Happy Internaut Day – Celebrating 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web

Happy Internaut Day – Celebrating 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web

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Today is “Internaut Day” – 25th anniversary of anniversary of the World Wide Web, which was developed in the CERN laboratories in Switzerland during 1989 – 1990 by scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and opened to new users on August 23, 1991 — 24 years ago today .

“Internauts” (technical people using the internet) began to include the general public, as the World Wide Web was open to everyone after this day. The term internaut is made from a combination of  “internet” and “astronaut” or “we can say “any person well-trained in navigating and using the Internet“. Today, there are over 2.8 billion internauts!

The World Wide Web was central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool billions of people use to interact on the Internet.

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History of Internet

Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of a global hyperlinked information system became a possibility by the second half of the 1980s. Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist. He was born in London, and his parents were early computer scientists, working on one of the earliest computers.

By 1985, the global Internet began to proliferate in Europe and in the Domain Name System (upon which the Uniform Resource Locator is built) came into being.

In 1988 the first direct IP connection between Europe and North America was made and Berners-Lee began to openly discuss the possibility of a web-like system at CERN.

In March 1989, Tim laid out his vision for what would become the Web in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal”. Believe it or not, Tim’s initial proposal was not immediately accepted. In fact, his boss at the time, Mike Sendall, noted the words “Vague but exciting” on the cover. The Web was never an official CERN project, but Mike managed to give Tim time to work on it in September 1990. He began work using a NeXT computer, one of Steve Jobs’ early products.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

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By October of 1990, Tim had written the three fundamental technologies that remain the foundation of today’s Web (and which you may have seen appear on parts of your Web browser):

  • HTML: HyperText Markup Language. The markup (formatting) language for the Web.
  • URI: Uniform Resource Identifier. A kind of “address” that is unique and used to identify to each resource on the Web. It is also commonly called a URL.
  • HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Allows for the retrieval of linked resources from across the Web.

Tim also wrote the first Web page editor/browser (“WorldWideWeb.app”) and the first Web server (“httpd“). By the end of 1990, the first Web page was served on the open internet, and in 1991, people outside of CERN were invited to join this new Web community.

As the Web began to grow, Tim realised that its true potential would only be unleashed if anyone, anywhere could use it without paying a fee or having to ask for permission. So, Tim and others advocated to ensure that CERN would agree to make the underlying code available on a royalty-free basis, for ever. This decision was announced in April 1993, and sparked a global wave of creativity, collaboration and innovation never seen before.

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