Happy 23rd Birthday, World Wide Web!!! Although, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke predicted in a 1970 Popular Science magazine post that satellites would “bring the accumulated knowledge of the world to your fingertips” it in the 1970 issue of Popular Science, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau are credited as the implementation pioneers. The proposal for a new global system of interlinked documents on the Internet was published on this date in 1990.
Computer scientist Berners-Lee wanted to create a more efficient method of information management and communication at his workplace of CERN, but soon realized that the communication benefits of the World Wide Web could impact the world. When his first proposal in 1989 didn’t generate much interest, he reached out to another computer scientist, Robert Cailliau. The pair’s proposal in 1990 included more details, elaboration, and a prototype Web page. Berners-Lee also developed the first Web browser and the first server on his NeXT Computer System workstation.
Berners-Lee and Cailliau considered the names Information Mesh, The Information Mine, and Mine of Information, before settling on the World Wide Web. And the “hypertext and hypermedia links” that connect all these files and Web pages are now known as “hyperlinks” or, even more succinctly, “links.” An important innovation of standardized communication formats across different servers and clients through HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP Berners-Lee and his team.
The very first Web page looked far different than our today with pop-up ads, social media, emoticons, and LOLcats.
But it all began with Arthur Clarke’s vision and Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau.
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Berners-Lee, T. (1999). Weaving the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web by its inventor. Harper San Francisco. (Seminal work.)