Today, 12th March 2019, marks a significant milestone in British technology as it’s the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web.
What better way to celebrate than with its own Google Doodle!
Back in 1989, at 33 years old, Sir Tim Berners-Lee was working at Europe’s CERN lab. He submitted the ‘Information Management: A Proposal’ to his boss, which we now recognise as the birth of the World Wide Web.
The first recorded response from his boss was, “Vague but exciting!” This is definitely something we could imagine Callum saying here at Reckless!
Berners-Lee’s initial concept was based around a large hypertext database with typed links, named “Mesh”. The idea was to help his colleagues at CERN share information across multiple computers. Berners-Lee’s boss gave him the time to develop his humble flowchart into a working model. He spent time writing the HTML language, the HTTP application and WorldWideWeb.app, which became the first Web browser and page editor. Thanks to Berners-Lee’s efforts, and the support from his boss, the external Web servers were up and running by 1991!
In April 1993, the web became accessible to the public and it began growing in popularity by November, after the launch of Mozaic. This was the first search engine to accept pictures and it made the web more user-friendly and accessible.
Following the initial success of Mozaic, it was later replaced by the search engines we know and love today such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Since introducing the web to the public in the early 1990s, the number of internet users grew from several million to 400 million by 2000.
Did you know, the World Wide Web almost had a completely different name?
Sir Tim considered lots of options before deciding on World Wide Web. Other options included Mine of Information, The Information Mine and Information Mesh, but we think World Wide Web has a much better ring to it.
It is safe to say, Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s work has transformed the world’s economy and our society, too. Whether or not the changes he introduced were for better or worse isn’t always clear, and there are many different opinions surrounding this debate. However, we can definitely agree that the scale of the changes are remarkable and have shaped the world we know today.
Here are just a few ways the web has changed our world:
Viral Content – memes, videos
Crime – Sir Tim Berners-Lee recently commented that the web has ‘increasingly fallen under the influence of a bad crowd’
Thirty years ago we couldn’t have imagined the web. At best, we’d have agreed that the proposal was vague but exciting!
However, when we look back, it’s hard to imagine what we may have thought about the concept of video streaming or an emoji collection greater than the alphabet before they became the norm.
Whatever comes next, we probably won’t be expecting it.
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