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Double Forward Slashes Were "A Mistake" Admits Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the UK-based scientist who is credited with the creation of the modern-day World Wide Web (www), has extended a tongue-in-cheek apology for adding two forward slashes in URLs and web addresses.

The eminent scientist candidly admitted that the inclusion of “//” at the front of any web address was a mistake and could have been avoided.

Sir Berners-Lee, the director of the World Wide Web consortium, the group which is responsible for the sustained development of the internet, asserted that had he been able to get back to his time over again, he would omit those needless entities from the web addresses.

Quoting the same, he said in a conference in Washington DC: “Really, if you think about it, it doesn’t need the //. I could have designed it not to have the //”.

“People are having to use that finger so much. Look at all the paper and trees that could have been saved if people had not had to write or type out those slashes on paper over the years”, he added.

Although the inclusion of forward slash is being bemoaned by one the father of the contemporary internet, but the symbol is now widely being used in various spheres of people’s lives across the globe.

Some of its prominent uses include in tenpin bowling, as a date separator, in old money, in poems and plays, to mention a few. In addition, ‘/’, also known as ‘Slant’, is the title of a Greg Bear’s novel, published back in the year 1997.

Our Comments

The world would have certainly felt lighter without the double slashes and a lot of trouble would have been avoided in after sales, support and marketing departments worldwide had the forward slashes been canned in the first place. Still there is one silent victim which has suffered discrimination for so long and whose voice has never been heard until now and it is the backward slash.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.