Monday, February 13, 2017

Blog #7: The Components of a URL

The world wide web, already very well known as representing the "www" we type in front of a URL we want to access, was invented by a contractor named Tim Berners-Lee. In the 1980s, he developed a software called "Enquire"; its purpose being to map relationships between people, programs, and systems at his workplace, CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Researchers from different countries would travel to CERN and bring incompatible computers, making any possible connections a painful, lengthy process. Berners-Lee's attempts at making a web system available at CERN were shelved twice. Continuing his work on the Web, it proceeded without any type of formal approval, meaning at any time, someone above him could order him to shut the process down. Once the www system was created, those at CERN were slow to begin using it. In May of 1992, Perry Pei Wei, a student at Berkeley, had released a browser on Unix for the world wide web. This ended up being a very major step forward for the world wide web because at the time, Unix was the preferred operating system within the computer science community. With the prior instillation of Wei's programming language called Viola which was required for the browser to run, Unix users were able to view the world wide web with color, animation, graphics, and the use of a mouse. After the market collapse in the mid 2000s and the new dot com companies starting to fail, eBay made a turnaround in September of 1995. eBay had advertised itself as a an "auction web". $7.2 million worth of goods had been traded by the end of the following year, and in 1997 when the website was officially names 'eBay', the number had grown to $95 million.

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you think was so unappealing about the first web system at CERN and why it didn't take off?
2. Do you agree with the foreshadow of the causes of the collapse  as described by Alan Greenspan on page 124?

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ITR Presentation - World Wide Web