Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy 25th birthday Web

In March 1989, Iran breaks diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom over Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, President George H.W. Bush passes landmark gun control, the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels of oil, and, oh the World Wide Web was invented.

On March 12, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, working at CERN, wrote the proposal that defined the Web.

Fun fact: Mr. Berners-Lee originally called it Mesh, and when he decided on "World Wide Web" there was considerable consternation over that name, because it was hard to pronounce in French.  CERN, the multi-nation European research organization is based in the suburbs of Geneva, Switzerland, near the French-Swiss border.

"We should work toward a universal linked information system, in which generality and portability are more important than fancy graphics techniques and complex extra facilities.

The aim would be to allow a place to be found for any information or reference which one felt was important, and a way of finding it afterwards. The result should be sufficiently attractive to use that it the information contained would grow past a critical threshold, so that the usefulness the scheme would in turn encourage its increased use.

The passing of this threshold accelerated by allowing large existing databases to be linked together and with new ones."

Read the full version of the proposal here.


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