Tim Berners-Lee Proposes world wide web
The 12th of November 1990 AD
Our American cousins would have us believe they captured the Enigma machine ; won WWII alone; came up with the phrase “cruel and unusual punishment”; and invented the World Wide Web – Al Gore keen to garner kudos for his role in building “The information Super-Highway.” Wrong on all counts, and the world now recognizes Tim Berners-Lee as the brain behind the World Wide Web. Not only that, he is recognized as a great benefactor to mankind given he deliberately took no patent on the idea, preferring to make it freely available.
Berners-Lee, a graduate of The Queen’s College Oxford , worked at CERN in Geneva off and on from 1980. In that first year he proposed a project that would improve the rapidity and ease of information-sharing among the centre’s researchers and others by the use of HyperText. In 1989 the internet existed, but was clumsy and slow to use. Berners-Lee in March that year put together a basic proposal for using HyperText in conjunction with the internet. On November 12 he and Robert Cailliau, a Belgian engineer (who being Belgian sadly cannot de facto be famous) issued a formal detailed proposal for a project the acceptance of which initiated The Web.
Entitled “WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project,” the report’s abstract contained the following statement: “There is a potential large benefit from the integration of a variety of systems in a way which allows a user to follow links pointing from one piece of information to another one. This forming of a web of information nodes rather than a hierarchical tree or an ordered list is the basic concept behind HyperText.” Like all great ideas it was simple, readily understandable, and had massive implications.
In 2004 Berners-Lee, universally acknowledged as one of the greatest innovators and benefactors of the 20th century, was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire, the order’s second highest accolade. In 2008 Prince William - a junior army officer without combat experience - was appointed to the highest order of knighthood, the Order of the Garter. These facts are easy to check thanks to the existence of the World Wide Web.
More famous dates here
5372 views since 12th November 2009
On this day: