Aug. 7, 1991: Ladies and Gentlemen, the World Wide Web
Tim Berners-Lee, an inventor of the internet, sits outside his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. Photo: Ed Quinn / Corbis
1991: The World Wide Web becomes publicly available on the internet for the first time.
The web has changed a lot since Tim Berners-Lee posted, on this day, the first webpages summarizing his World Wide Web project, a method of storing knowledge using hypertext documents. In the months leading up to his post, Berners-Lee had developed everything necessary to make the web a reality, including the first browser and server.
His historic post appeared on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, ending a journey that began back in 1980, when Berners-Lee was at CERN, an international particle physics lab located near Geneva, Switzerland. There, working with collaborator Robert Cailliau, Berners-Lee began the Enquire project, the forerunner to what would become the web.
The project, which made hypertext a chief communications component for the first time, was intended to facilitate the sharing of information among researchers across the broader internet.
Today’s web is far more powerful and sophisticated than the research tool developed by Berners-Lee and Cailliau but continues operating on basically the same principles they established a quarter of a century ago.
This article first appeared on Wired.com August 6, 2007.