Monday, July 16, 2007

Three Evolutionary Elements, A View of Web Evolution, series No. 2

(revised at May. 24, 2008)
(revised at Sep. 27, 2007)

When discussing Web evolution, the first thing we want to know is which elements are evolving. If the Web evolves, there must be some intrinsic elements of the Web upgrading with time. The recognition of these elemental evolutionary issues is the fundamental of Web evolution.

Web 1.0 TriangleStatic content, dynamic behavior, and interconnective link are the three basic evolutionary elements. The progress of Web evolution can be decided by the value update of these three elements.

In its physical structure, WWW is a network of many atomic nodes. Different people may think of atomic Web nodes differently. For instance, an atomic Web node could be a Web page referenced by an URL or it could be a Web object referenced by an URI. These different interpretation of atomic Web nodes lead to varied views of WWW.

By this theory of Web evolution, an atomic Web node is represented by a web space. At present, readers may simply think of a web space to be a personal homepage. This substitution is imprecise. But it is good enough until we do need a formal specification of web space later in this series.

Web 2.0 Triangle In a web space, static content is the written data, dynamic behaviors are the embedded functions and services, and interconnective links are the external Web links that connect one web space to the others. The specific values of these three elements reveal the particular evolutionary stages of the present Web.

For example, the value of static content for a 1.0 web space is raw data. The value of dynamic behaviors for a 1.0 web space is passive, non-portable functions. The value of interconnective links for a 1.0 web space is hardcoded links. In comparison, the respective values for a 2.0 web space are encapsulated data, portable services, and labelled links.

We can particularly measure the progress of Web evolution by studying the values of these three evolutionary elements. This is a fundamental recognition of Web evolution. But how the three elements evolves and why the three are the most fundamental ones. We need more answers. Beginning from the next installment, we start a formal description about the progress of Web evolution.

The next: Two Postulates

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