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March 15, 2014
The image above by Tim Berners-Lee's proposal for the World Wide Web in March 1989 (Image: CERN).
In March 1989 Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist working at CERN, submitted a proposal to develop a radical new way of linking and sharing information over the internet. The document was entitled Information Management: A Proposal. And so the web was born.
The first website at CERN – and in the world – was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself. Last April CERN initiated a project to restore the first website, and to bring back the spirit of that time through its technical innovation and the founding principles of openness and freedom.
In 1993 CERN put the World Wide Web software in the public domain. CERN made the next release available with an open licence, as a more sure way to maximise its dissemination. Through these actions, making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish.
World Wide Web
"Beyond CERN's role in helping us understand the universe, it was a great place to work in 1989," said Tim Berners-Lee. "CERN was an early adopter of Internet protocols, and their support for a Royalty-Free Web has been a key to its widespread adoption today."
Now Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the World Wide Web Foundation are launching a series of initiatives to mark the 25th anniversary of the original proposal.
In addition, Berners-Lee and the Web Foundation are launching "The web we want" campaign to promote a global dialogue and change in public policy to ensure that the web remains an open, free, accessible medium – so that everyone on the planet can participate in the free flow of knowledge, ideas and creativity online.
Opinion pieces on this topic:
"Minimising the muddle" – Peggie Rimmer, early web contributor: http://home.web.cern.ch/cern-people/opinion/2014/03/minimising-muddle
"Good old Bitnet, and the rise of the World Wide Web" – Richard Jacobsson, senior physicist on the LHCb experiment: http://home.web.cern.ch/cern-people/opinion/2014/03/good-old-bitnet-and-rise-world-wide-web
"On the open internet and the free web" – David Foster, deputy head of CERN's IT department: http://home.web.cern.ch/cern-people/opinion/2014/03/open-internet-and-free-web
"Not at all vague and much more than exciting" – Maria Dimou, CERN computer scientist and early web contributor: http://home.web.cern.ch/cern-people/opinion/2014/03/not-all-vague-and-much-more-exciting
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.
The first website at CERN: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): http://www.w3.org/
World Wide Web Foundation: http://www.webfoundation.org/
Images, Text, Credits: CERN / Cian O'Luanaigh.
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