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Tim Berners-Lee

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Britain's Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web

Britain's Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web and then gave it away, smiles after he plants a cherry tree

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee:

Tim Berners-Lee was the man leading the development of the World Wide Web (with help of course), the defining of HTML (hypertext markup language) used to create web pages, HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators). All of those developments took place between 1989 and 1991. Tim Berners-Lee is considered the primary author of HTML, assisted by his colleagues at CERN, an international scientific organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tim Berners-Lee - Early Life:

Born in 1955 in London, England, Tim Berners-Lee's parents were both mathematicians. They both worked on the Ferranti Mark I computer. Tim Berners-Lee loved electronics from an early age. He graduated as a Physics major from Oxford University in 1976. At Oxford he built his first computer using: a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television.

Tim Berners-Lee Early Work:

Early jobs included: working on bar code technology; writing typesetting software; writing a generic macro language; working on FASTBUS system software and designing a heterogeneous remote procedure call system. In 1980, while a freelancer ar CERN, he wrote but never published his first program for storing information called "Enquire" thar forshadowed his later work on the World Wide Web.

Tim Berners-Lee - 1989 and 1991:

According to his website biography, "In 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web. Based on the earlier "Enquire" work, it was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first World Wide Web server, "httpd", and the first client, "WorldWideWeb" a what-you-see-is-what-you-get hypertext browser/editor which ran in the NeXTStep environment. This work was started in October 1990, and the program "WorldWideWeb" first made available within CERN in December, and on the Internet at large in the summer of 1991."

Tim Berners-Lee - Today:

Tim Berners-Lee is currently the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, the group that sets technical standards for the Web. He has recently written a book entitled, "Weaving the Web."

Tim Berners-Lee Quotes:

  • Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.
  • That idea of URL was the basic clue to the universality of the Web. That was the only thing I insisted upon.
  • It is about getting excited about connections, rather than nervous
  • The Domain Name Server (DNS) is the Achilles heel of the Web. The important thing is that it's managed responsibly.

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