back to article One does not simply ask the inventor of the WWW what he thinks about memes

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, academic, internet activist, and widely acknowledged lovely guy appeared on Reddit earlier today to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA). Here's what he had to say. On security Sir Tim regrets not baking more security into the web when he was developing it at CERN. "I wish we had a …

  1. Christoph

    "Interestingly, he agreed that the structure of the web addresses was probably back-to-front and may have been better if the top-level domain - like dot-com - came at the start rather than the end of a URL"

    Which is the way that the UK network did work until they had to change round to match the way the USA did it when the networks merged.

    It makes far more sense, but what can you do when you have to work with people who even have their dates inside out?

    1. Benchops

      Thank the gods they didn't do it like they do their dates!

      http://theregister.www.co.uk/

      1. LaeMing
        Boffin

        Re: Thank the gods they didn't do it like they do their dates!

        To be fair, US dates work perfecty when written as words: "March the eleventh, 2015". Which is where I assume they took their ordering from (the archaic fuddie-duddies!).

        I prefer yyyy.mm-dd myself, with the most-significant digits to the left, just like we do decimal numbers.

        1. OzBob

          Re: Thank the gods they didn't do it like they do their dates!

          Which is the most sensible way because it makes it sortable in a text file (bash programmer here)

          1. kmac499

            Re: Thank the gods they didn't do it like they do their dates!

            Oh ye chronological approximaters, the real reason for

            yyyy-mm-dd

            being the 'right' way is it logically continues on down through the time divisions

            hh-mm-ss ...... and so on down to Planck time ( a tad overprecise maybe)

        2. Hellcat

          Re: Thank the gods they didn't do it like they do their dates!

          Sorry old bean, but did you mean the eleventh of March, two thousand and fifteen?

        3. Chris Evans

          Re: Thank the gods they didn't do it like they do their dates!

          There is an ISO for that:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Actually I think it works better as it is. If I start typing theregister.co.uk into my browser it immediately presents a drop-down box with the likeliest matches based on previous usage. In fact just the t is sufficient to bring up elReg as the top entry. That wouldn't work if one had to enter uk.co. etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It is amazing how many ways people use to express dates and times on web pages. My algorithm for automatically spotting a date and time when screen scraping event calendars gets longer and longer.

        As to actual date content - some assume the year - and some the month. One site publishes their calendar in non-chronological order - and even a human has problems deciding which year is intended.

        Many sites do not use a year - and it is hard to tell whether they have stopped updating their information. Facebook events pages have a chronological order without any indication of year. The roll-over to a following year is assumed by the way the months suddenly go backwards.

        Then there is the date stamping of postings that uses an expression of relative time that makes it difficult to find a particular entry again eg "6 hrs".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > Many sites do not use a year - and it is hard to tell whether they have stopped updating their information.

          This. A thousand times this. My (large) employer's intranet is filled with out of date crap that no one does any housekeeping on and it's all completely undated. Whenever I do a search I have no idea how current anything is. Drives me mad!

      2. Def Silver badge

        Actually I think it works better as it is. If I start typing theregister.co.uk into my browser it immediately presents a drop-down box with the likeliest matches based on previous usage. In fact just the t is sufficient to bring up elReg as the top entry. That wouldn't work if one had to enter uk.co. etc.

        Presumably though you would still be able to type "thereg" and the auto-suggest would insert the "uk.co."

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    Cats

    There is obviously nothing to say against cats.

    And anyone who says otherwise will have their curtains shredded.

    Can we have a cat icon ?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Cats

      $(DIETY), I hope not... If that happens we are doomed. Doomed I tell you.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Cats

        $(DIETY)

        $(DEITY)-lite, now with 30% less hell and damnation.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Cats

          Doh... fat-fingered it...I guess my brain/hands need a diet. Have an upvote.

  3. J. R. Hartley

    Bring!Back!Bang!Paths!Yahoo!

    1. Gannon (J.) Dick

      It's possible ....

      but I think <blink>Google</blink> will first

  4. Allan George Dyer

    Put the TLD first, but keep the dot separator

    With scammers around we need a clear difference between the host and path sections of the URL.

    Yeah, I remember uk.ac.

    Oh, and while we're asking for the impossible, can we standardise on Chinese date ordering? yyyy-mm-dd, so easy for sorting.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Put the TLD first, but keep the dot separator

      We have standardised on that date format. More than 25 years ago, in fact.

      (Dunno what you mean by "Chinese", but that's beside the point.)

      1. LaeMing
        Boffin

        Re: Put the TLD first, but keep the dot separator

        Yes, yyyy-mm-dd is the default international standard, which happens to be the one many countries, including China have adopted.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Put the TLD first, but keep the dot separator

          "including China have adopted."

          There are some countries who have a different calendar - and presumably they have to do a conversion for the BCE denominations. Do the populations of those countries regard BCE as being something totally alien? Obviously a more difficult conversion than the 12/24 hour time conversion that apparently still foxes many people..

      2. getHandle

        Re: Put the TLD first, but keep the dot separator

        Obligatory xkcd reference: http://xkcd.com/1179/

  5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    I think the naming order came about because Americans were more used to using domains in email addresses, so smallest@middle.larger.largest whereas on this side of the pond we had more experience in using domains as parts of paths, so largest.larger.middle/smaller/smallest.

    Somewhere I've still got my uk.ac.stir.cs sweatshirt...

    1. LaeMing
      Thumb Up

      Most interesting.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Not sure anyone can completely blame the Americans because postal addresses have traditionally followed the increasing size order; house, street, town, county, country.

      For dates, the problem was multiple local standards making it hard to tell which standard was being used in any particular case. It may have been better for computer processing and sorting to have had gTLD first in URIs but at least there are no issues as to which standard is being used.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power....

    'In exchange for accountability and transparency'

    Good to see this out so clearly, sadly the governments of the world seem to be happy to forget the second half of the equation

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Power....

      Force times distance over time tends to corrupt.

      But politicians are observers at rest.

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