The World Wide Web


In 1990, the largest internet site in Europe was CERN, a particle physics laboratory in Geneva. Tim Berners-Lee was a researcher there, and he thought he had a way to help organize information on the network. His solution was based on a program he had written in 1980 called "Enquire-Within-Upon-Everything."  The program had helped deal with all of CERN's internal computer information by assigning addresses to all the data in such a way that you could easily jump from one area of the system to another.  

Berners-Lee thought that linking system might work for the entire Internet as well. In 1990, he wrote a proposal to assign all the information on the Internet a standardized address so that any document on it could be easily found and read.  The proposal was circulated around the scientific community. Berners-Lee's vision of a global web of linked information was soon dubbed the World Wide Web.

In 1992, Berners Lee designed a World Wide Web browser and distributed it for free.  In November of 1992, that browser could take you to 26 Web servers in the world.

The first web browser didn't let you look at the web the way you do today -- there were no pictures and no buttons.  But you could easily link from one page to another at the press of a key or a click of the mouse. In 1993, the first "user-friendly" web browser hit the web when Marc Andreesen at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications created Mosaic.  Mosaic allowed users to see pictures and graphics, and use of the web began to take off.  By July of 1993, there were almost 2 million web sites.  By July of 1996, there were almost 13 million.  

-- A Science Odyssey; People and Discoveries: The Internet gives rise to the World Wide Web 
-- The Computer Museum: The World Wide Web 

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