Open Web – What is it? Why is it important?

The term Open Web is having more  presence… What is it? Why is it important? Is it really new? It is difficult to find asnwers to all those questions because of the lack of information, and that is why I decided to comment about this topic here.

I will try to be short, brief and concise in order to make this understandable for everyone.
First of all, the Open Web refers not only to website but to all the Internet.

I Love The Open Web

I want to define what Internet is so as to go on with my explanation.

Internet is a very big network of computers, that is to say  that there are a lot of computers connected. If you wire up all your home computers  (or connect them via WiFi) you can start sharing information between them, but if you connect all the computers in your neighborhood, your city, your country and the world you will find a big network called Internet. It means that it is a network containing almost every computer in the world  (PCs, notebooks, Macs,  smartphones, etc) designed to share information between them. That  information could be chat, music, pictures, etc. and a special kind of document called “website”. If you open that document with a text editor you will find a code very hard to understand if you don’t have previous knowledge but when you open it with a special software  called “browser” (e. g. Mozilla Firefox) you will see the website as you know it.

If we take into account all I said before, we realize that the Internet is important, useful, vital and that belongs absolutely to all of us.

Besides we can go deeply and redefine it detailed. That is the place where we find the definitions of Open Web. I mean, the meaning is just the own and natural nature of Internet and that we musn’t forget because is our duty protect it of the abuses that it is being suffering along the years because is our duty protect it of the different abuses that it is being suffering along the years under monopolization, control and restriction tries.

We may also go deeply into it and redefine it in detail. It is the place where we find the definition of Open Web. I mean, that term is just a mere reference to the own and natural nature of the Internet. And we must not forget that, since it is our duty to protect it from the different abuses it has been suffering throughout the years, under attempts of monopolization, control and restriction.
So, we can define Open Web as:
  • Desentralized: Internet is formed by computers of all the world. It does not belong to any government or person. We all have the rights to share all the material we want and make websites the way we wish.
  • Transparency: It is important that all what we do in Internet and the access to it be totally visible to everyone (because we are all part of that big network). That means that we must have access to the font code of the websites (how are they made and how they work), use undestandable URLs, use open standards, etc.
  • Hackability: It is commonly assumed that “hack” is a bad word because of the use the media has given to it, but it simply means to apply ingenuity to do something  (e.g, play chess or make a website). Regarding the Internet it means to use it as a platform to make customizable and collaborative websites. A good  example of this is WordPress which allows you to create a blog and modify it as you wish.
  • Open: The Internet must be built under open standards, technologies and protocols. That means that we are able to know how it is built and that no company owns it. In turn, it must be made with open sources and open specifications.
  • Accessible: The Internet belongs to of all us and nobody can be denied access to it. In  turn, It has been named World Heritage. A government cannot deny anybody the access to it, and likewise, we must not discriminate physically impaired users when we create content. We must make content accessible to everyone.

Why is the Open Web important?

Basically because it belongs to all of us and nobody must lose their rights to access, to use and to build Internet as they wish.

Internet  is one of the most benevolent and important inventions of humanity.  It allows us to catch up, post news, work together, share knowledge,  make revolutions and many more things we cannot even imagine.

We  must not let the Internet to be owned by companies or governments as it occurred  in the past. In the mid-90s the only way to surf the web was through Internet Explorer because Microsoft had monopolized the Web. Then,  Mozilla Foundation  (a non-profit organization) appeared and began to protect the Open Web. Thanks to the well-done work, we have a big amount of excellent browsers (like Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, etc) in order to own our web experience. In turn, now there are attempts to monopolize the Web such as Google’s trying to make us believe that Open Web  technologies are only compatible with their browser or offering Web applications that only work in their browser. Another example is the use of Flash, a technology used for multimedia web sites that demands its installation in your browser in order for you to see the content.

We must not let such an important resource for the development of humanity as Internet to be restricted. We must know how to use it and realize that our actions and choices on the Web have a lot of importance and impact.

Internet is the greatest asset of humanity, it is our duty to care of it and protect it.

What can be done with the Open Web?

Here you have some examples of what you can do with Open Web and that I suggest to see:
  • Universal Subtitles: a tool to translate videos in a very easy and funny way.
  • Mark Up: a language to create graffitis and a space to let your support sign in favor of the Open Web.
  • Porcorn.js: this is a javascript library to tag videos with information in real time from Wikipedia, social networks, Google Maps, etc.
  • The Planetarium: a planetarium made by Open Web technologies.
  • Mozilla’s Demos: lots of examples in order to show you the power of the Open Web.

How can I support the Open Web?

It is very easy! Here you have some ideas:


Thanks to Santiago Tombión for his help in the english version.


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