From Alexander Graham Bell to Tim Berners-Lee, the world of telecommunication systems has gone on a long and technologically advanced fast paced journey. Many advances in the component technologies that have made up these telecommunication systems have been made in a relatively short space of time. With the advent of the World Wide Web, it is now possible to communicate to someone on the opposite side of the planet as if they are sitting next to you, and with no discernible delay in communication.
Tim Berners-Lee – The man behind the invention of this wonder of a communication system, was one Tim Berners-Lee. He was born in London, England in 1955. His education started out at Sheen Mount Primary School, then from 1969 to 1973 he attended the Emanuel School in London. From 1973 to 1976 he attended Queens College, Oxford, where he took Physics, and came out with a first class degree.
How it came about – The original idea behind what we now know as the World Wide Web started out as a proposal put forward by Berners-Lee for a system that would aid researchers and others by allowing the sharing and updating of information. Berners-Lee proposed a system that used hypertext in 1980, whilst working as an independent contractor sat CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research). It was not until 1989 before the web as we no it came into any semblance of being, by which time Berners-Lee had left and returned to CERN taking up a fellowship with the company.
An opportunity not to miss – Berners-Lee had recognised an opportunity not to be missed with CERN in 1989 and it being the largest internet node in Europe. That opportunity being to combine the internet with hypertext. What he did was to take the Transmission Control Protocol and the domain name system, and join them with the hypertext system.
The proposal – The original proposal that Berners-Lee needed to submit in order to get backing for his venture, was submitted in 1989. And with the help of one Robert Caillau, he produced another proposal in 1990 which was to the liking of the management and thus given the okay by his manager, Mike Sendal.
A matter of firsts – From then on the wheels were set in motion to get a hypertext based internet up and running, and many firsts were soon to come into being. On the 6th of August, 1991 the first website came into existence which, of course, was based at CERN. And the first web address: Info.cern.ch, and of course the first web page address: http : //
info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. A NeXT Computer was brought into play by Berners-Lee in the role of the world’s original web server and moreover to create the original web browser, WorldWideWeb, during 1990. By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had made all the tools crucial for a functioning Web the original web browser (which was a web editor as well); the original web server; and the original web pages, which explained the project itself. On August 6, 1991, he mailed a brief summing up of the World Wide Web project on the alt.Hypertext newsgroup. This time also marked the beginning of the Web as a publicly accessible service on the Internet. The original server outside Europe was set up at SLAC to host the SPIRES-HEP database. Accounts fluctuate substantially as to the year of this event. The World Wide Web Consortium says December 1992, whereas Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SLAC) itself claims 1991. This is endorsed by a W3C record with the title of A Little History of the World Wide Web.
And that is how the World Wide Web came into being.