Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Web: first steps and evolution (Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0).

We use the Web on a daily basis, it has become part of our lives, specially for new generation of students. However, some of us do not have really clear what the Web is. In this post I will expose a little bit about the terminology and evolution of the Web. Let’s start from the basic terminology:
  • What does “The Web” mean?
Web is the acronym for World Wide Web. Basically, is a collection of interconnected documents or content which works on the basis of the client and service relation: the web client requests the use to the web service, the main purpose is facilitate the exchange of information between people and computers.

The World Wide Web was created by Tim Berners-Lee. He presented his first proposal on 1989, but it wasn’t until almost 20 years after that the web was establish on the Internet. When he came up with the idea of exchange information though computers, he was working as a software engineer at CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research. He observed many scientists participating on CERN experiments and then returned to their laboratories to work by themselves. After the individual research, they had problems exchanging results. Berners-Lee could observe their necessity to connect and exchange content via their computers. Seen this opportunity, he presented his firth proposal, but it was rejected. (World Wide Web Foundation, "History of the Web")

In 1990, he had created the first web page editor, browser and server. From those first steps until now, the Web has evolves rapidly, changing our communication and lifestyle.

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web 
  • Web 1.0
At the beginning, the main purpose of the Web was to serve as a cyberspace that allows people to share information. Thus, Web 1.0 works primary as a source of information, were the users could only read it. The Web was static and mono-directional, this means that the service provides information to the user, but he couldn’t modify it or contribute, therefore the websites were not interactive. Its main clients were business and companies that want to publish their catalogs and services, so people could read about it.

  • Web 2.0
This web allows users to read and write information, it was bio-directional because the web service presents information to the user and he could also add information to it, thereby allows interaction.  For example, the web 2.0 technologies and services include blogs, wikis and tags. 
Facebook was born as a platform to share, upload and comment information; in the beginning, its users were primarily university students who exchange content about their social live. 

  • Web 3.0
Also know as the “semantic web” because its main purpose is to be readable to machines and humans, using information in the way computers can read it. It’s a web of documents, compared to a global database, were the information (or data) is decoded first by computers, and then by people.  One of its attribute is the “mobility” characteristic, thus you can find the web in everything at any time: in computers, mobile devices (such as smart phones) and even in appliances. Another feature is that it can anticipate the user preferences.

According to "History of the Web" (World Wide Web Foundation), since 1989 “the Web has changed the world. It has arguably become the most powerful communication medium the world has ever known. (…) the Web has changed the way we teach and learn, buy and sell, inform and are informed, agree and disagree, share and collaborate, meet and love, and tackle problems ranging from putting food on our tables to curing cancer.”

As we saw, the Web evolves continuously changing how we communicate and our interaction with each other. From Web 1.0 to Web 3.0, education has also changed according to the technology evolution. Nowadays, teachers and students can share information transcending time and borders, taking advantage of the new technology.


- Ghazal, H.  Detail History of Web 1.0 to 3.0:

- International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology (IJWesT) Vol.3, No.1, January 2012. “Evolution of the Word Wide Web: from Web 1.0 to Web 4.0)”:

- World Wide Web Foundation, "History of the Web":

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