compatibility intact. No other WWW products need worry about their
"split" for normality. If the split is a healthy one, then perhaps the
WWW will eventually encompass this split. Note that such splits are not
immediately standardized; your client should still work, regardless.

> >My question is, is this bad? Does it matter? Is it even happening?
> My two "no's" show that you make a not unreasonable but fundamental
> mistake. I have no intention of following *anything* other then W3O
> conventions and reccomendations. My concern is the size of the web. The
> bigger the better and so two webs is, for me, an unmitigated disaster. If
> the NCSA conference diverges from W3O then that is *terrible* for all of
> us. Browsers immediately double in size!

No, they don't double in size. They use a consistant protocol;
regardless of what server they are talking to; regardless of how the
server/client was implemented. Do you know how many different flavors of
SMTP, FTP, NNTP, HTTP, etc... servers there are out there? Do you think
that they all use the same common code base for the specific type of
server? Do you think any of the implementations use different protocols
for the specific type of server?

No. No. No. How do you think we cope with each unique server? Surely by
not hardcoding the compatibility in for each one. A protocol definition
is used.

If an organization produces their own protocol, it is not HTTP as we call
it, and the WWW community doesn't have a need to squabble over such an
event, as it is not WWW.

> <crap about NCSA, CERN, and spider analogies deleted...>


Trodden Soil

I am trodden soil.
Dust covers my face.
Soles crush my nature
Revealing a hard empty space.

Garrett Arch Blythe (913)864-0436
User Services Student Programmer/Consultant
University of Kansas Computer Center