The original vision of the Web was for a much more interactive medium than we currently have. Currently there is a reasonably good system for one-way communication over the Web, and limited two-way (usually limited to email responses or specific local responses). This research is looking at what can be done to enhance the current lack of widely usable co-operative authoring available through the Web.
One direction that could be taken would be to follow current tends, and extrapolate from there. This would involve using the technology that we have at present, and only going from the point that we are currently at with regard to the possible future for the Web, without looking at what has and has not worked in the past. Thus we would not be looking back at the past to see what has and hasn't worked previously.
"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana [Santayana 1905].
If we use the current technologies, but at the same time look back to the past to see what has and has not been done, we are much more likely to avoid repeating the past that we wish to avoid, and more likely to repeat successes that have happened in the past. This should be able to be achieved by using current technologies, such as web browsers and editors, and following the trends that made the Web successful in the first place, such as integration of existing data, open or public standards, being cross platform, etc. We could take the current state of the art, both of web browsers/editors and other document-editing applications, and make sure that we take into consideration the original intentions and ideals, for example the collaboration and ease of access intentions, while adding the best of new ideas. By using and pushing the limits of our current technology, while we make certain that everyone can use it, we should be able to lead the Web to a long and fruitful future that surpasses our current expectations.
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