Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Web should be read-write

Tim Berners Lee in Read-Write Linked Data
I hope I do not have to motive here the fact that the Web in general should be read-write. That has been done in many places, from 'Weaving the Web', to the Read-Write Web blog. (I actually realize that in 20 year of writing these articles, I haven't written a separate page on that topic! ) Let me summarize here by saying the WWW was originally developed with the goal to be a collaborative space in which people could collectively design, discuss, share and manage things. Being able to impart one's knowledge, or put down a new design or correct or annotate existing work, is I think a key functionality of the Web. Even better, can it be a place we we are creative jointly ("intercreativeâ„¢") .

This applies to data as much as to documents. To take just one example, shared calendar systems are one example of shared data systems which, while they are silos within the domain of calendaring, they have a classic burning need for multi-person collaboration and the need to be able to create and modify as well as read. In fact, collaboratively figuring out people's intersecting calendars is a classic challenge task. The goal is to make an infrastructure which will make it easy to write powerful collaborative applications. Also, I like the maxim that wherever you have access to information which you have the authority to correct or extend, there should be an easy way for you to do so at that place. This clearly applies as much to data as to documents.

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