The web’s features have emerged from community and professional conversations. Design by committee sometimes works, but bottom-up experiments—like the Extensible Web Manifesto—offer opportunities to test and figure out what works.
- This really is our web. It's, uh, lots of things which we are constantly doing in order to make sure that it evolves, to make sure that it stays open. - I think of how we might evolve the standards process as allowing more people to have more of an opinion about what works and what doesn't. And the way that we'll get there is by breaking up the browser monopoly on rendering and on the network and on layout and on touch input...
and all the rest of the things today that are basically welded shut, into a browser engine. - I think that there's this construal that the standards process is this Byzantine and very separate, rarefied, ivory tower sort of world. - There are important people, who are good at this stuff, and it is their job, and they are paid by Google and Mozilla and whomever else to sort these things out for us. It is seen as something that is taken care of, I think.
- One of the things that I want to keep seeing is breaking down the illusion of separation between the people building the web every day and the people making the web work for the future, because we're really one group of people. - It's absolutely necessary to have that kind of, like, I don't want to, like, almost academic discussion to get it to where it needs to be to begin existing at all. It's almost like web standards right now, it kind of starts and ends there. It's missing the part where somebody actually asks us. - It's really important in the standards process that it should be fair.
It's no good if you enter a room where you feel that you're going to make a perfectly reasonable point, but somebody else it going to somehow call it a privileged position and less valuable point. - And, like, don't get me wrong, web standards is fundamentally altruistic, I think. I think they're trying to come up with cool stuff for developers, and for users, clearly. But there's still, like, that communication disconnect. - I don't think it's ever worked, standards-down.
Or even small issues, and small problems, and solving them, right? - There's a bunch of us washing over a problem on the web, and we smooth it out that way. We erode it over time. It's not like any one of us saying, "Here's how things are going to be." It's all of us saying, "Here's how things are going to be." I like that a lot. - I think the most important thing that people who are watching this documentary can do to help improve the health and future of the web is to try to expect more of it.
Is to try to assume that the web could do something, if only we, the browser vendors, the people who work on standards, would just get out of the way, and let you do it.
In the film, Matt Griffin knits together a narrative from dozens of conversations with important figures from throughout the web's history. He interviews Tim Berners-Lee, Denise Jacobs, Jeffrey Zeldman, Ethan Marcotte, Chris Wilson, Lyza Danger Gardner, Eric Meyer, Irene Au, Alex Russell, Trent Walton, Val Head, Jonathan Snook, and many more. The result is a series of unique insights about why the web is structured the way it is, why standards matter, how mobile disrupted everything, and why the web isn't done growing.