March 12 was the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee‘s proposal for what would become the World Wide Web. The Web has changed humanity more than almost any other invention of the 20th century. Information has never been so universal, so immediate, and so free.

Tim Berners-Lee knew he had something revolutionary, but others weren’t so far-sighted. The first generation of web designers took the new medium and turned it into something commercial and (given the state of the technology) beautiful, but they made some bad decisions that still affect us 20 years later.

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