Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web! The World Wide Web was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) on March 12th, 1989. As a result, the world’s first website was also for CERN. (While often used interchangeably with the term Internet, the web is not actually the same thing – more on that later.*)
The web was originally created as a way for researchers, scientists and intellectuals at various institutions around the world to share information quickly. Information on the web would be viewed by browsers (it still is!), so documents and information could be uploaded from one place and easily viewed in another (think of a website). Obviously, this technology ended up becoming of incredible use and interest to governments, business and the general public. That said, the web may have been born 25 years ago, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the web/Internet started to enter mainstream use – CERN released the World Wide Web to the public in April 1993. Since then, the web/Internet has exploded, and the impact has been remarkable.
*So back to that question from earlier, what is the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet? In short (it’s almost worth a blog post in itself), the Internet is a massive network, made up of smaller networks – a network of networks. The Internet is actually older than the web, and was invented by the U.S. Department of Defense back in the 60s. The Internet is the framework used by the web – the web is a way of sending data over the Internet. HTTP – the language of the web – is just one of the many languages (AKA protocols) read by the Internet. So anytime you type a URL into your browser, you’re surfing/using the web. However, when sending an e-mail for example, you are using the Internet, but you may not be using the web.