How refactoring influenced the World Wide Web

You’re about to read how the concept behind a refactoring tecnique gave us the internet:

Because people at CERN came from universities all over the world, they brought with them all types of computers. Not just Unix, Mac and PC: there were all kinds of big mainframe computer and medium sized computers running all sorts of software[: to retrieve informations] you had to log on to different computers [and] often it was just easier to go and ask people when they were having coffee.

I actually wrote some programs to take information from one system and convert it so it could be inserted into another system. More than once. And when you are a programmer, and you solve one problem and then you solve one that’s very similar, you often think, “Isn’t there a better way? Can’t we just fix this problem for good?” That became “Can’t we convert every information system so that it looks like part of some imaginary information system which everyone can read?” And that became the WWW.

Meditate about it the next time you’ll stick to something boring because fixing it seems unpractical.


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