Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #451 3/20/2019

Question: When is the World Wide Webís (WWW) birthday?


On March 14, 2019 the 30th birthday of the World Wide Web was celebrated. This coming August 9, 2019 will be the 50th birthday of the Internet.

The concept of the World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee and he gave his proposal and concept to his boss on March 14, 1989. The proposal was a way to make the Internet more useful to researcher and educators in finding more related content by linking articles together using hyperlinks (which was one of original reasons for the Internet, besides military communications) and using DNS (Domain Name Service) to male those hyperlinks more understandable.

As is often the case in inventions, the inventor does not have the full vision of where the invention goes. Berners-Lee did not see at that point the commercial utilization possible with this change to the Internet.

Before this vision could become reality first the browsers had to be invented and developed which Mosaic was an accomplishment (pre-cursor to todayís Firefox and the engine behind the other major browsers. Even Edge will start using that engine later in 2019.

With the development of hyperlinks (which required development of a language called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and a protocol that could allow use of this language and hyperlinks was also required which is called HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol).

As a result by 1993 the developments were made and the World Wide Web became reality and business jumped on as a way to spread more information about them and to today where lots of e-commerce occurs.

The WWW has made tremendous differences in our lives over the past 30 years from a few home computers to computers on our hips or in purses that can look at the entire WWW. It has caused political changes, and more information than ever available to us (some would say TMI) and as Berners-Lee has commented it has been used in a number of not good ways and he wishes there were ways to control that.

Happy birthday the World Wide Web. It has been great watching you grow for 30 years (and growing my knowledge and how I use the WWW and build things for it) and many more. Hopefully you will not stop growing and will bring us more wonderful new things to use, and maybe learn to control the bad things while not hurting the good.