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11 May 2005 / erikduval

WWW2005 opening session

The WWW2005 conference had a 15% acceptance rate. The four main themes of the submissions were search, the semantic web, data mining and web services.

TimBL’s keynote ran under the title of Web for real people. The early part of the keynote focused on the balance between keeping the intent of the content as the writer intended it and allowing the reader control over what she does with it.

Apparently, the number 1 problem users report is “malware” (spam, phishing, pop-ups, viruses, etc.). According to Tim, the web needs to address this problem and “We have let this slide too far, empowering the bad guys” (slide 12).

Interestingly, during Tim’s keynote, he had a pop-up appear (and kept it) that mentioned “You Were Mentioned: One of your highlight words was mentioned on w3c.”. I tried to find out where that came from, but couldn’t. If you know more, please let me know!

The second part of the keynote was about the mobile web: according to the statistics on slide 22, “WWW2008 will be a telephone conference””, as Tim put it. Interestingly, the mobile web in 2004 is like the web in 1996 all over again (too slow, lack of interoperability, child protection issues, accessibility).
On the other hand, there are now many more connected users, there is much more content and the industry is potentially huge. Tim also launched the W3C Mobile Web Initiative, but it remained a bit vague what this initiative will entail.

(BTW, it strikes me that what Tim mentions about the Web in 1996 on slides 25 and 26 is not a bad description of the current state of affairs in learning technologies! This reinforces my view that, with SCORM and SQI/CORDRA, we now have the equivalent of HTML, HTTP and URL, and we are on the verge of the tipping point.)

Overall, it is always nice to hear Tim Berners-Lee talk about the web, it is interesting to note that he is worried about malware and excited about the potential of the mobile web, but I must admit that I was somewhat underwhelmed… I would have loved to hear more about exciting applications, things he’s learned, etc.

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