A Brief History of the Internet

A Little History of the World Wide Web From the world wide web consortium

See also How It All
Started presentation
matierals from the W3C
10th Anniversary Celebration
and other
references
.

<a href=”http://www.w3.org/2004/Talks/w3c10-HowItAllStarted/&#8221;

A talk Given by Tim Berners Lee

from 1945 to 1995

1945

Vannevar Bush writes
href=”
http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm”>an
article in Atlantic
Monthly
about a photo-electrical-mechanical device called a Memex, for
memory extension, which could make and follow links between documents on
microfiche

1960s

Doug Engelbart prototypes an “oNLine System” (NLS) which does hypertext
browsing editing, email, and so on. He invents the mouse for this purpose.
See the Bootstrap Institute
library
.

Ted Nelson coins the word Hypertext in A File Structure for the
Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate
. 20th National
Conference, New York, Association for Computing
Machinery
, 1965. See also:
href=”
http://www.sfc.keio.ac.jp/~ted/TN/PUBS/LM/LMpage.html”>Literary
Machines, a
href=”
http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~harpold/papers/ht_bibliography/history.html”>hypertext
bibliography.

Andy van Dam and others build the Hypertext Editing System and FRESS in
1967.

1980

While consulting for CERN June-December of 1980, Tim Berners-Lee writes a
notebook program, “Enquire-Within-Upon-Everything”, which allows links to be
made between arbitrary nodes. Each node had a title, a type, and a list of
bidirectional typed links. “ENQUIRE” ran on Norsk Data machines under
SINTRAN-III. See: Enquire user manual
as scanned images
or as HTML
page
(alt).


1989

March
“Information Management: A
Proposal”
written by Tim BLand circulated for comments at CERN
(TBL). Paper “HyperText and CERN” produced as background (
href=”/Administration/HTandCERN.txt”>text
or WriteNow
format).

1990

May
Same proposal
recirculated
September
Mike Sendall, Tim’s boss, Oks the purchase of a NeXT cube, and allows
Tim to go ahead and write a global hypertext system.
October
Tim starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep
development environment. He makes up “WorldWideWeb” as a name for the
program. (See the first
browser
screenshot) “World Wide Web” as a name for the project
(over Information Mesh, Mine of Information, and Information Mine).
Project original proposal
reformulated with encouragement from CN and ECP divisional management.
Robert Cailliau (ECP) joins and is
co-author of new version.
November
Initial WorldWideWeb
program
development continues on the NeXT (
href=”People.html#BernersLee”>TBL
) . This was a “what you see is
what you get” (wysiwyg) browser/editor with direct inline creation of
links. The first web server was nxoc01.cern.ch, later called
info.cern.ch, and the first web page
http://nxoc01.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html Unfortunately CERN
no longer supports the historical site. Note from this era too, the
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/Link.html”>least
recently modified web page
we know of, last changed Tue, 13 Nov
1990 15:17:00 GMT (though the URI changed.)
November
Technical Student Nicola Pellow (CN)
joins and starts work on the line-mode browser. Bernd
href=”People.html#Pollermann”>Pollermann
(CN) helps get interface
to CERNVM “FIND” index running. TBL gives a
href=”news:3199@cernvax.cern.ch”>colloquium
on hypertext in
general.
Christmas
Line mode browser and
href=”People/Berners-Lee/FAQ.html#browser”>WorldWideWeb

browser/editor demonstrable. Acces is possible to hypertext files,
CERNVM “FIND”, and Internet news articles.

1991

February
workplan for the purposes of ECP
division.
26 February 1991
Presentation of the project to the
ECP/PT group.
March
Line mode browser (www) released to limited audience on “priam” vax,
rs6000, sun4.
May
Workplan produced
for CN/AS group
17 May
Presentation to “C5” Committee.
General release of WWW on central CERN machines.
12 June
CERN Computer Seminar on
WWW.
August
Files available on the net by FTP, posted on
alt.hypertext (
href=”/People/Berners-Lee/1991/08/art-6484.txt”>6
,
href=”/People/Berners-Lee/1991/08/art-6487.txt”>16
, 19th Aug),
comp.sys.next (20th), comp.text.sgml and comp.mail.multi-media (22nd).
Jean-Francois Groff joins the
project.
October
VMS/HELP and WAIS gateways installed. Mailing lists www-interest (now
www-announce) and www-talk@info.cern.ch (see
href=”
http://ksi.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/archives/WWW-TALK/www-talk-1991.index.html”>archive)
started. One year status report. Anonymous telnet service started.
December
Presented poster and demonstration at
href=”../Conferences/HT91/Overview.html”>Hypertext’91
in San
Antonio, Texas (US). W3 browser installed on VM/CMS. CERN
href=”
http://crnvmc/FIND?:cnl+204″>computer newsletter announces W3
to the HEP world.Dec 12: Paul Kunz installs first Web server outside of Europe, at
SLAC.

1992

15 January
Line mode browser release 1.1 available by anonymous FTP (see
href=”News/9201.html”>news
). Presentation to AIHEP’92 at La Londe
(FR).
12 February
Line mode v 1.2 annouced on alt.hypertext, comp.infosystems,
comp.mail.multi-media, cern.sting, comp.archives.admin, and mailing
lists.
April
29th April: Release of Finnish “Erwise” GUI client for X
mentioned in
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/Erwise/Review.html”>review

by TimBL.
May
Pei Wei’s “Viola” GUI browser for X test version dated May 15.
(See
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/Viola/Review.html”>review

by TimBL)At CERN, Presentation and
href=”../Conferences/JENC92/Demonstrations.html#3″>demo
at
href=”../Conferences/JENC92/Sessions.html”>JENC3
, Innsbruck (AT).
Technical Student Carl Barker (ECP) joins
the project.
June
Presentation and demo at HEPVM (Lyon). People at FNAL (Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory (US)), NIKHEF (Nationaal Instituut voor Kern- en
Hoge Energie Fysika, (NL)), DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron,
Hamburg, (DE)) join with WWW servers.
July
Distribution of WWW through CernLib, including Viola. WWW library
code ported to DECnet. Report to the Advisory Board on Computing.
August
Introduction of CVS for code management
at CERN.
September
Plenary session demonstration to the HEP community at CHEP’92 in
Annecy (FR).
November
Jump back in time to a snapshot of the
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html”>WWW
Project Page as of 3 Nov 1992
and the WWW project web of the time,
including the list of all 26 resoanably reliable
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/DataSources/WWW/Servers.html”>servers
,
NCSA’s having just been added, but no sign of Mosaic.

1993

January
By now, Midas (Tony Johnson, SLAC), Erwise (HUT), and Viola (Pei Wei,
O’Reilly Associates) browsers are available for X; CERN Mac browser
(ECP) released as alpha. Around 50 known HTTP servers.
February
NCSA release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen’s “Mosaic for X”.
Computing seminar at CERN.
The University of Minnesota
href=”
http://www.funet.fi/pub/vms/networking/gopher/gopher-software-licensing-policy.ancient”>announcedthat they would begin to charge licensing fees for Gopher’s use, which
caused many volunteers and employees to stop using it and switch to
WWW.
March
WWW (Port 80 HTTP) traffic measures 0.1% of NSF backbone traffic. WWW
presented at Online
Publishing 93
, Pittsburgh.The Acceptable Use Policy prohibiting commercial use of the Internet

href=”
https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/jcthomsonjr/web/j561/NSFpolicy-7.html”>re-interpreted.,
so that it becomes becomes allowed.
April
April 30: Date on the declaration by CERN’s directors that WWW
technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable
to CERN. A milestone document.
July
Ari Luotonen (ECP) joins the project at CERN. He implements access
authorisation, proceeds to re-write the CERN httpd server.
July 28-30
O’Reilly hosts first
href=”History/1994/WWW/WorkingNotes/Overview.html#z45″>WWW Wizards
Workshop
in Cambridge Mass (US).
September
WWW (Port 80 http) traffic measures 1% of NSF backbone traffic. NCSA
releases working versions of Mosaic browser for all common platforms:
X, PC/Windows and Macintosh.September 6-10: On a bus at a
href=”
http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/old/events/intl.seminars/1993/contents.html”>seminar
Information at Newcastle University, MIT’s Prof. David
Gifford suggests Tim BL contact Michael Dertouzos of MIT/LCS as a
possible consortium host site.
October
Over 200 known HTTP servers. The European Commission, the Fraunhofer
Gesellschaft and CERN start the first Web-based project of the European
Union (DG XIII): WISE, using the Web for dissemination of technological
information to Europe’s less favoured regions.
December
WWW receives IMA award. John Markov writes a page and a half on WWW
and Mosaic in “The New York Times” (US) business section. “The
Guardian” (UK) publishes a page on WWW, “The Economist” (UK) analyses
the Internet and WWW.Robert Cailliau gets go-ahead from CERN management to organise the
First International WWW Conference at CERN.

1994

January
O’Reilly, Spry, etc announce “Internet in a box” product to bring the
Web into homes.
March
Marc Andreessen and colleagues leave NCSA to form “Mosaic
Communications Corp” (later Netscape).
May 25-27
First International WWW
Conference
, CERN, Geneva. Heavily oversubscribed (800 apply, 400
allowed in): the “Woodstock of the Web”. VRML is conceived here. TBL’s
closing keynote hints at upcoming organization. (Some of Tim’s
href=”/Talks/WWW94Tim/”>slides on Semantic Web
)
June
M. Bangemann
href=”
http://www.earn.net/EC/bangemann.html”>report on European
Commission Information Superhighway plan. Over 1500 registered servers.Load on the first Web server (info.cern.ch) 1000 times what it has
been 3 years earlier.
alt=”Over June ’91 to June 94, stead” />

July
MIT/CERN agreement to start W3 Organisation is announced by Bangemann
in Boston.
href=”//dxcern/userd/timbl/hypertext/WWW/History/Press/Release_940707.html”>Press
release
.
href=”//dxcern/userd/timbl/hypertext/WWW/History/Press/940708_Clarinet.txt”>AP
wire
. Reports in Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe etc.
August
Founding of the
href=”
http://sdg.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Public/IW3C2″>IW3C2: the
International WWW Conference Committee, in Boston, by NCSA and
CERN.
September
The European Commission and CERN propose the WebCore project for
development of the Web core technology in Europe.
1 October
World Wide Web Consortium founded.
October
Second International WWW
href=”
http://141.142.3.70/SDG/IT94/IT94Info-old.html”>Conference:
“Mosaic and the Web”, Chicago. Also heavily oversubscribed: 2000 apply,
1300 allowed in.
14 December
First W3
href=”./Consortium/Prospectus/Overview.html”>Consortium

Meeting at M.I.T. in Cambridge (USA).
15 December
First meeting with European Industry and the European Consortium
branch, at the European
Commission
, Brussels.
16 December
CERN Council approves unanimously the construction of the
href=”
http://www.cern.ch/CERN/LHC/LHCwelcome.html”>LHC (Large
Hadron Collider) accelerator, CERN’s next machine and competitor to the
US’ already defunct SSC (Superconducting Supercollider). Stringent
budget conditions are however imposed. CERN thus decides not to
continue WWW development, and in concertation with the European
Commission and INRIA (the Institut
National pour la Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, FR)
transfers the WebCore project to INRIA.

1995

February
the Web is the main reason for the theme of the G7 meeting hosted by
the European Commission in the European Parliament buildings in
Brussels (BE).
March
CERN holds a two-day
href=”
http://www.cern.ch/CERN/WorldWideWeb/mediaday/”>seminar for
the European Media (press, radio, TV), attended by 250 reporters, to
show WWW. It is demonstrated on 60 machines, with 30 pupils from the
local International High School helping the reporters “surf the
Web”.
April
Third International WWW
href=”
http://www.igd.fhg.de/www/www95/www95.html”>Conference:
“Tools and Applications”, hosted by the
href=”
http://www.fhg.de/index.html”>Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, in
Darmstadt (DE)
June
Founding of the Web Society in
Graz (AT), by the Technical University of Graz (home of Hyper-G), CERN,
the University of Minnesota (home of Gopher) and INRIA.

See also:


Dan Connolly, 2000Webmasterfeedback to www-talk (
href=”
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/”>archive) and/or
href=”mailto:site-comments@w3.org”>site-comments
(
href=”
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/”>archive),
please

$Revision: 1.49 $ of $Date: 2006/06/13 22:35:21 $

created circa 1995 by Robert Cailliau

The Read Write web

Dan Gilmour article http://www.authorama.com/we-the-media-3.html

Viral Video The Machine is Using US:

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