C.1.2 Evolving Web

C.1.2 Describe how the web is constantly evolving

The beginnings of the web (Web 1.0 , Web of content)

The world wide web started around 1990/91 as a system of servers connected over the internet that deliver static documents, which are formatted as hypertext markup language (HTML) files, which support links to other documents, but also multimedia as graphics, video or audio. In the beginnings of the web, these documents consisted mainly of static information and text, where multimedia were added later. Some experts describe this as a “read-only web”, because users mostly searched and read information, while there was little user interaction or content contribution.

Web 2.0 – “Web of the Users”

However, the web started to evolve into the delivery of more dynamic documents, enabling user interaction or even allowing content contribution. The appearance of blogging platforms as Blogger in 1999 gives a time mark for the birth of the Web 2.0. Continuing the model from before, this would be the evolution to a “read-write” web. This opened new possibilities and lead to new concept as blogs, social networks or video-streaming platforms. Web 2.0 might also be looked at from the perspective of the websites themselves evolving in more dynamic and feature-rich. For instance, improved design, JavaScript and dynamic content loading could be considered Web 2.0 features.

Web 3.0 – “Semantic Web”

The internet and thus the world wide web is constantly developing and evolving into new directions and while the changes described for the Web 2.0 are clear to us today, the definition for the Web 3.0 is not definitive yet. Continuing the read to read-write description form earlier, it might be argued that the Web 3.0 would be the “read-write-execute” web. One interpretation of this, is that the web enables software agents to work with documents by using semantic markup. This allows for smarter searches and the presentation of relevant data fitting into context. This is why Web 3.0 is sometimes called the semantic executive web.

But what does this mean?

It’s about user input becoming more meaningful, more semantic, by users giving tags or other kinds of data to their document, that allow software agents to work with the input, e.g. to make it more searchable. The idea is to be able to better connect information that is semantically connected.

Later developments

However, it might also be argued that the Web 3.0 is what some people call the Internet of Things, which is basically connecting every day devices to the internet to make them smarter. In some way, this also fits the read-write-execute model, as it allows the user to control a real life action on a device over the internet. Either way, the web keeps evolving and the following image provides a good overview and an idea where the web is heading to.

he Web Expansion (TrendOne, 2008)

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