Inventing the Web
Inventing the Web
At the world’s biggest physics laboratory, CERN in Switzerland, English programmer and physicist Tim Berners-Lee submitted two proposals for what became the Web. Neither was approved. He proceeded anyway.
With only unofficial support from his boss and interested coworkers, he created “WorldWideWeb” on an advanced NeXT computer in 1990. It featured a server, HTML, URLs, and the first browser.
That browser also functioned as an editor—like a word processor connected to the Internet – which reflected his original vision that the Web also incorporate authoring and personal organization tools.
Visionaries dreamed of computerizing and linking the world’s knowledge. But the dream was out of reach until Tim Berners-Lee created the scheme that made it possible. This is the story of the World Wide Web, from a concept once described as “vague but exciting” to a tool used by more than two billion people!View Artifact Detail
In 1980 a young Berners-Lee at CERN created “Enquire,” a hypertext system used for project management. He claimed he wasn’t aware of earlier hypertext work, so it may have been an independent reinvention.View Artifact Detail
The expensive but cutting-edge NeXT computer-- whose OS evolved into Mac OS X-- was famous for rapid prototyping features. These let Tim Berners-Lee create the Web in just three months, but restricted the first browser-editor to these rare machines.View Artifact Detail
The Web + Internet = Success
By 1989, the Internet was winning over major competitors like OSI, becoming the de facto networking standard.
Within five years, the World Wide Web would similarly prevail over a dozen rival information systems—partly by virtue of its strengths, partly by incorporating rivals.
The two together, the Web running over the Internet, swept the world and changed all of our lives.