Gregory  Gromov provides an impressionistic
overview in "The Roads and Crossroads of Internet's History," ... with a particular concentration on the development of
hypertext and the Web.

Current  literature of the online community   by Eron Main, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto

 Prehistory  | Internet | CERN | Next Step | Birth of Web | Hypertext | Living History  | Xanadu | Stats | Conclusion

History of Internet and WWW:
The Roads and Crossroads
of Internet  History
by  Gregory R. Gromov















... This is a hypertext of nine main pages with side links. It is written as a kind of mosaic rather than as a straight narrative, including email questions and answers, fragments of interviews, and the like. It focuses primarily on the Web and hypertext over the Internet. As well, it plays with typographical design and page layout in curious ways.

by  M. C. Morgan  College of Arts and Letters, Bemidji State University, MN



A somewhat wild and wacky history of the internet, not a standard formatting or layout.
EBEAB: Internet History by Marcus Kazmierczak




If all this seems like a wild idea, that means you understand it.  These are times wild with possibility.

Ted Nelson, 1982




Jakob Nielsen -- "the smartest person on the Web" -- clarifies this particular  "wild subject"  in some more details:

My estimate is that at least 90% of all commercial websites are overly difficult to use due to problems like: ... narrative writing style optimized for print and linear reading; not for the way users read online (they don't; they scan)

Web Usage Paradox, by Jakob Nielsen

.I feel most deeply that this whole question of Creation is too profound for human intellect... Let each man hope and believe what he can.
Charles Darwin

In compound hypertext, you are free to write marginalia of
disagreement anywhere -
which everyone else is in turn free to ignore.

There is crucial distinction between hypertext and computer assisted instruction.

It is simply one of freedom. In computer assisted instruction, the author can lock you into a specific situation and there you are--constrained to do the task that has been set for you, however long it takes, however oppressive and stupid it may be. And there is typically no way to register a disagreement.

In compound hypertext, however, we retain one of the great traditions of Western literature: freedom to turn the page or close the book.

You are free to write marginalia of disagreement anywhere--which everyone else is in turn free to ignore.

I believe that the rigidity and narrow-mindedness of today's computer assisted instruction will open out into the freedom of hyperworld exploration.

A New Home for the Mind? Ted Nelson, Datamation, March 1982



The History Conclusion and

The Net is a unique creation of human intelligence.

...  the first intelligent artificial organism.

...  represents the growth of a new society within the old.

...  represents a new model of governance.

...  represents a threat to civil liberties.

...  the greatest free marketplace of ideas that has ever existed.

The Net is in imminent danger of extinction.

The Net is immortal.


      ...the Internet revolution has challenged the corporate-titan model of the information superhighway. The growth of the Net is not a fluke or a fad, but the consequence of unleashing the power of individual creativity. If it were an economy, it would be the triumph of the free market over central planning. In music, jazz over Bach. Democracy over dictatorship...

by Christopher Anderson. The Economist NewspaperLimited.


... the network is not a computer science concept but a linguistic concept.

by Alberto Cavicchiolo, Cybersphere 10, 1996


Date: Sun, 20 Oct 1996 21:21:34 -0400
Subject: Comments to :View from Internet Valley

Your site is riveting history - but, what are the practical differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web?

You describe a continuous evolution of a system and I, for one, don't know the practical differences between the manmade information links whose terms are commonly bandied about in the press
Please respond - enquiring minds want to know.


Bruce D. Clyne




Dear Bruce,

. . .
>what are the practical differences
>between the Internet and the World Wide Web?

The Internet is a global networks' system that consist of the millions of local area networks (LANs) and computers (hosts).
So it's a tech system that is working according to the basic computer science concepts and rules. It was developed 25 - 30 years ago.

The WWW is only one of the ways of practical implementations of the Internet.

Some of the other ways are the following ones: gophers -- the dispersed system of menu driven subject oriented data bases; ftp -- the remote files' exchange system; email systems, and so on...

The WWW (that was born 5 years ago) is a method (and system) that provides the members of the Internet's community with historically new opportunity to create and permanently develop the global field of the texts (as well as images, animations, sounds, etc.), all parts of which are able to crossconnect with each others.

In other words, the WWW is a fast growing (millions of authors are adding new pages every day) global field of text that consist of billions of words (as well as sounds, images, animations, ... etc.) all (!) parts (every of billions of WORDs) of which are able to realtime crossconnect and interact with each others.

As it was mentioned by Alberto Cavicchiolo, "the network is not a computer science concept, but a linguistic concept".

I often quote this definition, even though I do not fully agree with it.
From my viewpoint the network itself is definitely a computer science concept. The Internet is a computer science concept as well as biological concept.

... the Web (!) only "... is not a computer science concept, but a linguistic concept".

So my definition of the Web is the following one:

The Web is a method (and technology) of the global WORDS' fields dynamic crossconnection and interaction (again, I mean the words, as well as all other communication symbols: the images, animations, sounds and so on...).

The Web uses the Internet to store, locate and connect the WORDS as some of the others more tradition methods of the WORDS's connection used the stones, skins, papyruses, papers, phone, recorders, radio, TV ...

The phone teleconferences, some of the radio and TV shows and tele-reportages were partly using the Web's basic hyperlink approach.

The hyperlinks concept itself was known for thousands of years . For instance, some of the Bible stories include different source stories inside the main story, and those source stories contane some other sourse stories and so on...

All those well known attempts to use hyperlinks concept had one technical disadvantage: they were based on the static, fully prediscribed scenarios of the WORDS' crossconnections.

There were strong crossconnection levels limits, link's delay time limits, and so on..

The WWW has broken any limits for any WORDS' crosconnections.

After that the "chain reaction" of crossconnections was launched...

For instance, according to the Sun Microsystems' statistics "the total number of the Internet's sites crossconnections more than doubled every month". (Sun press-seminar , January 1995, Mountain View, CA).

. . .
Once again, thank you for your interest.


    Gregory Gromov



Epilogue and Prologue ...

      The Web 's Way
      to the WORD's WORLD

          In the beginning was the WORD ...


  The WWW creates a multidimencional Web of Roads. Those Roads have their beginning at the civilization that was raised on a concept of a plane BOOK; the civilization that has existed for thousands of years.

The Hyperlinks -- Roads of WWW -- lead from a BOOK of a plane text to the multidimencional Universe of WORDs, to the WORD's WORLD, which becomes the kernel concept of the next civilization...


That's it, yet ...
Thank you for taking time to read this endless hyper-essay,



Prehistory  | Internet | CERN | Next Step | Birth of Web | Hypertext | Living History  | Xanadu | Stats | Conclusion

The Index:
  • Prehistory of the Internet
  • Internet Before World Wide Web
  • World Wide Web as a Side Effect of Particle Physics Experiments.
  • Next Crossroad of World Wide Web History
  • Birth of the World Wide Web
  • Early History of Hypertext
  • "Living History" of Hypertext.
  • Xanadu Plan
  • Growth of the Internet: Statistics
  • Conclusion

  • Suggestions, thoughts, questions? Contact us...

    Copyright 1995-2011   Gregory Gromov