The Evolving Web

A Pace Layering view of the development of the Web and the W3C

The Web today is very different to what it was in 1994, when the World Wide Web Consortium was established. This article looks back at the early history of the Web and uses Pace Layering theory to consider some recent developments and the role of the W3C in the process of change.

Perhaps the Membership and structure of the W3C, which were highly effective in establishing the Web during its first decade, are no longer able to adequately reflect the diverse interests and aspirations of the greatly increased number of Web users today. Also, perhaps it is time for the W3C to break away from its financial dependence on large corporate Members and to start taking a more active role in regulating the Web.

This article draws on the keynote presentation “Web 2.0 and the Concept of Universal Design” by Roger Hudson and Russ Weakley at the OzeWAI Conference in December 2007.

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