One crazy man, on the 12th of March of 1989, (25 years back) came up with one crazy, world changing idea. He wanted to make computers across the globe, talk. He wanted them to get to know each other, interact and communicate in a universal language. Thus, the World Wide Web (WWW) was born.
“The Internet already existed and you could send email, but there were no websites. So, there was no http, no html. There was no space of things you could click through. I imagined a system where you could just click from one to the other and that was so compelling that I decided that I wanted to build it.” said Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee, the crazy man with the crazy idea.
Tim, when working as a software engineer at CERN, noticed that, after experiments being conducted by scientists all over the world, they had difficulties in exchanging data and results. This planted the idea in Tim’s head and made him put forth a proposal to “improve information flows: a ‘web’ of notes with links between them.” as he states in his guest post on Google’s official blog.
His initial proposal was not readily accepted. Tim made sure he remained determined and by 1990s put forth the basic frame work of today’s web, which included
HTML: HyperText Markup Language. The publishing format for the Web
URI: Uniform Resource Identifier – “address” that is unique to each resource on the Web.
HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol – retrieval of linked resources from across the Web.
By the end of 1990, the first web page was created. By 1991, the web had people even from outside CERN.In April 1993, CERN announced that “World Wide Web technology would be available for anyone to use on a royalty-free basis.” Today, the World Wide Web as we know it is nothing short of a marvelous miracle. When asked what he could have done differently, when he created the World Wide Web, Tim answered that he didn’t need the double slash after the colon and that it “just seemed like a good idea at the time”.
The computer that Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee used to create the World Wide Web is now displayed at the London Science Museum with a handwritten sticker on the side of the box reading, “This machine is a server – do not power down.”
“To do that, if you turned it off, that would’ve been like turning off the World Wide Web,” he quips.
Marking the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web on March 12, 2014, Tim is vouching for online resource to be open, global, accessible and free of censorship, very much citing the theme of his tweet, during the London 2012 Summer Olympics , that went viral, “This is for Everyone.”
“I believe we can build a Web that truly is for everyone: one that is accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans.” , he said, confidently. He sure has made the world a small place to live in.