The World Wide Web Turns 25

Tim Berners-Lee

The World Wide Web celebrated its 25th birthday on 12 March and the technological wonder come a long way since it’s development in a Swiss laboratory.

British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in March 1989, around 20 years after the first connection was established over the infrastructure that is known today as the internet.

Berners-Lee, who was a software engineer at CERN in Switzerland at the time, came up with idea to improve information flows by developing a ‘web’ of notes with links between them.

The proposal came due to the number of scientists who travelled to CERN for experiments before returning to their laboratories around the world.

Berners-Lee understood the need for them to exchange their data and findings, which was extremely difficult given the distance between each scientist.

He then set to work, drafting the code for what was to become the World Wide Web, which specified a trio of technologies that would make the internet truly accessible and useful to a wider audience.

These three fundamental technologies remain, 25 years later, the foundation of today’s Web, and included the joining of HTML with TCP/IP and domain name system protocols.

In April 1993, CERN declared that the World Wide Web would be free to use by anyone, and today around 40% of the global population are connected and creating online.

Berners-Lee said: “I hope this anniversary will spark a global conversation about our need to defend principles that have made the Web successful, and to unlock the Web’s untapped potential.

“I believe we can build a Web that truly is for everyone: one that is accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans.”

When asked what could have been done differently 25 years ago, Berners-Lee joked that he didn’t need the double slash after the colon. In an interview with tech magazine Wired he later admitted that the double slash “just seemed like a good idea at the time.”

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