As part of the Digital Literacy, we are starting a series of common used word or phrases that you might have heard from news, read from some sources. But, you don’t have much in-depth as what the technology is used, where it is used and how it will affect my day-to-day work.
Hardly an innovation, the company has changed so rapidly and dramatically: from information and communication about work and education to our shopping and dating behavior – the World Wide Web (WWW) has revamped all areas of life.
On 6 August 1991, exactly 25 years ago, the first website in the world has been made public in Switzerland. Two years later the concept of Internet started the mass appeal. The fact that the network as we know in its present form is largely owe to a man.
The British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, then an employee at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, wanted to share local information. In March 1989, he suggested to his employer a project based on hypertext steps to simplify the exchange of data between researchers worldwide.
He received support from his colleague Robert Cailliau. In Christmas of 1990, Berners-Lee developed the first web server in the world – info.cern.ch. On 6 August 1991, the first website on the Internet is established.
“It was a technical milestone,” says Werner Zorn, who is considered the founding father of the German Internet and in 1984 at the University of Karlsruhe, the first German Internet E-mail is received. “The idea was the combination of Apple’s hypertext with the Internet technology at the network level,” he explains.
After the e-mail, another service has been created by the World Wide Web, the quasi aroused the Internet to life.
Essentially Berners-Lee based development on three key points: Firstly, he developed the “HyperText Markup Language” (HTML), which describes how pages with hypertext links (“links”) are formatted in different computer platforms. With the “HyperText Transfer Protocol” (HTTP) he defined the technical channel that would use the computer to communicate over the Internet. Lastly, the “Universal Resource Identifier” (URI), today commonly known as the “Uniform Resource Locator” (URL), called the web address to the content found on the net.
No license payments and patenting
An important formal step made by the CERN in 1993, when the institution the World Wide Web released to the public and deliberately refrained from royalties and patenting. The researchers contributed significantly to the importance of the Web in its present form. “The free availability of course was the success factor,” says Internet pioneer.
The breakthrough of the WWW for non-computer specialists then succeeded in 1993 by Marc Andreessen. The student developed the first Mosaic browser at the University of Illinois and set out later with Netscape on making the browser software as the leading online platform. Microsoft founder Bill Gates pulled the “Internet Explorer” after and instigated the “browser war” to where Netscape then fell by the wayside.
Rapid growth of the Web
The Web grew rapidly and brought many tech billionaires out: Yahoo, eBay and Amazon all started their online presence in 1995. It was followed by Google in 1998 and six years later then Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone in 2007 and a year later first smartphone came with Google Android software. The mobile Internet soon took mass appeal and millions of apps are developed.
Worldwide, there are still billions of people without Internet access. In Europe, the WWW has long been a part of everyday life. According to industry association Bitkom, three out of four EU citizens (76 percent) aged 16 to 74 years go at least once a week online.
And Berners-Lee himself? The father of the Web went in 1994 to Boston at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
In 2004, he was knighted by the Queen of England. Unlike Internet stars like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Berners-Lee is still relatively unknown among the general public – in spite of its merits. He himself does not seem to interfere. “Being Prominent, destroyed the private life,” he once said.