Internet's Inventor Regrets the Whole Backslash Thing

Published October 14, 2009

| SkyNews

The inventor of the World Wide Web has revealed his one regret—adding slashes at the start of links.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee said typing "//" wasted people's time and required them to use more paper.

"I could have designed it to not have '//'. Really, if you think about it, it doesn't need the '//'," he admitted. The prefix "http://" ended up just making people overuse their index finger, waste time and use more paper, he said.

Slashes were a computer programming convention when Sir Tim developed the first web server while working at the CERN physics laboratory in 1990. They are now added automatically by most web browsers so that users only need to type in "www".

Sir Tim made the comments after being asked by the New York Times what he would change if he could turn back time.

According to the Daily Telegraph, at a Washington DC technology meeting, Berners-Lee said: "I could have designed it not to have the //. Boy, now people on the radio are calling it 'backslash backslash'. People are having to use that finger so much."

In fact the '/' symbol is a slash, while '' is a backslash and is rarely used in web addresses.

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