Building the Internet was the collective achievement of hundreds of engineers and scientists. The intriguing thing about the World Wide Web is that, alone among Internet technologies, it was conceived and created by a single individual--the English physicist Tim Berners-Lee. He articulated the vision of a global universe of linked documents, wrote the first browser and server programs and came up with the protocols and acronynms (HTTP, URL, HTML, WWW) which are now part of all our lives.
Given the way the Web has become the dominant communications technology of our time, one could argue that Berners-Lee is the guy who invented the future. Yet up to now he has remained reticent about how he did it. Weaving the Web is therefore the definitive account of how the World Wide Web came to be. No one else could have written this book--the history of the Web straight from the source. Yet it's a characteristically modest and self-effacing book, in which Berners-Lee relegates the story of how he came to create the Web to the first 90 pages. They make riveting reading as they tell a story of ingenuity and persistence and vision; but most of all they tell a remarkable parable about civic values. The Intellectual Property Rights embodied in the Web could have made Berners-Lee the richest man in history. Yet he turned his back on the money and set his creation free. He was determined from the outset that the Web should belong not to him but to us.
The remaining 130 pages are devoted to an account of how he implemented this commitment to the public domain by setting up the World Wide Web Consortium--the organisation he created to ensure that that the Web continues to develop without becoming the proprietary reserve of the powerful corporations which aspire to control it. Through this account--of protocol wars and technical disputes and unbearable pressures--runs a consistent vision challenging the prevailing orthodoxy that regards the Web simply as a wonderful new way of doing business. Of course, it is a new way of doing business--but in Berners-Lee's view that is perhaps the least interesting thing about the Web. He continues to view the Web as he has always seen it--as a medium that can codify the sum total of human knowledge and understanding. Weaving the Web is an unforgettable testimony to that heroic vision. --John Naughton --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
This lucid but impersonal memoir conveys some vital history and intriguing philosophy concerning the Internet, written by the man who invented such ubiquitous terms as URL, HTML and World Wide Web. British-born physicist Berners-Lee is now the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which is based at MIT and sets software standards for the Web. In the late 1980s, he wrote the first programs that set up the Web, thus revolutionizing the Internet by allowing users to hyperlink among the world's computers. It was a quantum conceptual leap, and not everyone instantly understood it (some researchers had to be convinced that posting information was better than writing custom programs to transfer it). The release of graphical browsers such as Netscape Navigator made the Web much easier for home users to navigate and led to the commercialization of the Net. Although Berners-Lee calmly eschewed opportunities to get rich, he doesn't subscribe to the notion, common among pre-Web denizens of the Internet, that commercialization is a pox upon cyberspace. After short takes on current issues like privacy and pornography, Berners-Lee moves into prediction and prescription: the Web needs more intuitive interfaces and integration of tools, "annotation servers" that allow comments to be posted on documents and "social machines" that enable national plebiscites. And while he's no digital utopian, he thinks an Internet that balances decentralization and centralization can contribute to a more harmonious society. Berners-Lee's tone is more lofty than quotidian. He'd rather muse about the benefits of decentralization that his revolutionary technology makes possible than respond to Internet skeptics and critics. But he was very, very right a decade ago, and he's well worth reading now. First serial to Vanity Fair; 7-city author tour; 25-city radio campaign.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Berners-Lee was responsible for driving the Web's creation, and his text articulates his passion about the World Wide Web. Read morePublished on Dec 20 2011 by Christopher Parsons
Pro: A recount of the history of the world wide web from the creator himself. Second pro, buying the book of the guy who gave us this really cool thing, and letting him reap a... Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by Robert Cannon
While he doesn't enjoy the fame or fortune of a mega mortal such as Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee is more than a major player in the world of the Web - he invented it. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by Gail Cooke
Tim Berners-Lee explains how the Internet got started, but how he then conceived of the World Wide Web. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2003 by Keith Appleyard
Since Berners-Lee played such a critical role in developing the web, his view on the history of it is definitely worth reading. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2002 by Ronald Brown
Mr. Berners-Lee (in 2004 he became "Sir Tim") created the World Wide Web. He also created the first Web server and the first Web browser, both in 1990. Read morePublished on April 25 2002 by R. Sobkoviak
This book that tells the amazing story of how Tim Berners-Lee conceived of the Web and brought it into being. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2001 by Erika Mitchell
I had the pleasure of reading Tim's book at about the time I was working with a non-profit group which produced a free two-hour webcast of Tim's Q&A. Read morePublished on July 9 2001 by Harvey S. Jacobs