In the beginning there was Tim, and he had a great idea. His proposal was to create a network of information. It was vague…but it was exciting! His idea was to have a server. This server had a site which consisted of a page written in HTML. This page had links that introduced more pages with more links that took us to more sites and linked up more servers. This was the first steps taken to create the Internet.
We then decided that the Internet was boring and introduced images…and then we got blinking text…and then the marque. We were then introduced to Geocities and animated Gifs which led us to forget about Geocities. This led to more Animated Gifs, then sound, video, animation, real time interactions, applications, “The Cloud” which is actually the Internet, The Internet of Things, which is also the Internet. We were then introduced to the Internet offline and everywhere we go, all because of a simple link, called the hypertext link and this is why I love hypertext links.
So Tim Bernes-Lee introduced hypertext. This evolved into hypermedia and then we were bombarded with words such as transclusion, interwingularity and many more. This all leads back to the beginning, the hypertext link.
You never forget your first hypertext link. You never forget your first hypertext hotlink. That first time you link to another page or someone else’s information to enhance your product. This opens the world to sharing and collaboration. You can link to anything from anywhere. It is mind-boggling magic. Mind-blowing power. This ability, this superpower, allows you to create context through linking.
This is done through the basic anatomy of a link. It all starts with the words: Aitch Tee Tee Pee Double Meh ( :// ). The link is built up of the protocol, double meh, domain, top-level domain, path, fragment and query string. Everyone these days say “Gimme the link”, but this is not the anatomy of a link. It is the anatomy of a URL.
The actual link is built up like this:
<a href="#someplace">! clickety click </a>
This is fundamental of the Internet. This is what takes us to where we need to be on the web. However, before we can continue, we need to talk fashion. Trends. We have started to platue in our design and development. Think Parallax, but in reality, our parallax pages are like this:
There have been many trends that have come and gone, but the best part of the web is that we can borrow. We have the power to view source and develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across all platforms and device sizes. We have the power to develop apps and conform to the trends in the industry. In reality we need to follow the web standards and stick to our guns. This is much more important now and we need to resist the man. In order to make the web a leaner and better experience, we need to make performance a design feature and not a technical concern. We need to know our audience and develop with empathy. We need to keep our community that shares, a community of view-source enthusiast that share our design philosophy.
What are we enhancing? Firstly, we need to accept that we know nothing. As web developers, we don't know what device is viewing our site, yet we cannot dismiss them just because we don't use them. We need to know our audience and cater to their viewport. The notion of Only In The App complete control is incorrect. We need to close the gap and paint the picture of our message and use the features offline through the technologies we have been given.
Why should the web win? As web developers, we believe that if access to the web increases dramatically, there will be significant social development and greater representation among billions of people who currently have no voice. This can only be done by stocking the talent pool and enabling people to work within an exciting field and access the tools to shape their lives through knowledge.
The web is the future; it is already here but not evenly distributed.