From the Fifth International World Wide Web Conference, May 1996, a paper on Measuring the Web asks questions we're still asking now:

  • How big is the Web?
  • What is the "average page" like?
  • How richly connected is it?
  • What are the biggest and most visible sites?
  • What data formats are being used?
  • What does the WWW look like?

We take it for granted now that the World Wide Web has grown out of control and out of understanding. But then, when the people working on it could remember the times when a new server was a novelty, imagine how incredible that must have felt -- like watching a child grow up.

The papers have all too familiar themes: Distributed applications, semantic markup, browser-based editors, annotations and metadata. All fascinating. And why are we still arguing about these things, five years later?