Following on from the invention of packet switching, it wasn’t until the development of the Internet Protocol suite (which would allow computers to connect to each other on a Global scale) that would finally lead to the World Wide Web.
Internet Protocol Suite.
The Internet Protocol suite what is more commonly referred to as TCP/IP is a set of communication protocols, the first being Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP). TCP and IP are the first two networking protocols ever to be defined.
Tim Berners- Lee
Tim Berners Lee (born June the 8th 1955) is an English computer scientist and who is probably the most famous member of our cast in this story of the internet. Lee is ranked first in the Telegraphs list of 100 living greatest geniuses, great accolade indeed
He was the firs person to successfully achieve a communication between an HTTP client computer and web server through the internet, with some aid from Robert Cailliau and a young man who was studing at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) where he was working as an independent contractor.
Lee is now also the director of the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C for short; this consortium oversees the development of the internet.
However, it was back in 1980 that Lee came up with the idea of a project based on the concept of hyper text while working at CERN, to help share and update information among researchers. While there he built a prototype system called ENQUIRE.
Lee said that the name ENQUIRE was inspired from a book called “Enquire Within Upon Everything”. This was book on domestic life which was published first in 1856. ENQUIRE was similar to the World Wide Web but was different in a few ways, one of which was that it was not to be realised to the general public.
Today we use a web browser to surf the internet but this system didn’t, it was more similar to how Wikipedia works. ENQUIRE used bidirectional hyperlinks which allowed ideas and notes to link to each other without the original author’s knowledge.
The Beginning of the World Wide Web
Lee was to leave CERN in 1980 only to return 4 years later after working for Image Computer Systems LTD in Bournemouth. By 1989 CERN was the largest internet node in Europe and this is when Lee saw an opportunity. “I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and ta-da! The World wide Web.”
In 1990 again with the help of Robert Cailliau Lee built the world’s first web browser which he called Worldwideweb and also the first web server HTTPD (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Daemon).
On the 6th of August 1991 the World’s first ever website was born. It provided information about the World Wide Web, how to own a web browser and how to set up a web server. This website was also the first ever web directory as Lee used it to list other websites other than his own.
This is by far not the end of our story; there are still many questions that are unanswered. How did the World Wide Web become popular? Who were the major players in building it into what it is today? Furthermore, what does the future hold for this Global phenomenon? These answers and many more still to come.