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News : Innovation Last Updated: Jan 24, 2015 - 12:54 AM


World Wide Web @ 25; Internet @ 45 years old in 2014 - See world's first website
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Mar 12, 2014 - 9:03 AM

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The world's first website: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

The World Wide Web is 25 years old today and this year the Internet is 45 years old.

Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN, invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989. The web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automatic information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. The first computer-to-computer link was made on ARPANET in 1969 -- which developed into the Internet.

CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research/ Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire is located at the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.

CERN says the first website at CERN - - and in the world - - was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself and was hosted on Berners-Lee's NeXT computer -  - which Steve Jobs was responsible for after leaving Apple in 1985. The website described the basic features of the web; how to access other people's documents and how to set up your own server. The NeXT machine - the original web server - is still at CERN. As part of the project to restore the first website, in 2013 CERN reinstated the world's first website to its original address.

On 30 April 1993 CERN put the World Wide Web software in the public domain. CERN made the next release available with an open licence, as a more sure way to maximise its dissemination. Through these actions, making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish.

Now, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, he was a 34-year-old physics graduate working as a software engineer when he wrote a paper simply titled "Information Management: A Proposal". It said: “the hope would be to allow a pool of information to develop which could grow and evolve with the organisation and the projects it describes". The goal was a “a universal linked information system” where “generality and portability are more important than fancy graphics techniques and complex extra facilities".

He was responsible for the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), HyperText Markup Language (HTML), and the first ever web browser, WorldWideWeb. The web was initially named "Mesh" - - with "World Wide Web" being coined by Sir Tim in 1990. By 1993 Cern allowed the technology to be freely used by all.

The Internet

DARPA was created by the US Department of Defense in 1958 as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The political and defense communities recognised the need for a high-level defense organization to formulate and execute R&D projects that would expand the frontiers of technology beyond the immediate and specific requirements of the Military Services and their laboratories.

The Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), which later would be named the Internet, was conceived in 1962 when, Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider formulated the earliest ideas of global networking in a series of memos discussing an “Intergalactic Computer Network.”

The first-ever computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, on October 29, 1969.

DARPA and the Internet Revolution [pdf]

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