Happy Birthday World Wide Web
Tuesday, 30th August, 2011
IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO THAT THE WEB TOOK ITS FIRST FEW STEPS…
August 6th 1991 is quite possibly one of the most significant landmark dates in contemporary human history, yet the yearly anniversary of that day is largely overlooked by the masses.
Try to imagine a world where the Internet doesn’t exist, a time when sending and reading emails was an unknown concept, when online shopping wasn’t an option, or when using a PC was confined to mucking around with spreadsheets.
It’s virtually impossible, because the fact is that the Internet is so ingrained in our consciousness, work and social routines that it’s actually pretty scary. Where would we be without it? Not reading this blog, that’s for certain.
So with that context established, August 6th 1991 – the day identified as being when the very first website EVER went live, suddenly becomes rather significant.
The image accompanying this blog shows the NeXT workstation that hosted the world’s first web server, set up at the CERN research centre by a certain Mr. Tim Berners-Lee.
Recognised as the father of the ‘World-Wide Web’ as it was christened, Berners-Lee and co-founder Robert Cailliau posted the first public site at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
after initially developing the protocol as a way of exchanging electronic documents between researchers at CERN. Although this first site was extremely crude and meagre in design, few could have predicted how the technology would be taken and evolved to reach the level of coverage and sophistication we enjoy today.
By allowing the technology to be embraced by the wider world without charging a royalty for the work, Berners-Lee sacrificed personal fortune but ensured the platform would fulfill the staggering potential it has over the last 20 years.
“I’m sure that not even Tim Berners-Lee himself could have predicted that in a mere 20 years, the use of the internet would have exploded so dramatically, with billions and billions of websites now accessible”, says Chris Winstanley of BaseKit. “Now, even as new tools become available to allow people to access the Internet in different ways, the website is the heart of the Internet.”
This truly is an incredible landmark in technological history. Happy Birthday WWW!