World Wide Web Turned 25 This Week

Episode 1066 (1:51:29)

The World Wide Web had its 25th birthday on Wednesday this past week, March 12. It wasn't exactly the birth of the World Wide Web, however. It was actually when Tim Berners-Lee came up with the proposal for it. Tim Berners-Lee was a particle physicist working at CERN in Geneva in 1989, and was frustrated by the way scientists were sharing research and papers with each other. His proposal was called "Information Management: A Proposal." In it, he pointed out that they vast quantities of data stored on all different computers, and that it would be much better if they could share that data using the internet.

The internet already existed at the time, but was chiefly used by educational institutions. Tim Berners-Lee's idea was a way to link documents together using hypertext. He also thought about the ability to annotate those pages. It wasn't until about a year after his idea, on November 12, 1990, that they coined the term "World Wide Web." He then created the first browser, which was text-only, on a NeXT computer on Christmas Day 1990. So, Christmas Day 1990 is more accurately the "birthday" of the World Wide Web, and it wasn't publicly used until August 6, 1991. Then it was 2 years still after that before it really gained traction, when the first browser with graphics and clickable text.

The Web at 25: Revisiting Tim Berners-Lee’s Amazing Proposal (Time)…