Yesterday, August 6, 1991, the WWW or World Wide Web, as we know it, was presented.
Berners-Lee, the creator of the WWW posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.
The crucial underlying concept of hypertext originated with older projects from the 1960s, such as Ted Nelson’s Project Xanadu and Douglas Engelbart’s oN-Line System (NLS). Both Nelson and Engelbart were in turn inspired by Vannevar Bush’s microfilm-based “memex,” which was described in the 1945 essay “As We May Think”.
August 6, 1991, also marked the debut of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet.
Berners-Lee’s breakthrough was to marry hypertext to the Internet. In his book Weaving The Web, he explains that he had repeatedly suggested that a marriage between the two technologies was possible to members of both technical communities, but when no one took up his invitation, he finally tackled the project himself. In the process, he developed a system of globally unique identifiers for resources on the Web and elsewhere: the Uniform Resource Identifier.
On April 30, CERN or European Organization for Nuclear Research to be more precise, announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone, with no fees due. Coming two months after the announcement that gopher was no longer free to use, this produced a rapid shift away from gopher and towards the Web.
An early popular web browser was ViolaWWW which was based upon HyperCard. The World Wide Web, however, only gained critical mass with the 1993 release of the graphical Mosaic web browser by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications developed by Marc Andreessen. Prior to the release of Mosaic, graphics were not commonly mixed with text in Web pages and its popularity was less than older protocols in use over the Internet, such as Gopher protocol and Wide area information server. Mosaic’s graphical user interface allowed the Web to become by far the most popular Internet protocol.
Thanks to all these events, we are now having the internet as we know it, with all its goods and bads.
At its core, the Web is made up of three standards:
* the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), which is a universal system for referencing resources on the Web, such as Web pages;
* the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which specifies how the browser and server communicate with each other; and
* the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), used to define the structure and content of hypertext documents.
Berners-Lee now heads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which develops and maintains these and other standards that enable computers on the Web to effectively store and communicate different forms of information.
Happy Birthday WWW.