Open Source

Memories from the time when the “read and write” and the “pull” web was still young

I just noticed that my blogging activity is pretty seasonal. In July Finland is closed. Almost everybody disappears to their summerhouses and saunas by the lakes. I work during the summer, but as there are no students and very little staff around I seem to have more time to write these small thoughts. Christmas is also good time for me to write to the Flosse Posse. That is the time of my my vacation.

And now back to the topic. Read and write web was not invented in 21st century. Read and write web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in early 1990’s. The Web has always been read and writes media. Even the first browser was same time both, a web browser and an editor. Being reading and writing media is the core of Web-thinking. If it is not two ways it is no more a Web – it is a channel.

In some earlier posts I have wrote about the power of web-thinking in the context of learning standards and learning objects.

I try not to repeat myself. But I just found some pretty old transparencies (do you kids know what they are?) and notes from a folder in the very top of my bookshelf. They are from the year 1996 when I was giving in-service courses for teachers about the Internet and the Web.

It was actually pretty challenging to explain what are the Internet and the Web for people who did not have any idea about them. To illustrate the Internet we use to play with a plastic thread and pieces of cardboard with a little whole in the middle. The thread was connecting all the teachers in the classroom to each other. This way they were able to act like “web servers” and send the pieces of cardboard (TCP/ IP packages) to each other whenever there came a request from a “web browser” – another teachers somewhere in the network.

The idea of the web I use to explain with this transparency. It is in Finnish. Anywaym the idea was to show the differences between the Web and a fax machine.

According to the slide: with a fax the writer and the sender of the page (Actor A) believes that the receiver (Actor B) is interested in the content of the page.

In the case of the Web the writer (Actor A) makes a page and believes that someone of the 30-50 million other people in the Web is maybe interested in the page. Then the Actor B “finds” the page or hears about it from some other channel. Then she “orders” the page. When getting the page she can be interested in it or not. Sound like a “pull web” for me.

I love the Web – the old school Web. 🙂

By the way. Tim Berners-Lee is today worried about the Internet neutrality and writes: “When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission.” Did I already told you that the old school is a good school?

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