Geek Speak: Happy Birthday, WWW!


That's right, the World Wide Web turned 25 earlier this year.  Things like this don't just happen overnight.  Here's a quick recap of how it all went down:

1989: An idea...

Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research), proposed a way to improve the way information flows within organizations: "a 'web' of notes with links between them."

"Vague but interesting"...That was Berners-Lee's manager's way of stamping a big fat DENIED on the initial proposal.

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.  Mr. Berners-Lee kept working on this little side project and came up with a round two of his proposal that shifted focus to more broadly used core concepts such as HTML (the language used by web pages) and HTTP (a protocol web servers use to communicate). He must have been bored that year because he went ahead and created a basic web browser called WorldWideWeb, the first web server, and then the first web page.

1990: Round 2 

After playing in his digital workshop and putting together all the pieces needed to launch this little thing called "the web", Berners-Lee worked with a Belgian computer scientist named Robert Cailliau to revise the proposal.

1991: High Five! 

This time around CERN supported the idea and allowed individuals outside the organization access to the World Wide Web (name inherited from Berners-Lee's initial browser)

1993: Sharing is Caring

Finally, the WWW breaks free!  CERN announced that the Web would be available for use by anyone royalty-free.

What's the impact?

  • trillions of dollars of economic value generated
  • transformation of education and healthcare
  • activation of many new movements for democracy around the world

And we’re just getting started.

By design, the underlying Internet and the WWW are decentralized and radically open. The web can be made to work with all types of information, on any device, with any software, in any language. You can link to any piece of information without asking for permission and are limited only by your imagination.

It's hard to believe that the little thing called the World Wide Web was nothing more than a one man show 25 years ago.  Wow!  Wish that had been my idea!

P.S. Just in case you're thinking, "I really thought the Internet had been around longer than 25 years!"

You're right!  The origins of the Internet date back to the 1960s, but this little jewel known as the World Wide Web is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet.  So, there you have it!  Go dazzle your peers with your web savvy knowledge.

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