La propuesta de Tim Berners-Lee

Interesante el análisis realizado por la revista Time en The Web at 25: Revisiting Tim Berners-Lee’s Amazing Proposal:

Here are some of the things that made “Information Management: A Proposal” so powerful:

Berners-Lee borrowed existing ideas. Rather than trying to convince anyone at CERN to support anything too radical, he recommended bringing together technologies and concepts his colleagues already knew and understood. For instance, as he mentions in his document, the concept of hypertext already existed; it had been named years before by Ted Nelson, whose wildly-ambitious-but-unfinished-even-in-2014 Project Xanadu presaged many aspects of the web. And the proposal’s opening infographic references Bill Atkinson’s brilliant Mac software HyperCard, whose “stacks” were akin to rudimentary websites that could be distributed on floppy disks.

He was realistic. Xanadu was supposed to implement super-sophisticated features such as intelligent links that would auto-adjust themselves if a document moved, and built-in accounting for royalties so that authors could make money off their hypertext creations. Berners-Lee, who was eager to propose something that one or two people could put together in a year or less, slashed out every detail that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

He made decentralization fundamental. “Most systems available today use a single database,” Berners-Lee wrote. They stored a lot of stuff, all in one place. He proposed something entirely different: a way to link up disparate documents and databases, no matter where they resided.

He aimed for universal compatibility. Though Berners-Lee coded the original WorldWideWeb software on a computer from NeXT — the company Steve Jobs started after being forced out of Apple in 1985 — he wanted the web to be available everywhere, on every sort of computer used at CERN, including Macs and VAX minicomputers.

He wanted to make sharing simple. It’s tempting now to think of the web as something that didn’t become social until this century, with the arrival of services such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. But from the start, Berners-Lee proposed a tool for painless, democratized collaboration among CERN’s staff of “several thousand people, many of them very creative, all working toward common goals.”

He looked forward. Berners-Lee said that all CERN needed at moment was a tool capable of distributing text documents formatted for a screen with 24 rows of 80 characters apiece. But he said graphics were a possible future area of expansion, and even mentioned speech and video — forms of media that barely existed in digital form in 1989.

He knew that everybody would eventually need something like the system he was proposing. “CERN meets now some problems which the rest of the world will have to face soon,” Berners-Lee wrote. “In 10 years, there may be many commercial solutions to the problems above, while today we need something to allow us to continue.”

¿Por qué no programas otro Facebook si eres tan listo?

Más de una vez me han preguntado eso, ¿por qué no programas otro Facebook si eres tan listo?

La respuesta es sencilla: no tengo tiempo.

En varios cursos sobre PHP que he impartido, mis estudiantes han desarrollado un miniFacebook como proyecto.

No es difícil, solo hay un problema: el tiempo.

En Quora han hecho la misma pregunta, Why can’t any programmer make a website like Facebook? La respuesta es la misma, el tiempo:

These are screenshots of Facebook (then still called TheFacebook) circa 2004 – 2005.


Any web developer who is worth his/her salt should be able to design and code a replica of the above in a week or less. Some good developers might be able to do it in a weekend.

Now, if you want to replicate what Facebook has today (2017), it’s still possible to do it single-handedly, BUT it’s gonna take you years to complete it, and by the time you do, Facebook would have changed again and added more features. You will always be playing catch up.