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----- {{llfoip041.png}} || The Future of Ideas ||

why do we need to worry about this feature of the Internet? If this is what
makes the Internet run, then as long as we have the Internet, won't we have
this feature? If e2e is in the Internet's nature, why do we need to worry about

But this raises the fundamental point: The design the Internet has _now_
need not be its design _tomorrow_. Or more precisely, any design it has just
now can be supplemented with other controls or other technology. And if
that is true, then this feature of e2e that I am suggesting is central to the
network now can be removed from the network as the network is changed.
The code that defines the network at one time need not be the code that de-
fines it later on. And as that code changes, the values the network protects
will change as well.


The consequences of this commitment to e2e are many. The birth of
the World Wide Web is just one. If you're free from geekhood, you are likely
not to distinguish the WWW from the Internet. But in fact, they are quite
distinct. The World Wide Web is a set of protocols for displaying hyper-
linked documents linked across the Internet. These protocols were devel-
oped in the late 1980s by researchers at the European particle physics
lab CERN -- in particular by Tim Berners-Lee. These protocols specify
how a "Web server" serves content on the WWW. They also specify how
"browsers" -- such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer --
retrieve content on the World Wide Web. But these protocols themselves
simply run on top of the protocols that define the Internet. These Internet
protocols, referred to as TCP/IP, are the foundation upon which the proto-
cols that make the World Wide Web function -- HTTP (hypertext transfer
protocol) and HTML (hypertext markup language) -- run.[3-48]

The emergence of the World Wide Web is a perfect illustration of how in-
novation works on the Internet and of how important a neutral network is to
that innovation. Tim Berners-Lee came up with the idea of the World Wide
Web after increasing frustration over the fact that computers at CERN
couldn't easily talk to each other. Documents built on one system were not
easily shared with other systems; content stored on individual computers
was not easily published to the networks generally. As Berners-Lee writes:

____ Incompatibility between computers had always been a huge pain in every-
____ one's side, at CERN and anywhere else... The real world of high-energy
____ physics was one of incompatible networks, disk formats, and character-


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