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This article was published on October 14, 2009


    The “//” in URLs was a Mistake, Says Sir Berners-Lee

    The “//” in URLs was a Mistake, Says Sir Berners-Lee
    Alex Wilhelm
    Story by

    Alex Wilhelm

    Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

    sir timSir Timothy Berners-Lee, modest creator of the internet, has a confession to make. When confronted with the question, “if you could go back in time and change anything along the way to inventing the internet, what would you change,” Sir Timothy hedged. Well, he said, you cannot in fact see what would have happened if you had made changes, implying that there may  be spiraling consequences to a single small action (chaos theory). But he did make mention one change that he would have made:

    The “//” in “http://” could in fact be just a single “/” if he had coded it properly.

    He goes on to wonder how much paper could have been saved, minutes not wasted, and breaths untaken if no one had ever been forced to say, use, or type both slashes. All kidding aside, the full interview is a fascinating look into the mind of a great man. He is after all the father of the rise of office unproductivity, and Rickrolling. The discussion of the slashes starts at the 3:30 mark.