The web! Isn’t it amazing? It brings people from all over the world together, keeps us in touch with our loved ones, and sparks revolutions that have never been seen before. Since its inception, it has undoubtedly advanced significantly.
This article will look at the journey and evolution of the World Wide Web to become the powerhouse it is today.
What is the World Wide Web?
The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is “a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.”1
Though most everyday users wrongly assume that the WWW and the Internet are the same, they are actually very different. Unlike the WWW, which was developed much later in the 1980s, the Internet began as a means for government researchers to share information in the 1960s.2
How it all Began
The WWW was first conceptualized in 1946 when Murray Leinster wrote a short story in which he imagined that there would be computers in every home, each with access to a central device from which they could retrieve information. The story does capture the idea of a vast information network accessible to everyone in their homes, despite having some differences from how the Web operates today.3
The execution of the WWW as a concept didn’t emerge until around 40 years later. It was in the year 1980 when Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of WWW, worked on a project known as ENQUIRE. This project required Lee to share information with his peers worldwide, and he found no other easy or quick way. Consequently, he put together a proposal for a centralized database containing links to other documents in 1989. Despite this being the ideal solution for Lee and his colleagues, nobody was interested in it, and nobody paid attention—except his boss at the time, Mike Sendall. Though Lee’s initial proposal was not immediately accepted, and Sendall wrote “vague but exciting” on its cover, he supported Lee by giving him time and encouraged him to implement the new system in their next project.4 The World Wide Web was the only name that stuck after several other suggestions.3
By December 1990, Lee had teamed up with another physicist named Robert Cailliau and had revised his initial idea.3 They had the idea to create web pages by fusing hypertext with the internet, but no one at the time realized how successful this concept could be. Lee persisted in creating the first web browser, HTTP, HTML, and HTML, despite all odds. The WWW project was introduced to the public on June 8, 1991, and the first web page was published online on August 6 of that same year.5
We can now share information with anyone, anywhere in the world, thanks to the creation of the WWW. It began with the fundamentals of sharing a document, but it has since developed into tools that enable us to enhance and improve our lives. The world can access the web for free thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, who created it as an open-source project.6 As a result, the business and employment worlds are developing simultaneously as the new internet generation is rapidly taking off. More and more people are eager to pursue brand-new career opportunities in today’s society, and many are honing their technological skills. All of this was pioneered by Tim Berners Lee!
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- The World Wide Web project. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
- Difference between Internet and WWW – GeeksforGeeks. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/difference-between-internet-and-www/
- History of the World Wide Web | Computer Science | 2878 | p2k.unaki.ac.id. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from http://p2k.unaki.ac.id/IT/en/2878-2775/History-of-the-World-Wide-Web_19254_p2k-unaki.html
- 30 years of the web: a short history of the invention that changed the world | British Council. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.britishcouncil.org/anyone-anywhere/history-web
- FLASHBACK: This Is What the First-Ever Website Looked Like. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.businessinsider.com/flashback-this-is-what-the-first-website-ever-looked-like-2011-6?IR=T
- History of the Web – World Wide Web Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/