The World Wide Web contains millions of active websites, and hundreds of millions of inactive ones as well. In other words, the World Wide Web is huge.
But the World Wide Web was not like that always.
There was a time when the only web pages on the World Wide Web belonged to one man. That man was the creator of the World Wide Web – Tim Berners-Lee.
Tim Berners-Lee is a British Computer Scientist. Born to parents who had met while developing one of the earliest computers, Tim went on to study physics at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford.
Tim studied at Oxford from 1973 to 1976. He received a first-class bachelor of arts in physics.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in physics, he headed straight to the computer industry. By 1989, Tim was already working at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
CERN stands for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (French), meaning the European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN is a particle physics laboratory.
In early 1990, CERN was interested in a new experiment. They wanted a system which would allow researchers communicate more easily – preferably through electronic or digital means.
Tim saw the potential here. He had an idea to merge two things, both of which he had not invented, to create his own invention.
Tim’s idea was to combine the Hypertext and the Internet.
The Hypertext was a technique of linking documents using clickable words. The Internet was a network of computers which could easily share data electronically. The Internet was already heavily used by CERN.
Tim started working on his project, with a colleague named Robert Cailliau. He called his system the World Wide Web.
By the end of 1990, Tim’s first web server was already up and running. At the time, Tim had a “NeXT” computer, which did not have a color display. Hence the earliest web pages were black and white.
It’s been a long time since those early black and white days.
Now the Web has nearly 1 billion websites, which not only help people in their physics research but also help them in their work, do their shopping, listening to music, watching movies, reading books and journals, being updated with news, even getting a university degree.
Tim is now Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, Senior Researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
His work has radically changed the world and the way we live.
Read: The Internet