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[ih] FTP Design

>    When I first read the following article in 1973, I was just 
>starting to learn computer science constructs.  Structured 
>programming, and the like, were extremely hot topics, including the 
>goal of deprecating undisciplined use of GoTo.  So I read the 
>article with diligentce.  It was not until I got to the last 
>sentence it that I realized it was a put-on:
>    http://www.fortran.com/come_from.html

I remember the Come-From!!  ;-)

>>kind of "which pages link here" feature. Neither are easy to implement in
>>a very loosely coupled distributed system. TBL's great insight was that
>>a much simpler hypertext system would still be useful enough provided it
>>could link to any existing stuff out there on the net.
>Mumble.  The linking mechanism in Engelbart's system was similarly 
>simple.  It was not inter-machine, but it was textual and evaluated 
>at run-time.

No, but Englebart was pushing the limits of what could be done with 
the current hardware.  If you talked to him at the time, they 
definitely believed it would be over multiple machines.  That was the 
intent.  But it took 20 years for the hardware to catch up.

Remember NLS screens were TV camera shots of 4 or 6 inch higher 
resolution screens in the machine room.

>I'm going to claim that the innovations in the URL construct were:
>    1.  extensible declaration of service mechanism (http, ftp, ...)
>    2.  rigid requirement for domain name, to specify the place for 
>evaluating the rest of the string
>    3.  essentially no constrains on the rest of the string.
>That is, a simple, common global portion for evaluation, with an 
>non-standardized local remainder.  I claim that this model is a core 
>construct in good Internet architecture design.
>The local/public distinction happens to also be a particular win in 
>the way email addressing was done.  (It was in marked contrast with 
>the way X.400 did things...)
>>There is a bit more to it than that, though, because gopher made the same
>>simplification of one-way links, but it lacked hypertext and multimedia
>>and multiprotocol URLs, and its design was unable to grow beyond the
>>constraints of 1980s computing.
>However it was easier to set up a gopher site than a web site, 
>because the web required specialized documents while gopher ran on 
>text.  There was serious competition between the two.
>Another major design difference was that gopher provided no useful 
>information until you reached the leaf, whereas the web could 
>produce an 'interesting' document with every click.  That is, the 
>Web permitted a far sexier experience, of course.

Careful again.  Don't confuse the web with the development of the 
browser.  They were distinct developments.


>In terms of human factors, that means the user can get a 'reward' 
>with every click for the web.  And, yes, the implied comparison with 
>rats pressing levers is both intentional and, IMO, valid.  Operant 
>conditioning is our friend.
>  Dave Crocker
>  Brandenburg InternetWorking
>  bbiw.net