The Web Is 20

World Wide WebWorld Wide Web


April 30th may seem like just another day, but if you use the web, which you certainly do if you're reading this, then today is an important anniversary. 20 years ago, the CERN institute created the World Wide Web. Originally, this new invention was a way to spread knowledge and information among universities and research centers. It used the Internet, a newly created distributed network which, up to that point, had been mostly used for text only purposes. But with the web, a whole new world opened up, and it did not take long before what was originally a very dry and static medium turned into the dynamic landscape we know today.

To celebrate this event, CERN is putting back up the original web pages that launched the World Wide Web at their original web addresses. These pages are obviously out of date, but they show what it was like back then, and what the goals of the creators of the web, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee wanted to showcase to the world. This original statement and accompanying documents are now available to be seen once again at their original location.

It is worth noting that no one from the original team has any idea what they were doing would change the world the way the web did. Back then, other protocols existed to exchange information, such as Gopher and Wais. But it was the web's use of standards, the fact that it was free and open, and the usefulness of web pages, that made it so popular. It is a reminder that no inventor truly knows how popular their invention might become one day.