Naming the Wider Web

I will admit it, I like naming things.

Projects, ideas, and pets; I love looking into their essential nature and pulling out a word or phrase that becomes their verbal and written flagship. I love it when other people engage in word-play with me until we find that perfect turn.

The web itself has many names: the world wide web, progressive web apps, the responsive web, the immersive web. Long ago, we even had Web 2.0.

These last few weeks, I've written about a specific future of the web, when browsers support more displays (including XR headsets), more control types (including spatial), and many more input types like tracked wands and hand gestures.

There is a future when we do all of the current responsive web work for mobile and desktop devices, but we add to that support for the many new types of AR and VR devices.

With WebXR coming to browsers, this future web needs a name.

I can't keep typing "the web when we have three display modes (...), three control types (...), new input types ..." if for no other reason than it takes up most of the 280 characters of a tweet.

I've had the naming conversation with my work team. Last night I had a nice Twitter thread on the topic. Here's what I've heard so far:

  • the ultra-responsive web
  • just "the web" because it already implies responsive
  • the transreality web
  • the "Full Monty" web (from comedian coder @joshmarinacci)
  • the trans-, cross-, or pan-context web

So far, my favorite is simply "the wider web".

I originally coined this phrase as a placeholder name, but last night I realized that "wider" has a few nice meanings:

  • spatially: it implies "more" of a dimension
  • responsively: it includes more hardware
  • socially: it welcomes more people, like spatial artists

I probably won't stop looking for a better name, but for now this is what I'm going with:

the wider web:
A near future web that responsively supports:

  • three display modes: flat, portal, and immersive
  • three control types: page, overlay, and spatial
  • new input types: tracked wands, hand gestures, speech

It's not perfect, but it'll do for now.

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