The World Wide Web
“The Web does not just connect machines, it connects people” (Tim Berners-Lee). Tim Berners-Lee wanted to create a way for physicists to communicate information easily between one another. He ended up creating one of the most highly used pieces of software on the internet today and an incredibly versatile way of sharing information globally. The Web had become such a big part of our everyday lives that a lot of us would not know what to do without it. Some people do not fully understand what the Word Wide Web actually is though. They do not fully understand its history or the various components of the Web. This paper will hopefully alleviate some of the confusion about the Web.
Some people may ask, “what exactly is the World Wide Web?” The Web has become so ubiquitous today that most people barely recognize what it actually is. A lot of people make the false assumption that the Web and the Internet are one and the same, when actually they are two very different things. The Internet connects millions of computers all across the world, forming a massive network. This network allows a computer to communicate information to any other device on the network as long as they are both connected to the internet. The Web on the other hand is a system of inter-linked documents that can be accessed over the Internet. This is all done through the use of a Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. By using a Web browser, anyone can look at Web pages that contain a myriad of different things to view. A person can read books, watch videos, listen to music, and do an incredible amount more than just that over the Web (World Wide Web). The Web is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet (The Difference Between the Internet and World Wide Web). Even though they work together, that does not necessarily mean that they are the same thing.
Figure 1: Tim Berners-Lee (World Wide Web Foundation)
In order to understand the history of the World Wide Web, people need to know a little bit about its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. He is an Englishman who graduated from Oxford University. He landed a temporary contract job as a software consultant at CERN, the famous European Particle physics Laboratory in Geneva, in 1980. During this time, he wrote a program called Enquire, which he used to help remember connections between various people and projects at the lab. CERN was a large international organization, so this program became very useful for him. He left CERN and then returned back to the company in 1984 with a permanent job. He had a vision of a global information space where information could be stored on computers that could be linked and available to anyone across the world. At that point in time, it was difficult to transfer documents from one computer to another because they were not always compatible with one another. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal to CERN for the development of an information...