Tim Berners-Lee: The Open Internet and the World Wide Web


Many people know Tim Berners-Lee as the inventor of the internet as we know it. He spoke recently as part of an InternetNZ sponsored tour down-under.
The web is the most important invention since the beginning of (not printing but) writing. Printing introduced gatekeepers and was a backwards step in open information.
Innovation is like a bobsled you have to push hard to get it going, but gradually it picks up speed. As it gains momentum you need to switch modes and get in and start steering. Inventing doesn't require you to talk to people, but gaining speed does, and it takes much longer.
People abandoned gopher when they realised they were writing code that would only benefit the University of Minnesota. CERN agreed that they would not receive royalties from the WWW and at that point it took off.
What is open?

  • Open standards: shouldn't charge for a paper copy of the standard. Anyone should be able to review it.
  • Open source helped the web spread because it didn't require a procurement process. Crucial in a fast-moving space.
  • Open access: tremendous unfairness if you have internet access and open courseware but don't have the money to access the journals within which the papers are published. The old journal model has 'had it'. It' not going to be the one of the future.
  • Open government: open data, web-based 'G2C' (Govt to Citizen)
  • Open web platform: not enclosed but part of a larger community that is readily accessible.
  • Open platforms: where a device is a computer or an appliance comes down to whether you can programme it or not. Most companies would love to be able to control all of the software that is deployed onto that device.
  • Open data: 2009 there was a real push to getting data onto the web (in addition to the documents that were there). Openstreetmap. Unintelligible data is only unintelligible until someone interprets it for you.

The internet does not tell you where to buy your shoes or who to vote for. No spying, no blocking

Let's keep it open.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s