“Suppose all the information stored on computers everywhere were linked. Suppose I could program my computer to create a space in which everything could be linked to everything.” – Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
In 1989 the world’s largest physics laboratory, CERN, was a hive of ideas and information stored on multiple incompatible computers. Tim Berners-Lee envisioned a unifying structure for linking information across different computers, and wrote a proposal in March 1989 called “Information Management: A Proposal”.
“Vague but exciting.”
This was how Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s boss responded to his proposal titled “Information Management: A Proposal,” submitted on this day in 1989, when the inventor of the World Wide Web was a 33-year-old software engineer.
Initially, Berners-Lee envisioned “a large hypertext database with typed links,”named “Mesh,” to help his colleagues at CERN (a large nuclear physics laboratory in Switzerland) share information amongst multiple computers.
Berners-Lee’s boss allowed him time to develop the humble flowchart into a working model, writing the HTML language, the HTTP application, and WorldWideWeb.app— the first Web browser and page editor.
By 1991 this vision of universal connectivity was realised with the external Web servers were up and running.
The Web would soon revolutionise life as we know it, ushering in the information age. Today, there are nearly 2 billion websites online. Whether you use it for email, homework, gaming, or checking out videos of cute puppies, chances are you can’t imagine life without the Web.
Not to be confused with the internet, which had been evolving since the 1960s, the World Wide Web is an online application built upon innovations like HTML language, URL “addresses,” and hypertext transfer protocol, or HTTP.
Happy 30th Anniversary to the World Wide Web!