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Part 3: Reflections (3 of 9)

The first issue that jumped out at me was, "Very large hypertexts" remembering that the WWW hadn't taken off then. Here, Frank named the "barriers" to hypertexts bigger than 10K nodes. All quite reasonable issues when you look back at them. So what happened? People have big disorientation problems on the web. Until very recently (with WYSIWYG editors like Adobe Page Mill) document input and link creation is painful. Privacy has only recently been addressed. Heterogeneity amounts to HTML plus a few image formats. Could it be that the success of the WWW is due to the resolution of the other two problems - addressing the problem of scale by means of the already installed base of internet users, and the resolving of LAN/WAN issues by enabling TCP at the personal workstation? Judge for yourself, I suspect that Tim Berners-Lee's focus on a particular group of users and their needs helped alot - as did some adept politicking on his part. And let's give credit to the power of links even as impoverished as embedded "goto's" are. WWW as distributed HyperCard?
Last modified: Mon Sep 23 11:49:39 1996
Randy Trigg trigg@workpractice.com