What the internet was meant to be

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The internet was not meant to be anything more than this:

%telnet <domain>

Or this:

%mail
No mail.

Yet today we have applications thousands of times more advanced than these. But why?

To begin with, network news was created.

This allowed one to read and write 'news' from a server.

Originally, to read network news, you typed this:

%rn

As time went on, people wanted more user friendly ways to read e-mail and news.

Soon enough you typed this most of the time to send e-mail:

%elm

Or you could chat with hudreads of others at once:

%irc <server>

By the early 1990s more people had gotten some form of an internet connection, either via shell accounts, or via SLIP/PPP accounts.

Because most networking software was not written to be used with Windows, much of it had to be rewritten.

Around the same time internet acsess started becoming more common, two protocols began and rapidly took off.

The first protocol was gopher, which rapidly grew, peaking around 1994, and then slowly declined.

The other protocol was http, which slowly grew until 1994, then rapidly grew afterward.

Both protocols were designed on Unix, but were quickly ported to Windows and the Macintosh.

The dot com boom

After 1996, the World Wide Web rapidly grew to insane levels.

The Unix roots were quickly forgotten, except on servers, where Unix-like OSes such as Linux are common.

But in 2000, the dot com bubble rapidly deflated, causing tons of companies to lose money.

"Modern" "websites"

Sadly most of these old but venerable protocols have been replaced with "modern" versions that almost always run on http.

For example, here's a comparison of IRC and Discord:


Names of old and new protocols
IRC
Discord
Usable on obscure platforms
Yes
No
Considered a standard
Yes
No
Secure
Yes, with TLS
Not really
Allows you to run your own server
Yes
No
Allows third party clients
Yes
No
Buzzword compliant
No
Yes

Another example is plain HTML sites and "modern" JavaScript-filled sites:

Names of old and new methods
Plain HTML
Javascript sites
Can be made by anybody
Yes
No
Less ads
Yes
No
Quick download times
Yes
No
Buzzword compliant
No
Yes

In short, making the Internet more than text was a mistake.