Information and Insights from Sessions at SXSW in Austin, TX

Open Web Platform: Hopes and Fears

Posted: March 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: SXSW '13 | Comments Off on Open Web Platform: Hopes and Fears

Tim Berners-Lee – World Wide Web Consortium

He talked about the history of programming languages, object oriented languages and the creation of a general (not specific to a particular platform) language. C -> Java -> HTML. The web works because HTML didn’t tell you what you could use on top of it. We are to a point where javascript can do many things now. HTML was designed to be completely declarative. It can be ready by many different things and many different devices. If you’re going to transmit something, use the least powerful language you can. Simplicity makes it difficult for something to be attacked. There isn’t a need to do additional things (jpg viewer doesn’t need to run additional code).

What is Tim Berners-Lee’s job?
To get people to use open standards. Javascript is a nice language to work in tandem with HTML5. It allows you to connect to hooks in certain platforms – API’s are available in Javascript to connect to mobile devices. You do need to be careful when writing HTML5, there are still platforms that don’t completely support it. The dream is still to write once and run everywhere, and HTML gets close. HTML5 is everywhere. Soon pixels will be cheaper than paper and printing.

Open Web Platform Docs
Webplatform.org

Platform
When TCP/IP was developed they completely ignored how it was going to be used. You throw something down the pipe, and it comes back in the same order. It wasn’t designed for anything specific. When you build something big and powerful it’s not what you can do, it’s what people can do with your stuff.

HTML used to fit on one sheet of paper, and has grown significantly. It is a platform of interconnected knowledge. It was quasi-static. Now with Javascript, webpages are dynamic. There are now competing stacks of Javascript out there. Now, each document is a programmable thing – almost a computer in itself.

Teach kids that a computer isn’t just box, but it’s anything you can make it. It just doesn’t run programs, but it’s something you can make do anything. Don’t just teach kids to use MS Word, but tech them computer science and tell them that the “box” can do anything you make it do.

Platforms are build so that they can work with peers. Things need to be modular so that others can build on top of it.

Threats
Will a packet be delivered? Are providers doing inspection of these packets and not delivering them? The data being carried in these packets can be stored and saved so they know what you’re looking at for various reasons. Spying and blocking and disconnecting shouldn’t be able to be done by anyone (companies or government). Our democracy relies on the internet being open. Build systems that are open and neutral.