Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 what is today known as the Internet. At the time, Tim was a software engineer at CERN, the large particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Many scientists participated in experiments at CERN for extended periods of time, then returned to their laboratories around the world. These scientists were eager to exchange data and results, but had difficulties doing so. Tim understood this need, and understood the unrealized potential of millions of computers connected together through the Internet. Tim documented what was to become the World Wide Web with the submission of a proposal to his management at CERN, in late 1989. Tim’s initial proposal was not immediately accepted. However, Tim persevered.
By October of 1990, he had specified the three fundamental technologies that remain the foundation of today’s Web; HTML, URL, HTTP. Tim also wrote the first Web page editor/browser (“WorldWideWeb”) and the first Web server (“httpd“). By the end of 1990, the first Web page was served. By 1991, people outside of CERN joined the new Web community. Very important to the growth of the Web, CERN announced in April 1993 that the World Wide Web technology would be available for anyone to use on a royalty-free basis.
Since that time, the Web has changed the world. It has arguably become the most powerful communication medium the world has ever known. The Web has changed the way we teach and learn, buy and sell, inform and are informed, agree and disagree, share and collaborate, meet and love, and tackle problems ranging from putting food on our tables to curing cancer. Tim Berners-Lee and others realized that for the Web to reach its full potential, the underlying technologies must become global standards, implemented in the same way around the world. Therefore, in 1994, Tim founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a place for stakeholders to reach consensus around the specification and guidelines to ensure that the Web works for everyone and that it evolves in a responsible manner.