Birth of the Web
April 30, 1993: World Wide Web Made Public Domain
The World Wide Web (WWW), is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. With a web browser, one can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia, and navigate between them via hyperlinks.
At the urging of Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web protocol, the directors of CERN release the source code of World Wide Web into the public domain, making it freely available to anyone, without licensing fees. The decision to make the World Wide Web software and protocols freely available is considered by some as possibly the single most important moment in the history of the Internet. In fact, some historians mark this as the birth of the Web.
Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee, is a British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989, and he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet sometime around mid November.
Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web’s continued development. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, and is a senior researcher and holder of the Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is a director of the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.
” Mike Sendall buys a NeXT cube for evaluation, and gives it to Tim [Berners-Lee]. Tim’s prototype implementation on NeXTStep is made in the space of a few months, thanks to the qualities of the NeXTStep software development system. This prototype offers WYSIWYG browsing/authoring! Current Web browsers used in “surfing the Internet” are mere passive windows, depriving the user of the possibility to contribute. During some sessions in the CERN cafeteria, Tim and I try to find a catching name for the system. I was determined that the name should not yet again be taken from Greek mythology. Tim proposes “World-Wide Web”. I like this very much, except that it is difficult to pronounce in French…”
by Robert Cailliau, 2 November 1995.
The first website built was at CERN within the border of France, and was first put online on 6 August 1991.
Info.cern.ch was the address of the world’s first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address was:
Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information.