There was never an ‘open web’

There was never an ‘open web’ because at a fundamental level the web enforced hierarchy via how URLs were defined to work. For most protocols (including gopher), a URL combines a hostname with a path. That hostname gets resolved (via DNS or simply by being an IP address) to a particular machine or a small set of machines. This was fine in the early 90s, when a 486 connected over ISDN could handle the simultaneous traffic of nearly everybody on earth with a web browser, but as soon as the number of users began to increase it became clear that scale was a problem: that single host needed to be beefy and…

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Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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John Ohno

John Ohno

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net