Tech Talk

Happy Birthday World Wide Web!

 

The World Wide Web just turned twenty five this August 2016. It was invented in the year 1991 by Tim Berner Lee and since then every August 23rd is being celebrated as the Internaut day worldwide. Well you must have heard of the Internet but what is Internaut? It’s a term used to address a person that has a sound knowledge of the Internet and how to use it or should we say ‘ a world wide knowledge of the web!’. Looking back at the origin of the WWW, its main purpose has been to interact and share information automatically between physicists of institutions and universities. In 1990, Tim Berner Lee built HTML, URL, a web browser, server and the very first web page and made the World Wide Web a reality. The very first webpage went live on August 6, 1991 and was only accessible to CERN members.It was then put up for public use in the year 1993 by the CERN. Since then the web has had its positive impact on the nature of work and communication of the humankind.Here are a few things about the WWW that are interesting.

Before deciding on the Name World Wide Web(WWW), alternatives thought by the founder were ‘The Information Mine’(TIM) , Mine of Information ( MOI) and Information Mesh.

Nothing sounds better than WWW, does it?

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Tim Berners Lee studied Physics with passion and compares it to the Internet saying “In Physics, you learn to think up some simple mathematical rule on a scale, which when scaled will explain the macroscopic behavior. On the Internet, we try to dream up computer protocols which when extrapolated to the macroscopic will produce an information space with properties we would like.”

The symbols like double slash (//)and the hash tags (# )were chosen in a random manner initially to uniquely identify its purpose in a web address and was not a planned decision.

A project to restore the world’s first website is in process and it aims to preserve some of the digital assets that are associated with the birth of the web.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a project called “P3P” for privacy which will allow a user to control how information is given away to a Web server. P3P will allow Web sites to specify their privacy policy and users to automatically be warned about sites whose policies they don’t like.

The next on the cards for Sir Lee is the Semantic data. Well now, he is looking at advancing web to a whole new level. He talks about linked data anywhere he goes. W3C is helping to build a technology stack to support a “Web of data,” the sort of data you find in databases. The ultimate goal is to enable computers to do more useful work and to develop systems that can support trusted interactions over the network. The term “Semantic Web” refers to W3C’s vision of the Web of linked data. Semantic Web technologies enable people to create data stores on the Web, build vocabularies, and write rules for handling data. Linked data are empowered by technologies such as RDF, SPARQL, OWL, and SKOS.

“I want to think about a world where everybody has put data on the web and so virtually everything you can imagine is on the web and then calling that linked data.”
-Tim Berners Lee

According to Tim, this kind of linked data can prevent database hugging, which is the refusal to share data to the deserving. Though this idea has received a lot of negative remarks questioning the authenticity of data, a lot of work is being done towards the progress of linked data. Most of what is being said about the linked data is difficult for the layman to understand and in that case all that is left to say is, ‘Happy birthday World Wide Web and Thank you Tim Berners Lee.’

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