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Beautiful Architecture

Cover of Beautiful Architecture by Georgios Gousios... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

The Web

The prevailing mental model for the Web is document-centric. In particular, when we think about the Web, we think about consuming documents in web browsers because that is how we experience it. The real magic, however, is the explicit linkage between publicly available information, what that linkage represents, and the ease with which we can create windows into this underlying content. There is no starting point, and there is no end in sight. As long as we know what to ask for, we can usually get to it. Several technologies have emerged to help us know what to ask for, either through search engines or some manner of recommendation system.

We like giving names to things because we are fundamentally name-oriented beings; we use names to disambiguate “that thing” from “that other thing.” One of our earliest communication acts as children is to name and point to the subjects that interest us and to ask for them. In many ways, the Web is the application of this childlike wonder to our collective wisdom and folly. As creatures with insatiable knowledge appetites, we simply decide what we are interested in and begin to ask for it. There is no central coordination, and we are free to document our wandering by republishing our stories, thoughts, and journeys as we go. We think of the Web as a series of one-way links between documents (see Figure 5-1).

Conventional notion of the Web

Figure 5-1. Conventional notion ...

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