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Why the web scales

The citation for Tim Berners-Lee’s Turing award reads (emphasis added)

For inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.

It cites “initimately tied in with the Unix operating system” and a “whole approach reflected the distinctive Unix philosophy of building new system capabilities by recombining existing tools”.

Not to mention “achieving compatibility through communications protocols rather than standard code, hardware, or operating systems” … The Internet philosophy.

But also - in comparison to the hypermedia community and Ted Nelson in particular - since he only had a few months this led to

Rather than attack intractable problems, Berners-Lee used proven technologies as the building blocks of a system intended to be powerful and immediately useful rather than perfect.

And there’s distribution

This technological minimalism made the Web easy to scale, with no indexing system or central database to overload.

It also points out

Yet the ACM’s 1991 Hypertext conference had rejected Berners-Lee’s paper describing the World Wide Web.