The ‘Form’ Element Created the Modern Web. Was It a Big Mistake?

The web was was born to publish papers, in particular physics articles from CERN, the great laboratory where Tim Berners-Lee, the first web developer, was employed to do intelligent information things. But technology is evolving … In fact, forgive the digression, but technology is not evolving. Everyone says it evolves, but true evolution includes a lot of death. Not all software survives, of course (I’m writing this in Google Docs, not on a Xerox Alto), but as anyone who has researched Windows control panels can tell you, there are many decades-old codes in our systems. If people evolved like technology, you would be 6,000 lizards, 30 chimpanzees, and a pair of Neanderthals all glued together with an anguished human face stretched across it like a “visual refreshment.”

However, the World Wide Web may be the proudest technology in history. After some initial tweaking and changes (e.g., deleting the tag ), HTML almost has May things thrown away, so that every later version of a browser can work with all the previous web pages. In its early days it grew the labels to become visual; made the labels grow

to become tabular, and more than 25 years ago (version 2) added the item

making it interactive.

It is the element

and the minor elements that make up the form, such as i