The Web Was Done by Amateurs

A Reflection on One of the Largest Collective Systems Ever Engineered

  • Authors
  • Marco Aiello

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Marco Aiello
    Pages 1-6
  3. The Origins

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Marco Aiello
      Pages 9-20
    3. Marco Aiello
      Pages 21-38
  4. The Web

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. Marco Aiello
      Pages 41-50
    3. Marco Aiello
      Pages 51-61
  5. The Patches

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 63-63
    2. Marco Aiello
      Pages 65-77
    3. Marco Aiello
      Pages 79-99
    4. Marco Aiello
      Pages 101-111
  6. System Engineering

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 113-113
    2. Marco Aiello
      Pages 115-128
    3. Marco Aiello
      Pages 129-140
    4. Marco Aiello
      Pages 141-144
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 145-168

About this book


This book stems from the desire to systematize and put down on paper essential historical facts about the Web, a system that has undoubtedly changed our lives in just a few decades. But how did it manage to become such a central pillar of modern society, such an indispensable component of our economic and social interactions? How did it evolve from its roots to today? Which competitors, if any, did it have to beat out? Who are the heroes behind its success?

These are the sort of questions that the book addresses. Divided into four parts, it follows and critically reflects on the Web’s historical path. “Part I: The Origins” covers the prehistory of the Web. It examines the technology that predated the Web and fostered its birth. In turn, “Part II: The Web” describes the original Web proposal as defined in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and the most relevant technologies associated with it. “Part III: The Patches” combines a historical reconstruction of the Web’s evolution with a more critical analysis of its original definition and the necessary changes made to the initial design. In closing, “Part IV: System Engineering” approaches the Web as an engineered infrastructure and reflects on its technical and societal success.

The book is unique in its approach, combining historical facts with the technological evolution of the Web. It was written with a technologically engaged and knowledge-thirsty readership in mind, ranging from curious daily Web users to undergraduate computer science and engineering students.


Internet History of Computing World Wide Web Computers and Society Web Development

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-90007-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-90008-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
IT & Software