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Today is a very important day in the history of computing – and really, the world itself – as it marks the 25th anniversary of the public gaining access to the World Wide Web.
Wait, haven’t we already celebrated this? Not quite.
Computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee spent the better part of the ‘80s developing a personal database of people and software while working at CERN. In March of 1989, he wrote a proposal for something called "a universal linked information system" that would ultimately become the World Wide Web.
Some consider that to be the true “birthday” of the World Wide Web although it wouldn’t be opened to the public until a couple of years later – August 23, 1991, to be exact.
Berners-Lee, often considered the Father of the World Wide Web, is also responsible for the creation of the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) as well as the first web browser, server and web pages.
In 1993, CERN announced intentions to make the underlying code of the World Wide Web open. Had the technology remained proprietary and in his control, Berners-Lee said, it probably wouldn’t have taken off.
Needless to say, his contributions were far more paramount than anyone could have imagined. Think about it – what would you be doing right now if the Web and the Internet didn’t exist? It’s had such a profound impact on our daily lives that it’s hard to fathom what life would be like without it. Those of us that were around before its existence can relate but for the younger generation that grew up with the Web, it’s all they’ve ever known.
For an in-depth history of the World Wide Web, be sure to check out our feature from a couple of years back.