Tim Berners-Lee (1955)


Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989.

He first described the concept of a global system, based on the concept of ‘hypertext’, that would allow researchers anywhere to share information. He also built a prototype called ‘Enquire’.

In 1984, Berners Lee’s returned to CERN, which was also home to a major European Internet node. In 1989, Berners Lee published a paper called ‘Information Management: A Proposal’ in which he married up hypertext with the Internet, to create a system for sharing and distributing information not just within a company, but globally. He named it the World Wide Web.

He also created the first web browser and editor. The world’s first website, http://info.cern.ch, was launched on 6 August 1991. It explained the World Wide Web concept and gave users an introduction to getting started with their own websites.

Fun fact:

  • He has admitted that the pair of slashes (//) in web addresses ended up being unnecessary. He said he could have designed URLs without them, but didn’t realise at the time.
  • Every time a router forwards IP packets containing the words #swag or #yolo it cries out in pain. And Tim Berners-Lee sheds a tear.

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