The Twentieth Anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW) ‎

first_imgBy Dialogo March 16, 2009 GENEVA, March 13, 2009 (AFP) – This Friday founders of the World Wide Web ‎‎(WWW) celebrate their invention’s twentieth anniversary at its birthplace, the European ‎Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva. ‎ The Web (la Red in Spanish) was created by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and his ‎colleagues at CERN (which is officially called the European Organization for Nuclear ‎Research) to help the thousands of scientists who collaborate on the organization’s ‎studies stay in touch and share the results of their work over long distances.‎ In March 1989, Berners-Lee, a young programming engineer on a temporary contract at ‎CERN, presented a paper titled “Information Management: A Proposal.”‎ His superior in Geneva called the draft “vague but exciting” and approved it.‎ ‎”They had the feeling that sooner or later it was going to happen,” recalled Belgian ‎engineer Robert Caillau, who teamed with Berners-Lee.‎ Together they began to study the language of hypertext – which begins the acronym ‎‎”http” in Internet protocol – and in October 1990 they developed the first Internet ‎browser, which is strikingly similar to current ones.‎ ‎”Everything we use now, blogs, etc, that was what we did in 1990. There’s no difference. ‎That was how we started,” Cailliau told the Swiss radio station RSR.‎ This new technology was made available to the public in 1991, when CERN concluded ‎that it did not have the capacity to ensure its development.‎ Two years later, the organization refused to receive royalties for the invention that ‎revolutionized the world of communications.‎ However, we must not confuse the Web with the Internet, warns Lynn St. Amour, ‎President of the Internet Society, for whom “the great success of Tim Berners-Lee was in ‎understanding the power and potential of the Internet.”‎ ‎”The Web is one of its applications, the best known and most widespread use of the ‎Internet,” she explains.‎ Cailliau, on his part, is still amazed by the applications of the WWW and says that he ‎would never have imagined that search engines would become so important.‎ ‎”I never thought that search engines would succeed. Those things are highly centralized ‎while the web is completely decentralized,” he said, without concealing that, on the other ‎hand, certain things irritate him about the business aspect of the development of the Web.‎ ‎”There are things I do not like: that some people live off advertising, because I designed a ‎model with automatic payment to pay information providers directly with digital ‎currency,” Cailliau emphasized.‎ ‎ “And there is, of course, the big problem of identity, the trust between those who post ‎web pages (for users) and those who view them, and the protection of children,” he ‎added.‎ It is hoped that Tim Berners-Lee – currently a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of ‎Technology (MIT) in the United States, and professor at the British University of ‎Southampton – will be present at the anniversary’s celebration.‎ Berners-Lee still leads the consortium that coordinates the development of the Web.‎last_img

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