The World Wide Web, commonly referred to as www, turned 30 today. Envisaged in the lab of CERN, a large nuclear physics laboratory in Switzerland, the World Wide Web was first introduced as a proposal by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to help his colleagues in CERN share information with different computers. The proposal was initially marked ‘Vague but exciting’ by Berners-Lee’s boss Mike Sendall, who later allowed Berners-Lee to turn the proposal into a working model.
In 1990, Berners-Lee developed three fundamental technologies — HTML, URI (URL), and HTTP — that remain the core of the web as we know it today. He also wrote the first web page editor/browser (WorldWideWeb.app) and the first web server (httpd).
In 1991, the www moved to people outside of the CERN to join and experience the new form of online community.
While internet had been around since 1960s, it was www — a decentralised resource built on principles of universality, allowing easy accessibility of information to people connected with each other virtually as an online community — made it relevant in terms of usability.
(Click to enlarge) An image of the first page of Tim Berners-Lee's proposal for the World Wide Web in March 1989, Photo: CERNAcknowledging 30 years of World Wide Web, Berners-Lee on Monday wrote a post on his official website revisiting his ideas about web and what is next. He admitted, “while the web has created opportunities, given marginalised groups a voice, and made daily lives easier, it has also created an opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit”.
Reiterating his optimism on the technology he created, Berners-Lee wrote, “given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web”.
Berners-Lee will be speaking live on YouTube today, talking more about how he sees the web. Watch the livestream here: #Web30 #ForTheWeb.