The internet, however, comes to us not from a computer company, but direct from the United States’ Cold War military strategy. In the 1960s, American intelligence officials were seeking ways to diversify their information caches, not only so that information would be easier to share among operatives, but so that, if foreign agents managed to destroy one cache, they wouldn’t be destroying all of the military’s intel. At the time, the military organization ARPA, short for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, was a pioneer in computer innovation.
Enter two young MIT grad students named Leonard Kleinrock and Larry Roberts. In 1961, Kleinrock developed his thesis around the idea that computers could talk to each other if they could carve up their information into tiny, easily transferrable packets. In 1966, Roberts took this idea to ARPA and used it to build something called the ARPANET. A US Defense project, it was the first working computer network, and formed the basis for the modern internet. A few years later, two more ARPANET architects, Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, created the modern internet protocols for information-sharing between computers that are still in use today.
Is that a dial-up modem ringing in your ears, or are you just looking at today’s Google Doodle? It might be both, because March 12 marks a special moment in the history of the internet — the birthday of the World Wide Web.
The series of tubes we know and love as the web is now a sprightly 30 years old. The www you see in your browser’s address bar when you access a URL, a.k.a. the web, a.k.a. what helps keep you tethered to your screens, is barely a millennial; indeed, the web is 18 years younger than email, and two years younger than the GIF.
And just like that, the internet was born. Berners-Lee got permission to build his system-thingy, which he modestly named “the World Wide Web.” Throughout 1990 he would go on to write the world’s first web server and the world’s first browser client, and to dictate the way computers parse URLs, HTTP, and HTML. So basically, this guy invented the way that we access and consume information on the internet.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web and Tim Berners-Lee, its inventor, has pointed out that the original dream that led to its development is in danger. The internet is visibly in disarray at the moment and has become synonymous with misinformation, hate speech, fake news and trolls, but the inventor of it still thinks that all is not lost and that there is still hope.
“Given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web”, wrote Lee in a blog.
Berners-Lee laid out three “sources of dysfunction” that is tormenting the web today.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee asked the governments to translate laws and regulations for the digital age so that the markets become competitive, innovative and open. He also reminded governments of its responsibility and said that it is their job to protect people’s rights and freedom online. “We need open web champions within government – civil servants and elected officials who will take action when private sector interests threaten the public good and who will stand up to protect the open web”, Berners-Lee added.
He, however, gave a very vague fix for all the web’s problems. He said that the web needs new set of laws and codes, redesigned systems and some help from society.
This was how Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s boss responded to his proposal titled “Information Management: A Proposal,” submitted on this day in 1989, when the inventor of the World Wide Web was a 33-year-old software engineer. Initially, Berners-Lee envisioned “a large hypertext database with typed links,”named “Mesh,” to help his colleagues at CERN (a large nuclear physics laboratory in Switzerland) share information amongst multiple computers.
Berners-Lee’s boss allowed him time to develop the humble flowchart into a working model, writing the HTML language, the HTTP application, and WorldWideWeb.app— the first Web browser and page editor. By 1991, the external Web servers were up and running.
The Web would soon revolutionize life as we know it, ushering in the information age. Today, there are nearly 2 billion websites online. Whether you use it for email, homework, gaming, or checking out videos of cute puppies, chances are you can’t imagine life without the Web.
Not to be confused with the internet, which had been evolving since the 1960s, the World Wide Web is an online application built upon innovations like HTML language, URL “addresses,” and hypertext transfer protocol, or HTTP. The Web has also become a decentralized community, founded on principles of universality, consensus, and bottom-up design.
On March 12, 1989 British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, working for Europe’s physics lab CERN, proposed a decentralised system of information management. It signalled the birth of the World Wide Web that is now used by billions of people.
His proposal had system of hypertext links, the possibility of clicking key words on one page and being led directly to the page dedicated to them, thus connecting to other pages.
The Google Doodle illustrates this technology milestone with an animation showing block graphics that were common earlier. A globe in the center renders slowly on a desktop monitor to take us back to a slower download speed era.
“Not to be confused with the internet, which had been evolving since the 1960s, the World Wide Web is an online application built upon innovations like HTML language, URL “addresses,” and hypertext transfer protocol, or HTTP”, says Google in a blog post.
The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, such as https://www.example.com/), which may be interlinked by hypertext, and are accessible via the Internet. The resources of the WWW may be accessed by users via a software application called a web browser.
English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and to the general public on the Internet in August 1991. The World Wide Web has been central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool billions of people use to interact on the Internet.