While the internet was developed in the 50s, the web or the network of content servers that allow information to be shared, was not created until March 1989 [when] its British employee Tim Berners-Lee first proposed a "universal linked information system" that formed the beginnings of the worldwide web.
Berners-Lee authored "Information Management: A proposal" which was the starting point for the world wide web. Berners-Lee was trying to find a solution for the hundreds of CERN employees that needed to communicate, share information, equipment and software.
On March 13th, 2009 the World Wide Web will turn 20 years old. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented this world-changing layer on top of the Internet on this day in 1989. It's hard to overstate the impact this young technology has had already and it's even more exciting to think about where it's going in the future.
Berners-Lee has some great ideas about where the web should go next. His vision is of a major advance that could serve as the foundation for innovations that we can't even imagine today ... Thank you Tim, for what you've done for the world already.
Technically, if we're talking about the difference between birth and conception, then conception may be the word.
Meanwhile the name World Wide Web and its acronym brings to mind a podcast with the author and television personality Stephen Fry who bemoans the fact that the acronym takes even longer to say than the phrase itself. But this need not have been the case ... early suggested names for the web were: Information Mesh, Mine of Information and The Information Mine. The last one would have been simply called TIM.
[The 1989 proposal] is amazing to read with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. But it would take Berners-Lee another couple of years before he could demo his idea. Even then, the realization of his theory had to wait until the middle of the 1990s when Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen popularized the notion of commercial Web browsing with Netscape.
And as prescient as the CERN document was, not even Berners-Lee could imagine where his basic design was about to lead.
In celebration of the Internet's 20th birthday (always arguable as to date and technology but let's just go with it, shall we?), here are the pics I took on a trip to CERN last year.
Notable things: The pad where Tim drew the Internet, and the sticker on his PC that says 'Don't turn this off - it's running the Internet' (or words to that effect).
This Web of Documents has exceeded most peoples wildest expectations since reaching mainstream awareness on the back of graphical tools such as the Mosaic web browser, but the data behind so many decisions, analyses and visualisations largely remains inaccessible even today.
Berners-Lee spoke at TED last month ... [He] describes the notion of Linked Data and attempts to illustrate the advances that could be made if we were all able to contribute and consume data in the same way that we do today with documents, images, and the like ... This is not some new Web; not a replacement for the Web of today. Rather, its an evolution of todays Web that makes todays applications and interactions richer and more capable.