The 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web

Today’s Google doodle reminds us that today is the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW), better known today as simply “the Web” or even just “the internet” (although the internet itself existed long before then). The WWW made the internet accessible to many more people, leading to an explosion of websites (over 1.8 billion of them at last count).

In an editorial on the Google Arts & Culture website reflecting on the anniversary:

The world wide web was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 – originally he was trying to find a new way for scientists to easily share the data from their experiments. Hypertext (text displayed on a computer display that links to other text the reader can immediately access) and the internet already existed, but no one had thought of a way to use the internet to link one document directly to another. 

Berners-Lee created the world wide web while he was working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. His vision soon went beyond a network for scientists to share information, in that he wanted it to be a universal and free ‘information space’ to share knowledge, to communicate, and to collaborate. You can find out more about how his work on the world wide web at CERN began, here.

Tim Berners-Lee’s invention, started on a single NeXT computer, revolutionized the way the world communicates and shares information. In fact, it’s hard to remember how we used to do things “before the Web”! Tim could have patented his invention and perhaps made a fortune from it, but instead he made it freely available for the world to use.

The first World Wide Web server, 1990

So today, remember to lift a glass to toast Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The world today would have been a very different place without his invention! Among other things, you wouldn’t be reading this blog 😉

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