So it’s the tenth anniversary[-ish] of the advent of the World Wide Web, and Rose is hosting this conference WWW@10: The Dream and the Reality.
It was awesome.
I taunted my Old Man with it a couple of weeks ago, sending him a “nyah, nyah” that he wouldn’t be here to hear these people speak, these people who struggled to get and keep their academic networks functioning for the “simple” pleasure of sending USENET posts, not to mention the overseas battle with the PTT.
I was enthralled, and I felt like a dirty, narcoleptic bum for nodding off during the talks I went to Friday. That’s not a reflection on the speakers.
These people (with others, of course) put together the World Wide Web. Just… wow.
I attended a couple of events on Thursday and wrote a story about it for the paper. Actually, it was the story of the news section, but I haven’t really processed my frustrations with newspaper (or even the extent of them) yet and I’m not about to start trying now. I’ll dedicate a special post to the newspaper when I am “done”–either by virtue of me quitting, me graduating, or me getting the boot.
So anyway, I wrote a story. Blah-de-blah. But the talks, the information imparted, were fascinating. First-hand, if occassionally canned-feeling, accounts of the development of the WWW. And each one takes a different angle–Nelson was the bitter skeptic and neural-network-system-representation guy, Abramatic was the standards guy, Kunz was the first webmaster, Pouzin gave a European perspective. Friday we had Doctorow, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) guy and Cailliau, the humorous question-asker. His questions weren’t necessarily funny, but his manner of delivery was.
Those were just the ones I went to around class and work.
It sucks that I missed some of the smaller talks and panels that went on Thursday and Friday just to sit blurrily in class, but it was probably better that I struggled to do school and work than attend seminars all day. The Sexy Leprechaun’s classes were all canceled Friday on account of the conference. Of course, that could be on account of the fact that all of his classes are with computer science professors, I think…
Fascinating, though. I wouldn’t have been able to have any kind of coherent conversation with the gentlemen should I have stuck around to meet them in person, but I loved this opportunity to match faces with names and history.