A Brief History of the World Wide Web
March 2, 2012
The World Wide Web (www) has often been used interchangeably with the Internet. This is in fact, not correct. The World Wide Web is a global information medium in which users can read and write via computers on the Internet. It is a sub-set of the Internet much like email is.
The history of the Internet predates the history of the Internet by several years. Whereas the creation of the Internet can be traced back to 1969, the World Wide Web can trace its origin back to 1980 to Tim Berners Lee
, an independent contractor working at CERN
or the European Center for Nuclear Research. Over the course of a ten year period, Tim Bermers-Lee addressed several different aspects of the presentation of data on the Internet. By 1990, he had built all of the tools needed for a working web, HyperText Transfer Protocol
(HTTP) 0.9, the Hypertext MarkUp Language
(HTML), the first web browser
which was also the first HTML editor, called World Wide Web, the first web server software, the first web server
, and the first web pages. On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted a summary of his project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. This date also marks the debut of the Web as a public service on the Internet.
The turning point for the World Wide Web was the creation of the Mosaic browser
, led by Marc Andreesen and Eric Bina
, computer science students at the University of Illinois (UIUC). After graduation, Marc Andreesen
joined forces with James H Clark
, former CEO of Silicon Graphics to form Mosaic Communications Corporation to develop the Mosaic browser commercially. In 1994, the company changed its name to Netscape and released shortly thereafter went onto release the Netscape Navigator. Marc Andreesen has gone on to become a very success entrepreneur and one of the most powerful investors in Silicon Valley.
In the late 90s, many of the leading global corporations went about establishing their web presence and the growth rate took off from there.
Next up, the history of search engines.