30 años de la World Wide Web

Se supone que el 12 de marzo de 2019 se cumplieron los 30 años de la World Wide Web. Eso podemos leer en La Red de Redes cumple 30 años: surfeamos por la historia de la autopista de la información y en otras páginas similares que se han publicado durante este mes de marzo:

Se cumplen 30 años de una de las creaciones llamadas a cambiar la civilización occidental tal y como la conocemos. Hablamos de la World Wide Web (WWW), un proyecto global de hipertexto que ha permitido por primera vez al mundo trabajar conjuntamente en la Red de Redes. ¿Y qué nos ha traído este avance tecnológico que se ha comparado, por su alcance, a la imprenta? ¡Encended vuestros módems, que vamos a surfear por la historia de la autopista de la información!

Bueno, realmente no nació entonces, más bien nació en 1990 o 1991. Lo que ocurrió el 12 de marzo de 1989 es que Tim Berners-Lee presentó un informe con una idea que luego dio lugar a la Web:

Se habló por primera vez de este protocolo para la transferencia de hipertextos hace 30 años, cuando, el 12 de marzo de 1989, el investigador británico Tim Berners-Lee lo describió en un informe para el CERN.

[…]

La propuesta original de Berners-Lee tenía solo 20 páginas, pero esas 20 páginas han creado un mundo interconectado en el que lo global es cada vez más local. A Berners-Lee le debemos, pues, herramientas como la URL, el protocolo HTTP y el formato HTML, avanzando la tendencia un poco WTF de hablar en siglas en Internet, que es algo muy LOL. Como veis, estoy al tanto de las últimas tendencias.

En los siguientes artículos podemos leer más cosas sobre este tema:

Hace 27 años…

…Tim Berners-Lee publicó el mensaje WorldWideWeb: Summary en el newsgroup alt.hypertex, el 6 de agosto de 1991:

The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to
make an easy but powerful global information system.

The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should
be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within
internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by
support groups.

[…]

This summary does not describe the many exciting possibilities opened up by the
WWW project, such as efficient document caching. the reduction of redundant
out-of-date copies, and the use of knowledge daemons. There is more
information in the online project documentation, including some background on
hypertext and many technical notes.

Try it

La historia de la primera foto en la Web

En The Story of the First Photo on the Web:

That’s the photo above—or at least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe. The composite image is a promotional shot for Les Horribles Cernettes, a particle physics parody pop band led by Michele de Gennaro, a 3D graphics artist at CERN. The photo part was taken backstage at the 1992 Hadronic Music Festival by Silvano de Gennaro, Michele’s then-boyfriend and an IT developer at CERN, with a Canon EOS 650. He later tricked out the image with those pink Cernettes graphics on the very first version of Photoshop. The comedic, nerd-girl, doo-wop band was a bit of an inside joke at the time. So de Gennaro never expected his janky album cover to change the world.

El fin de Terra

La historia de la compañía Terra Networks es muy interesante, y al mismo tiempo muy bochornosa. Y quizás se podría considerar que fue un timo de la estampita 2.0, ya que los ciudadanos que compraron acciones de esta compañía vieron como su dinero se esfumó al convertirse las acciones en “papeles sin valor”. Pero es simplemente un “quizás”, no lo fue porque si lo hubiese sido alguien habría sido condenado y estaría ahora en la cárcel, ¿no?

Recuerdo muy bien la campaña publicitaria que se lanzó para anunciar Terra y su salida a bolsa:

Recuerdo muy bien cómo mi padre me pregunto varias veces “¿qué es eso de Terra?” y yo no supe contestarle bien.

Recuerdo muy bien cómo las acciones de Terra subieron hasta las nubes y luego bajaron hasta los infiernos.

En </Terra> nos anuncian el cierre de este “experimento” y nos cuentan algunas cosas sobre su historia.

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.”

El verdadero origen de Internet

No, Internet no nació con el fin de crear una red de comunicaciones resistente a un ataque nuclear. ¿Cómo lo sé? Porque lo desmienten los padres de Internet en Brief History of the Internet:

5 It was from the RAND study that the false rumor started claiming that the ARPANET was somehow related to building a network resistant to nuclear war. This was never true of the ARPANET, only the unrelated RAND study on secure voice considered nuclear war. However, the later work on Internetting did emphasize robustness and survivability, including the capability to withstand losses of large portions of the underlying networks.