This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

World Momentous Occasion


April 30, 1993: WWW Born

It was on this day in 1993, a momentous occasion, that the World Wide Web entered the public domain. That meant anyone could access the web without license fees. The floodgates of knowledge (and absurd ridiculous cat pictures) were opened.

800px-First_Web_ServerThis NeXT workstation, a NeXTcube (left) was used by Berners-Lee as the first Web server on the World Wide Web. It is shown here as displayed in 2005 at Microcosm, the public science museum at CERN (where Berners-Lee was working in 1991 when he invented the Web).

The document resting on the keyboard is a copy of “Information Management: A Proposal,” which was Berners-Lee’s original proposal for the World Wide Web.

The partly peeled off label on the cube itself has the following text: “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!”]


Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee (top image and right), is a British computer scientist, who is 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.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote WorldWideWeb during the 1990’s, while working for CERN. He did it on a NeXT Computer and developed it for the NeXTSTep platform.

At the urging of Berners-Lee the directors of CERN release the source code of World Wide Web into the public domain, making it freely available to anyone… no 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-Tim-Berners-LeeBerners-Lee (left) 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.

“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…”    Robert Cailliau, November 2, 1995

The first website built was at CERN within the border of France, and was first put online on 6 August 1991. The web page address was:

Berners-Lee looks back after 25 years and calls for an “Internet Magna Carta” … also he could have just called it “Tim”


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