Tim Berners-Lee & Mark Fischetti
Weaving the Web:
The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor
New York, HarperCollins, 2000, 246 pages
Weaving the Web is a unique story about a unique innovation, by a unique inventor. Amid the barrage of information about the World Wide Web, one story stands out —that of the creation and ongoing evolution of this incredible new thing that is surging to encompass the world and become an important and permanent part of our history. This story is unique because it is written by Tim Berners-Lee, who created the Web and is now steering it along exciting future directions. No one else can claim that. And no one else can write this —the true story of the Web.
Tim's innovation is also unique. It has already provided us with a gigantic Information Marketplace, where individuals and organizations buy, sell, and freely exchange information and information services among one another. The press, radio, and television never got close; all they can do is spray the same information out from one source toward many destinations. Nor can the letter or the telephone approach the Web's power, because even though those media enable one-on-one exchanges, they are slow and devoid of the computer's ability to display, search, automate, and mediate. Remarkably —compared with Gutenberg's press, Bell's telephone, and Marconi's radio —and well before reaching its methods and ways of transferring data. I apologize… this time: Next time, we'll do it all online!
The book owes its existence indirectly to everyone who has been involved in making the dream of the Web come true. One of the compromises that is part of a book is that some occasions and activities turn out to be appropriate for showing what life was like and what the principles behind it were. Others, while just as important, don't turn up as examples in the narrative. So the index of the book doesn't serve as a hall of fame, as plenty of people have necessarily been left out or, perhaps even more strangely, it was only practical to describe one particular part of their many contributions. All the consortium team (W3T), present and alumni (listed on the www.w3.org site), are priceless people—working with them is great.
I would like to thank permanently, irrespective of this book, everyone who has taken time out to move the Web onward for the common good. For everyone who has helped, there have also been the managers and family who actively or passively provided encouragement. For me, the managers were Peggie Rimmer and Mike Sendall at CERN, whose wisdom and support have been very special to me.
To thank my immediate family here would suggest I were only thanking them for helping with the book, and for putting up with my strange behavior during book crises. The support you three have given me is more than that—it is a sense of perspective and reality and fun that underlies everything we do, of which the Web and this has been one, though a notable, part.