Internet was not everything a few decades ago. Internet is not everything even today. However we are entering an age were there is an apparent delusion that it is everything. When we say that it has connected the terrestrial earth, it is just a type of commercial and content based connectivity that we are considering as the ubiquity of internet.
There is a key question in front of us. How is it enabling us to live our lives? Is it enabling us to access information and share information from our own archives? Is it helping us to help others? Why is it so fragmented? Why is it so complex? Why is it so text centric? Why is it so image centric? Why is it only accessible from selected devices and data bases?
Internet is just one among the multitude of computer network manifestations from the early days of telecommunication systems such as USENET, ARPANET, ARCNET etc. Due to various political, geographical and technological equations, it became the dominant network topology of our times. However, World Wide Web (WWW) is a different paradigm. WWW has become a reality inspired by early information systems like Memex and the emergence of internet and domain naming system. Early projects like Hypertext Editing system and parallel projects like Xandadu have been lost in translation into the era of electronic business and electronic governance.
There were interesting decentralised web experiments like Distpia as a counter discourse to Facebook in the later 2000s.
Fast forward 2021, web3 is a magical melange of cryptographic constructs and crypto-physics creatives. Fast forward to 2021, web3 has become a pragmatic prism of all the open knowledge and open innovation that remains in the internet.
Hence we need to reflect on the past, present and pragmatic pointers of web3 from all the perspectives. How much of re-imagination, re-invention and renovation is feasible, favourable and future forward to web3? Web3 has to be secure and scalable for the emerging ensembles of information across digital and physical networks.
At the moment, the WWW is in a quagmire. It is bloated because of the meaningless abstractions and monolithic architectures. The search engines are stuffed up with excessive indexes, trees and graphs. Websites are bloated because of cascading style sheets. Databases are stymied because of relational and non-relational constructs. Social Networks are stagnating on the load of likes and dislikes Even when we look at the data structure of crypto currencies, there are a number of questions on the compression and communication efficiency of the hashing techniques used across various distributed ledgers. The way we organise and operate smart contracts look very sub optimal on the long run. A perspective on functional and efficient design is long lost in the pathways of world wide web.
These are just a few symptoms of the larger malaise that has resulted in the quagmires. Our Read — Write — Execute model has inherent flaws. It is not the only constraint of the WWW and emerging web3. This is an introductory article on the past, present and future of WWW, web3 and the new web of information, logic and languages (wiLL) that we need to build for ourselves.