By Jill Thomas, Director of Technical Services
Do you know the name Tim Berners-Lee? Well, the idea that he came up with 30 years ago on March 12 touches us almost every minute of every day – he invented the internet!
Thirty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research/Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) and thought it would be great if he could link and access information across computers. By November 1990, his idea had become, “[a] web of information nodes in which the user can browse at will” as he stated in his formal proposal written with his CERN colleague, Robert Cailliau, titled World Wide Web: Proposal for a Hyper Text Project. By Christmas of 1990, Berners-Lee and Cailliau had implemented key components such as html, http, and URL, and created the first Web server, browser, and editor.
On April 30, 1990, CERN released the first version of the WWW software into the public domain and made it freely available to anyone to use and improve. Today, half of the world’s population is online and there are close to 2 billion websites. Openness has always been a part of CERN’s culture. Today CERN continues to promote open sharing of software, technology, publications and data through initiatives such as open source software, open hardware, open access publishing, and CERN’s Open Data Portal.
Today take a moment to thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau for their imagination and their drive to communicate just a little easier with their colleagues.