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“Lessons From the Web” Tsinghua University, Beijing April 2008 Bebo White

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Presentation on theme: "“Lessons From the Web” Tsinghua University, Beijing April 2008 Bebo White"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Lessons From the Web” Tsinghua University, Beijing April 2008 Bebo White bebo@slac.stanford.edu

2 The Web Will Be 20 Years Old Next Year

3 The Chinese Web Will Be 14 Years Old Next Week

4 No One Predicted the Web Science fiction is sometimes a good predictor of the future: Science fiction is sometimes a good predictor of the future: It wasn’t in “Star Trek” or “2001: A Space Odyssey” It wasn’t in “Star Trek” or “2001: A Space Odyssey” The Web was not the first hypertext system The Web was not the first hypertext system Vannevar Bush’s Memex Vannevar Bush’s Memex Ted Nelson’s Xanadu Ted Nelson’s Xanadu Apple’s Knowledge Navigator Apple’s Knowledge Navigator None were really glimpses of the Web None were really glimpses of the Web

5 The Web Was Unpredictable

6 The Web Was Invented to Solve a Problem To facilitate the sharing of documents and services within international high-energy physics collaborations To facilitate the sharing of documents and services within international high-energy physics collaborations To “make life easier” for computer-phobic physicists To “make life easier” for computer-phobic physicists

7 The Invention of the Web Was a Convergence The demands of the physics/scientific communities The demands of the physics/scientific communities State of technology at CERN State of technology at CERN Availability of the Internet Availability of the Internet Popularity of client-server systems Popularity of client-server systems Adoption of SGML for document processing Adoption of SGML for document processing Interest in the NeXT and OOP Interest in the NeXT and OOP Tim B-L’s interests Tim B-L’s interests Hypertext systems Hypertext systems Open source software Open source software

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9 The Web Was NOT an Immediate Success An interesting computer science exercise An interesting computer science exercise Another documentation system (and no one likes to write documentation) Another documentation system (and no one likes to write documentation) It took a great deal of “evangelism” It took a great deal of “evangelism”

10 The First Web T-Shirt

11 Today’s Web T-Shirt

12 155,230,051 Web sites (news.netcraft.com – 12/07 45,045.045 sites/square inch 212.23 sites/inch

13 The Web Took Off Not For the Reasons It Was Invented (1/3) February, 1993 – the Mosaic browser February, 1993 – the Mosaic browser April, 1993 – the NCSA Httpd server April, 1993 – the NCSA Httpd server Netscape Netscape

14 The Web Took Off Not For the Reasons It Was Invented (2/3) February, 1993 – the Mosaic browser February, 1993 – the Mosaic browser April, 1993 – the NCSA Httpd server April, 1993 – the NCSA Httpd server Netscape Netscape IPO announced 11/95 IPO announced 11/95 No profitable quarter No profitable quarter Priced at $28 (typical tech was $15) Priced at $28 (typical tech was $15) Opened at $71, peaked at $75, closed at $58 Opened at $71, peaked at $75, closed at $58 The Internet “big bang” had begun! The Internet “big bang” had begun!

15 The Web Took Off Not For the Reasons It Was Invented (3/3) March, 2000 – Yahoo! Hits a market value of $104 billion – greater than the entire US auto industry, parts suppliers included March, 2000 – Yahoo! Hits a market value of $104 billion – greater than the entire US auto industry, parts suppliers included The browser wars The browser wars

16 It Took Off Because It was unpredicted It was unpredicted There are no expectations as to form or function There are no expectations as to form or function It is unpredictable It is unpredictable There are no rules guiding its evolution There are no rules guiding its evolution It is dynamic (unlike a traditional data collection) It is dynamic (unlike a traditional data collection)

17 It Works Because (1/2) It is huge, but scaleable It is huge, but scaleable It is unconstrained in its scope It is unconstrained in its scope URIs work URIs work It is hyperlinked It is hyperlinked Easy to add content to Easy to add content to Searching is possible Searching is possible Discovery/surfing is fun Discovery/surfing is fun

18 It Works Because (2/2) Web technologies are intended to be interoperable Web technologies are intended to be interoperable The Web is based on a large collection of technologies The Web is based on a large collection of technologies No technology can pretend to cover all needs on the Web No technology can pretend to cover all needs on the Web Hence the interoperability of technologies is necessary Hence the interoperability of technologies is necessary Web standards should be open and not proprietary Web standards should be open and not proprietary The Web should be accessible to all The Web should be accessible to all

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20 It is Successful Because (1/2) Simple architecture – HTTP, URI, HTML Simple architecture – HTTP, URI, HTML Networked – value grows with data, services, users Networked – value grows with data, services, users Extensible – from Web of documents to… Extensible – from Web of documents to… Tolerant – works with imperfect markup, data, links, software Tolerant – works with imperfect markup, data, links, software Universal – independent of hardware, operating system, software, language, ability Universal – independent of hardware, operating system, software, language, ability

21 It is Successful Because (2/2) Free/cheap – browsers, information, services Free/cheap – browsers, information, services Simple (and fun) for users – text, multimedia, links Simple (and fun) for users – text, multimedia, links Powerful – for people and machines Powerful – for people and machines Built upon open standards Built upon open standards

22 Learned Perspectives of the Web (1/2) It is both a technical and a social phenomenon It is both a technical and a social phenomenon It has grown into a huge and complex organism It has grown into a huge and complex organism

23 Learned Perspectives of the Web (2/2) The computer science perspective: infrastructure and intelligent systems The computer science perspective: infrastructure and intelligent systems The information science and knowledge management perspectives: data, information, knowledge, wisdom hierarchy The information science and knowledge management perspectives: data, information, knowledge, wisdom hierarchy The social intelligence perspectives: connectivity, social network intelligence The social intelligence perspectives: connectivity, social network intelligence Application perspectives: e-commerce Application perspectives: e-commerce

24 5 Laws of the Web These laws have evolved from the evolution of the Web: These laws have evolved from the evolution of the Web: 1. Web resources are for use 2. Every user his or her Web resource 3. Every Web resource its user 4. Save the time of the user 5. The Web is a growing organism (Ref: Noruzi)

25 Is It Possible to Use These Lessons to Predict the Future of the Web? No one predicted the “dot-com” bust No one predicted the “dot-com” bust No one predicted Web 2.0 No one predicted Web 2.0 Is it a lesson from the past that the future of the Web is unpredictable? Is it a lesson from the past that the future of the Web is unpredictable?

26 Diffusion Models – Tools for Forecasting Models can be Models can be Quantitative – based on mathematics/statistics – Rogers’ S- Curve Quantitative – based on mathematics/statistics – Rogers’ S- Curve Quasi-qualitative – conceptually founded – Gartner Group Hype cycle Quasi-qualitative – conceptually founded – Gartner Group Hype cycle

27 The Rogers’ S-Curve of Technology Adoption

28 S-Curve Examples Ref: Paul Saffo

29 What Can the S-Curve Tell Us About the Web? It depends upon where we are on the curve – are we at the plateau? It depends upon where we are on the curve – are we at the plateau? What is our perception of diffusion? Acceptance? Ubiquity? How are people using the Web? How do they want/expect to use the Web? What is our perception of diffusion? Acceptance? Ubiquity? How are people using the Web? How do they want/expect to use the Web? Is the Web successful? Is the Web successful? What are the intra-technology relationships/dependencies? – Web and PC, Web and TV, Web and mobile phone; how do the diffusions correlate? What are the intra-technology relationships/dependencies? – Web and PC, Web and TV, Web and mobile phone; how do the diffusions correlate? If the S-curve is fractal, have we only reached one step of the Web’s future? If the S-curve is fractal, have we only reached one step of the Web’s future?

30 We Tend to Predict Linearly Ref: Paul Saffo

31 Underestimation and Overestimation Ref: Paul Saffo

32 S-Curves and New Eras of Technology Ref: Paul Saffo

33 Lessons from the Information Revolution We won! We won! The Web was our secret weapon The Web was our secret weapon Information is no longer scarce but ubiquitous Information is no longer scarce but ubiquitous It has become media It has become media But it can’t (IMHO) be explained merely by the S-curve But it can’t (IMHO) be explained merely by the S-curve Where is the Web on the S-curve? It has not become invisible Where is the Web on the S-curve? It has not become invisible

34 Gartner Group “Hype Cycle”

35 How Much of the Web is Hype? (1/2)

36 How Much of the Web is Hype? (2/2)

37 Again- Is It Possible to Predict the Future of a Technology Like the Web? No one predicted the “dot-com” bust No one predicted the “dot-com” bust No one predicted Web 2.0 No one predicted Web 2.0 Is it a lesson from the past that the future of the Web is unpredictable? Is it a lesson from the past that the future of the Web is unpredictable?

38 Before the “Dot-Com” Bust Many people thought that they had figured out what Web technology was good for Many people thought that they had figured out what Web technology was good for The development of the technology was focused on the validity of that belief The development of the technology was focused on the validity of that belief To many the Web was synonymous e-commerce To many the Web was synonymous e-commerce The Web was data-centric and application-centric The Web was data-centric and application-centric The governance of the Web was “top-down” The governance of the Web was “top-down” The Web had to show that it is unpredictable The Web had to show that it is unpredictable

39 After the “Dot-Com” Bust A re-evaluation of the Web took place A re-evaluation of the Web took place Web 2.0 is the result of that re-evaluation Web 2.0 is the result of that re-evaluation The Web becomes more user-centric The Web becomes more user-centric Web governance becomes “bottom-up” Web governance becomes “bottom-up”

40 Applications Lessons It’s the applications that make the Web It’s the applications that make the Web It’s the killer applications that make the Web diffuse It’s the killer applications that make the Web diffuse It’s also the killer applications that generate the hype It’s also the killer applications that generate the hype What was the killer app of Web 1.0? What was the killer app of Web 1.0?

41 Killer Apps It’s the killer applications that make the Web diffuse It’s the killer applications that make the Web diffuse It’s also the killer applications that generate the hype It’s also the killer applications that generate the hype What was the killer app of Web 1.0? What was the killer app of Web 1.0? I think forms, CGI, and SSL I think forms, CGI, and SSL They drove e-commerce They drove e-commerce Browsers were certainly killer apps Browsers were certainly killer apps

42 What’s the Killer App of the Future Web? Maybe there won’t be one Maybe there won’t be one The technology will “stand on it’s on” The technology will “stand on it’s on” “The death of the browser” “The death of the browser”

43 What’s the Killer App of the Future Web? Maybe there won’t be one Maybe there won’t be one The technology will “stand on it’s on” The technology will “stand on it’s on” “The death of the browser” “The death of the browser” My guess is that semantics + mobility + personalization will lead to numerous killer apps My guess is that semantics + mobility + personalization will lead to numerous killer apps Think searching, education, entertainment, science Think searching, education, entertainment, science

44 What’s the Killer App of the Future Web? Maybe there won’t be one Maybe there won’t be one The technology will “stand on it’s on” The technology will “stand on it’s on” “The death of the browser” “The death of the browser” My guess is that semantics + mobility + personalization will lead to numerous killer apps My guess is that semantics + mobility + personalization will lead to numerous killer apps Think searching, education, entertainment, science Think searching, education, entertainment, science Tim B-L once said that the days of the Web are numbered Tim B-L once said that the days of the Web are numbered It will disappear into the background It will disappear into the background The Web becomes as OS; the network is the computer; the world’s largest database The Web becomes as OS; the network is the computer; the world’s largest database This would be the “ultimate diffusion” This would be the “ultimate diffusion”

45 Lessons From the Past Will Define the Web of the Future The “dot.com bust” – what is the Web good for? The “dot.com bust” – what is the Web good for? User reaction/involvement – e.g., Web 2.0 User reaction/involvement – e.g., Web 2.0 Standards vs. Growth (W3C vs. Designers) Standards vs. Growth (W3C vs. Designers) The “Media Revolution” has succeeded the “Information Revolution” The “Media Revolution” has succeeded the “Information Revolution” Portable devices with rich interfaces must be a part of the Web’s future Portable devices with rich interfaces must be a part of the Web’s future Are we headed for another bust? Are we headed for another bust?

46 46 The Big Ideas of Web 2.0 Fresh, useful data is the core Fresh, useful data is the core The ability for other parties to manipulate that data The ability for other parties to manipulate that data “Living” applications that can be easily adapted “Living” applications that can be easily adapted Harnessing the collective experience Harnessing the collective experience “The Web as a platform,” independent of user platform “The Web as a platform,” independent of user platform Primary focus of participation, rather than publishing Primary focus of participation, rather than publishing Trusting of users to provide reliable content Trusting of users to provide reliable content

47 The Big Ideas of the Semantic Web (1/3) Information has “machine processable” and “machine- understandable” semantics Information has “machine processable” and “machine- understandable” semantics Can be built upon the framework of the existing Web technology Can be built upon the framework of the existing Web technology Ontologies are the basic building block of a semantic Web Ontologies are the basic building block of a semantic Web

48 WWW URI, HTML, HTTP Bringing the computer back as a device for computation Semantic Web RDF, RDF(S), OWL Dynamic Web Services UDDI, WSDL, SOAP Static The Big Ideas of the Semantic Web (2/3)

49 WWW URI, HTML, HTTP Bringing the Web to its full potential Semantic Web RDF, RDF(S), OWL Dynamic Web Services UDDI, WSDL, SOAP Static Semantic Web Services The Big Ideas of the Semantic Web (3/3)

50 Are We Ignoring the Lessons From the Past? By trying to shape the future of the Web with technologies that seem to be relevant? By trying to shape the future of the Web with technologies that seem to be relevant? By losing track of the Web as an evolving natural system? By losing track of the Web as an evolving natural system?

51 Thank You! Questions? Comments? bebo@slac.stanford.edu


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