Re: WEB : Mapping out communal cyberspace

Chris Holt (
Mon, 13 Jun 1994 19:27:11 +0100 (BST)

> From: "Kevin Goldsmith" <>
> On Jun 13, 8:30am, wrote:
> >
> > I strongly believe that it will be essential to CREATE a coordinate system
> > which defines WHERE things are, on a world-wide, globally agreed basis.
> > In effect to create a world coordination system, so that everything not only
> > has addressability as per current Internet standards, it also has relative
> > positional addressability in some world - it can be placed onto a map.
> >
> I must disagree partly. If we create a world coordinate space, we
> create virtual real estate. Who owns virtual real estate? The beauty of the
> current web organization (or lack thereof) is that it is amazingly simple to
> build a "homestead." You just put a page somewhere and let people know about
> it. If we create a coordinate system, some organization will have to "own" it
> so that there are not 1,000,000 rooms at 0,0. I prefer local coordinate spaces
> with links between them.

Well, it's handy to have a world space that corresponds to the real
one in some sense; I find it handy to think about "those people in
Berkeley", or "that page over at Glasgow"; so if I lose a reference,
I know how to go about finding it again. However, this world-space
is going to be full of wormholes/gates between one place and another;
and there are also going to be many many other spaces accessible
only via gates, that have no strictly geometrical relationship with
the world-space or each other. My point is that we can have both.

While we're at it, the nature and kind of security we want is going
to be important to get right at a fundamental level. Unless people
know that information can be held at various privileges of acess,
they're not going to put it into webspace; only absolutely public
stuff will go there, which will slow things up a lot. Perhaps it's
premature to bring this up now, but it has an impact in how you
decide to represent things: if someone isn't supposed to see
something, do they notice a gap where it should be, or is the
gap filled by something else? [This question of invisibility
also affects people moving about; do we want invisible lurkers,
unable to speak, with visibility granted as a privilege after
a probationary period? This is almost certainly beyond the
current enterprise, however.]

I had rather be a dog and bay the moon, / Than such a cybernaut.