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A Never-Ending Project for Humanity Called "the Web"


In this paper we summarized the main historical steps in making the Web, its foundational principles and its evolution. First we mention some of the influences and streams of thought that interacted to bring the Web about. Then we recall that its birthplace, the CERN, had a need for a global hypertext system and at the same time was the perfect microcosm to provide a cradle for the Web. We stress how this invention required to strike a balance between the integration of and the departure from the existing and emerging paradigms of the day. We then review the pillars of the Web architecture and the features that made the Web so viral compared to competitors. Finally we survey the multiple mutations the Web underwent no sooner it was born, evolving in multiple directions. We conclude on the fact the Web is now an architecture, an artefact, a science object and a research and development object, and of which we haven't seen the full potential yet.
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hal-03633526 , version 1 (07-04-2022)



Fabien Gandon, Wendy Hall. A Never-Ending Project for Humanity Called "the Web". WWW 2022 - ACM Web Conference, Apr 2022, Lyon (virtual), France. ⟨10.1145/3485447.3514195⟩. ⟨hal-03633526⟩
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