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The World Wide Web turns 24; here’s what you should know


the-world-wide-web-turns-24-heres-what-you-should-knowThere is a fine line between the Internet and World Wide Web. Today, in 1991, the World Wide Web was born! And to understand it more closely, we need to take a closer look at the origin of a project at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). In the 1980s, CERN was undertaking research that involved scientists and researchers distributed across geographies. There was a need to share files, and collaborate over very critical data. But there was a problem. They didn’t have common systems, or presentation software. Computing was nascent and evolving. Despite the challenges, a contractor at CERN named Tim Berners-Lee saw opportunity. The solution was supposed to be text. That was 1980. And he was just a contract employee. Four years later in 1984, Lee returned to the CERN as a permanent employee and decided to take a look at the problem faced by CERN – information management. The genesis of the Internet The Internet began as an international network. Think of a LAN but at a global scale. It was quite an achievement to connect computers across the globe and bring them on to a network where information, files, messages could be exchanged. That began to take shape towards the 1990s. On March 12, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal for a distributed information system at CERN. He created the following concept.

It was a means to exchange information across computers spread geographically, and was aimed to solved the vital problem that needed to be solved at CERN.

It elicited little interest. But Lee’s supervisor, Mike Sendall commented, “Vague, but exciting” on the cover, thereby giving a go ahead on the project. You can read the complete proposal submitted by Tim Berners-Lee here.

The world’s first website

On December 20, 1990, the world’s first website went live at CERN. It was Christmas of 1990, and Lee had defined most of the common terminologies as we know them today, including URL,HTTP and HTML.