From Web Standards to Web Combinatorics

Web "standards" have become nonstandards, now led by implementors rather than architects. When SVG and HTML were invented people asked "what would we like to be able to do with the internet?" and then built to address such vision. Now people ask "what, from a previous vision is expeditious and inexpensive to implement? What can be cut without too many people noticing?" It's time to move on. Let's forget about standards and build web science and before we do that let's build the mathematics of that science. Just as computer science needed graph theory as a mathematical foundation, web science needs Web Combinatorics. Let's invent it!  Math has a long half-life; standards don't (except GIF).

Communication from speech to writing to printing to plain old HTML and SVG

Major shifts in communication:

  1. speech (oops)
  2. writing (oops x oops)
  3. printing press (jury is still out -- some setbacks)
  4. computer/internet -- even before Gopher people knew there would be a web 

    see Why SVG is going to be really BIG (2009) for background and elucidation

The Graphical Web: Motion, Meaning, Stories, Standards. Pictures for everyone.

Web standards -- what do we need to be able to do that we can't?

It's time to move on.

Math is not usually mushy (however: fuzzy logic, near periphery of mathematics, society of human mathematicians)
Math can be applied to mushy things: biometrics, psychophysics, data mining, data visualization.

Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of finite or countable discrete structures. Aspects of combinatorics include counting the structures of a given kind and size (enumerative combinatorics), deciding when certain criteria can be met, and constructing and analyzing objects meeting the criteria (as in combinatorial designs and matroid theory), finding "largest", "smallest", or "optimal" objects (extremal combinatorics and combinatorial optimization), and studying combinatorial structures arising in an algebraic context, or applying algebraic techniques to combinatorial problems (algebraic combinatorics).
-- Source of definition: Wikipedia.

In web science, fields change.  Over time words change in usage (and meaning).
Standards change. (graphic for gif, jpg, png, svg -- guess time frame -- graphic revealed -- hint )

If the calculus of integrals, derivatives and differential equations is the mathematics of physics and engineering,
and graph theory is the mathematics of computer science,
then what is the mathematics of web science?

Answer: ....

Web combinatorics:
  1. Topology and connectivity
  2. Packing and Divisions: constraints: gravitation and attraction, tables, tiles, css and rectangles versus "natural" shapes
  3. Perception, psychophysics, discriminability, illusion, accessibility, relations between geometry, behavior and meaning.
  4. Semantic combinatorics
               combinatorial semantics, word meanings, cooccurrence/grammar, paradox, positional inference, glyph construction.


Alternative answer: art