I posted about this a couple years ago, but the thought came to me again the other day. Ever think about how the Internet would have been different if the domain name system was more logical? In other words, instead of names ending with the top level domains, it started with it?
Or better yet: http:/com/russellbeattie/www/notebook/archive.html
Instead of there being "dot coms" there would have been "com dots" or "com slashes". In fact, I think if people saw the internet like this, they wouldn't have thought of each .com as a destination and created a "web", but as a node in a whole celestial hierarchy and we would have had the World Wide Directory.
Maybe this would have ushered in a whole new way of navigating the directory. Instead of "surfing", you'd "dive into" a directory. The iPod navigation wheel for moving around a hierarchy could have been created years ago as a central part of the browser! Going "back" would have been "going up" and "home" would have been "Top" instead...
This could have affected email addresses as well. Instead of russ "at" somewhere, my address would just live in a spot on the hierarchy: /com/russellbeattie/mail/russ. This would have made it so much easier to create tons of emails for everyone in your company depending on their department, etc.
The hierarchy would've made it easy to cut off chunks higher up that didn't pertain to you. In fact, maybe there would never have been a "com" TLD to begin with. Everyone would have started in their country code like: /us/russellbeattie/notebook and if you were browsing, you would just assume that all the sites you were looking at started with /us/ so in fact you could just pop in /russellbeattie/notebook and it would assume the rest of the URL. If you were "behind the firewall" at work, addresses would start where the firewall began.
Are you with me on this? All the addresses to everything would have lived in this massive hierarchy (much like it is now) but conceptually because it *looked* like a hierarchy, it'd be used like one more, instead of being separated out into unique "sites". I mean, really, aren't "www" and "com" pretty useless at this point? Your browser even assumes that's what you want if you type in a word into the address bar (or it used to, I guess it searches now...).
Anyways, I come back to this though over and over again while trying to remember some random URL. I wonder when the last time I'll ever see the letters "http://" again? Some day, I'm sure, it'll just happen. Just like we don't dial the phone with letters any more.