Web/web;Internet/internet

Subject: Web/web;Internet/internet
From: Al Rubottom <alrub -at- INETWORLD -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 11:51:02 -0700

(BTW, this was addressed at length [ad nauseam?] last year.)

At the risk of seeming didactic [I was a teacher for years!],
what determines "correct" usage is what the community of users
does -- in this case, look at any of the many trade/industry
pubs, usage on the Internet and the Web, and if you like,
in any of the prevailing references, e.g. Newtons's Telecom
Dictionary. An internet is any interconnecting network of networks,
of which there are many in the the world. The Internet is,
as many noted, The Mother of all Internetworks, formerly ARPANET,
DARPANET, et al. The World Wide Web [or WWW] is *one* particular
web of the many possible and actual that exist. The WWW Consortium,
a specific body, published the standards and guidelines that have
shaped how the Web has become widespread, i.e. the specific forms/uses
of hypertext transport protocol (http) that we all know & love.

And to make matters worse, intranets use the same tools but there
is no one Intranet above all others ... however some call 'em "Intranets"
and some call 'em "intranets." The latter is preferred, 'cuz there ain't
ONE that reigns supreme, as does The Internet over all lesser internets.

Common usage like "on the net [or Net]" or "on the Web [or web]"
reflects the ease, but not accuracy, of referring to what all implicitly
understand to be the referent. Be aware, be current, and submit to the
ad hoc standards of those who pay our wages... so why can't
everyone accept the inarguable logic of e-mail, e-publishing,
e-commerce, and so on? sheesh.... only worse is "I got 50
emails on that topic yesterday." yikes!

Deep Background:

Gary Comins wrote:
Remember, the _Internet_ was one distinct system developed by government
agencies and educational institutions for a specific purpose. It evolved
from the _ARPANET_ (all caps acronym) which was dismantled several years
ago.
Other networks in general may be connected by LAN or WAN technology,
but can one call them an _internet_?

and E. Haddock opined:
They've reached the level of use that when one refers to the internet, the
understanding is made that one is talking about the world-wide network of
computers. At one time I'm sure radio was a proper noun (or some other term
used for it).
But today, the use of web and internet are common. They're no longer
proper. They're not specifically names of concrete things, they're whole
concepts and technologies and events with histories. They're familiar terms
to everyone.

Al Rubottom /\ alrub -at- inetworld -dot- net
tel: 619.292.9998 /\ fax: 619.541.2260


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