[thelist] Re: authority for the Web!

Mark Gallagher mark at cyberfuddle.com
Tue May 14 10:32:00 CDT 2002

Ben Phillips wrote:
>>Before you make statements like the one below, you might want
>>to think about the implications.  To say that the Web was
>>"invented" by one man is factually wrong.
> no it's not. tim berners-lee invented the web.

Tim Berners-Lee had the largest role (and what an incredibly large role
it was) in the creation of HTTP.

He single-handedly wrote the first browser, World Wide Web, for NeXT.

If by "Web" you mean what we call the Web today - that is, HTTP - then,
although Berners-Lee is responsible for its creation (and thus owed
quite a debt, methinks), he was not alone.  If by "Web" you mean the
first Web browser and the concepts resulting, well, I'd say you might
just have a case.

>>He created the
>>http protocol and the ideas behind html, but it was based on
>>technologies and inventions that preceeded him, most notably
>>TCP/IP.  Without this standard, his http protocol would be useless.
> well that's just silly. using that idea, nobody can invent anything
> anymore. using that idea, karl benz didn't invent the motor car, because
> somebody invented the wheel and the engine before him. berners-lee did
> invent the web. granted, he used others' ideas to do so - it's called
> 'standing on the shoulders of giants'. but he did invent it.

I'd have to agree with you there - at least, the ideas behind what you
said.  Berners-Lee didn't invent TCP/IP, networking, or the Internet -
but then, no-one's claiming he did.  To say that he can't have been sole
inventor not because he wasn't, but because he used a pre-existing
protocol is like saying that whoever[0] invented the first GUI can't
really claim credit because his invention ran on a pre-existing computer.

[0] I'm slack.  Sue me.

Mark Gallagher

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