Developer! Developer! Developer! East Anglia

DDD East Anglia

Cambridge, UK
Saturday 16 September 2017

The Web That Never Was

The story of the web is a story about freedom. It's a story about information, about breaking down barriers, about creating new ways for people to communicate, to collaborate, and to share their ideas. It’s also a story that has as much do with marketing, money and meetings as it does with research and innovation. It’s a story of mediocre ideas that succeeded where brilliant ideas failed, a story of compromises, rushed deadlines and last-minute decisions. And it could so easily have been very, very different.

What if IBM had hired Digital Research instead of Microsoft to develop the operating system for their first PC, way back in 1980? What if Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark had gone to work for Nintendo in 1993 and never founded Netscape? What if one of the gang at CERN had said “Tim, won’t it sound a bit silly if everyone spends the next fifty years saying double-you-double-you-double-you all the time”?

In this talk, Dylan Beattie explores the alternative history of the world wide web - a web with no Microsoft, no Windows; no Firefox, no Google and no JavaScript. A web built on platforms, protocols and programming languages like GEM/95, Blink, HyperLISP, GridPerfect and NeXUS: technologies that are unmistakably alien, and yet strangely familiar.

So strap in, hold tight, and join us as we take you on a journey through the web that never was.