The internet is the most influential communication tool
humanity has ever had. Internet improves the quality of lives, offering never before
seen opportunities for economics, influencing every aspect of human life,
changing cultures and educating people in the most remote parts of our planet. Its
commonly believed that the Internet and World Wide Web are the same thing, but
the internet gives you access the WWW. The World Wide Web contains the
information we access on the internet through billions of websites. While the first
workable prototype of the internet came in the 1960’s, the World Wide Web wasn’t
invented until 1989.
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, computer scientist, software
engineer and person listed on Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Important People of the
20th Century’, created the World Wide Web and the first web browser which
popularized the internet with the public. Prior to the invention of the web,
scientists had difficulty sharing information across the internet, making it
necessary to learn different programs at each computer. Berners-Lee saw this opportunity
to connect millions of computers together by using a new technology called
hypertext. Hypertext is a term for text that links to other information,
directing users to different content.
Berners-Lee’s first proposal of the World Wide Web was initially
denied, his boss calling it “vague but exciting.” Using the NeXT computer, an
early creation by famous developer Steve Jobs, Timothy began working on his WWW
project in September of 1990. He then created the three foundations of the web which
remain today, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) the formatting of the web, URI or
URL(Uniform Resource Identifier) the identifier of each web resource, and HTTP
(Hypertext Transfer Protocol) the retriever of linked resource. By the end of
1990, the very first browser and web server was created, revolutionizing how
people connected forever.
Without the web, we could no longer binge our favorite Netflix
series, do online shopping, or get a master’s degree from the comfort of your couch.
The World Wide Web forever changed how we maneuver in our daily lives, and it
is hard to imagine going back. Timothy Berners-Lee continues to enhance and protect
the future of the World Wide Web, seeking to secure the web as a public good
and basic right. Our world is more accessible thanks for Timothy Berners-Lee,
and through future STEM graduates, it will know endless bounds.