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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  8 environment with considerable autonomy at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. 26 He has later acknowledged that the unstructured work environment at NCSA supported the development of innovative ideas and code. Economic influences can shape the development of code within a university in two ways. First, economic influences appear as a consequence of the scarcity of resources within universities. The lack of resources is a consequence of universities supporting a large number of researchers in many fields. These researchers naturally desire large research staffs and the latest equipment to further their research. As a result, there are never enough resources for all the ongoing research within a university. Consequently, universities can’t depend upon a large technical support staff, and functions seen as extras, such as technical support and documentation, are not fully supported. The lack of resources during the development process gives researchers the impetus to seek resources outside the university. Moreover, the lack of resources leads to a focus on developing the standards and building blocks for future work. As a result, instead of developing a fully functioning complex program, a university researcher may concentrate on demonstrating that such a program would work by completing a few critical components. Berners-Lee used this strategy during the development of the web. He developed the standards and reusable building blocks of code that became the basis for future web browsers and servers. 27 25 T IM B ERNERS -L EE , W EAVING THE W EB : T HE O RIGINAL D ESIGN AND U LTIMATE D ESTINY OF THE W ORLD W IDE W EB BY ITS I NVENTOR 43 (1999). 26 It was only in the later versions of NCSA Mosaic and during the development at Netscape that Andreessen felt pressure to include or exclude certain features. J OSHUA Q UITTNER & M ICHELLE S LATALLA , S PEEDING THE N ET : A N I NSIDE S TORY OF N ETSCAPE AND HOW IT C HALLENGED M ICROSOFT 22 (1998) (noting NCSA’s unstructured work environment). 27 J AMES G ILLIES & R OBERT C AILLIAU , H OW THE W EB W AS B ORN 209 (2000).

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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8
environment with considerable autonomy at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois.
26
He has later acknowledged that the
unstructured work environment at NCSA supported the development of innovative ideas and
code.
Economic influences can shape the development of code within a university in two ways.
First, economic influences appear as a consequence of the scarcity of resources within
universities. The lack of resources is a consequence of universities supporting a large number of
researchers in many fields. These researchers naturally desire large research staffs and the latest
equipment to further their research. As a result, there are never enough resources for all the
ongoing research within a university. Consequently, universities can’t depend upon a large
technical support staff, and functions seen as extras, such as technical support and
documentation, are not fully supported. The lack of resources during the development process
gives researchers the impetus to seek resources outside the university. Moreover, the lack of
resources leads to a focus on developing the standards and building blocks for future work. As a
result, instead of developing a fully functioning complex program, a university researcher may
concentrate on demonstrating that such a program would work by completing a few critical
components. Berners-Lee used this strategy during the development of the web. He developed
the standards and reusable building blocks of code that became the basis for future web browsers
and servers.
27
25
T
IM
B
ERNERS
-L
EE
, W
EAVING THE
W
EB
: T
HE
O
RIGINAL
D
ESIGN AND
U
LTIMATE
D
ESTINY OF THE
W
ORLD
W
IDE
W
EB BY ITS
I
NVENTOR
43 (1999).
26
It was only in the later versions of NCSA Mosaic and during the development at Netscape that Andreessen felt
pressure to include or exclude certain features. J
OSHUA
Q
UITTNER
& M
ICHELLE
S
LATALLA
, S
PEEDING THE
N
ET
: A
N
I
NSIDE
S
TORY OF
N
ETSCAPE AND HOW IT
C
HALLENGED
M
ICROSOFT
22 (1998) (noting NCSA’s unstructured work
environment).
27
J
AMES
G
ILLIES
& R
OBERT
C
AILLIAU
, H
OW THE
W
EB
W
AS
B
ORN
209 (2000).


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