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Many people now think that the Web is all that there is to the Internet, and many think that the Web is the Internet.  Because the Web has taken off, and become the main activity on the Internet [NetValue 2000] (compared with FTP, email, etc), its popularity has overshadowed the fact that there is a lot more to the Internet than the Web application that runs over the Internet.  There are another two reasons why the Web has seemed to overtake other applications on the Internet.  The first is that almost all web browsers support connections to other Internet protocols, such as GOPHER, WAIS, and FTP, as well as supporting other common Internet standards, such as Email, and Usenet (Newsgroups).  The second significant reason that the Web is seen to be the most popular part of the Internet is that it is very visible, and has had a lot of publicity to actively promote it.  Other equally important parts of the Internet, running as server programs and applications, are invisible to most users.  The hidden side of the Internet is seldom seen because it provides the infrastructure that runs everything, rather than the flashy applications that people use.  It is this infrastructure that provides the common connections, protocols, and systems that the user applications rely on.

Berners-Lee created the Web in 1989 to enable people to share work and ideas in an easy-to-use form.  It was based on ideas and developments dating back to at least 1945 with Vannevar Bush's article 'As we may think' published in the Atlantic Monthly in July 1945.

Since 1989 the Web has come a long way in terms of publishing information and one-way communication.  Unfortunately, in this process only some ideas have been pushed forward, and some ideas like the idea of co-operative authoring, group content management and collaboration, which was one of the cornerstones of its creation, have not progressed as well.

There are some options available for collaboration on documents using content/document management software over the Web, but most of them rely on all authors using the same editing program, or they are limited to a specific domain of use.  There are some web based document management system s, but these are limited to a specific domain, and require the use of specific notation and are good for the niche that they inhabit.  The options for full and open content management software (including creation of web sites) were very limited, especially with regard to the packages that could be used, although there has now been progress in this area.

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