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2004-02-16
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Search Google for Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee
5052 days ago
" It was because CERN was so large and complex, with thousands of researchers and hundreds of systems, that Berners-Lee developed his first Hypertext system to keep track of who worked on which project, what software was associated with which program, and which software ran on which computers. Like the development of packet switching, hyperlinks are an idea that seemed to want to be found, with Berners-Lee independently developing his ideas within five years of Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart.

Berners-Lee named his first hypertext system Enquire, after an old book he found as a child in his parents house called Enquire Within upon Everything which provided a range of household tips and advice. The book fascinated young Tim with the suggestion that it magically contained the answer to any problem in the world. With the building of the Enquire system in 1980, and then the Web ten years later, Berners-Lee has pretty much successfully dedicated his life to making that childhood book real.

n March, 1989, he completed a project proposal for a system to communicate information among researchers in the CERN High Energy Physics department, intended to help those having problems sharing information across a wide range of different networks, computers, and countries. The project had two main goals:

Open design. Like Kahn's design for TCP/IP, the hypertext system should have an open architecture, and be able to run on any computer being used at CERN including Unix, VMS, Macintosh, NextStep, and Windows.

Network distribution. The system should be distributed over a communications network. However, Berners-Lee thought that there might be an intermediary period when most of the research material was carried on individual CDROM's, which never became necessary.
Cailliau. Robert Cailliau had independently proposed a project to develop a hypertext system at CERN, and joined Berners-Lee as a partner in his efforts to get the web off the ground. He rewrote the project proposal, lobbied management for funding, rounded up programmers, collaborated with Berners-Lee on papers and presentations, and helped run the first WWW conference. Cailliau later became President of the International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2).

Web development. In the fall of 1990, Berners-Lee took about a month to develop the first web browser on a NeXT computer, including an integrated editor that could create hypertext documents. He deployed the program on his and Cailliau's computers, and they were both communicating with the world's first web server at info.cern.ch on December 25, 1990.

The first project Berners-Lee and Cailliau tackled was to put the CERN telephone book on the web site, making the project immediately useful and gaining it rapid acceptance. Some CERN staff started keeping one window open on their computer at all times just to access the telephone web page.

Luckily, CERN had been connected to the ARPANET through the EUnet in 1990. In August, 1991, Tim posted a notice on the alt.hypertext newsgroup about where to download their web server and line mode browser, making it available around the world. Web servers started popping up around the globe almost immediately. An official Usenet 8 newsgroup called comp.infosystems.www was soon established to share info.

Berners-Lee then added support for the FTP protocol to the server, making a wide range of existing FTP directories and Usenet newsgroups immediately accessible through a web page. He also added a telnet server on info.cern.ch, making a simple line browser available to anyone with a telnet client. The first public demonstration of the web server was given at the Hypertext 91 conference. Development of this web server, which came to be called CERN httpd, would continue until July, 1996.

In June, 1992, CERN sent Berners-Lee on a three month trip through the United States. First he visited MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, then went to an IETF conference in Boston, then visited Xerox-Parc in Palo Alto, California. At the end of this trip he visited Ted Nelson, then living on a houseboat in Sausalito. Interestingly, Nelson had experience with film making, Berners-Lee had experience working with lighting and audiovisual equipment in the amateur theater, and Tom Bruce, who developed the first PC web browser called Cello, also worked professionally as a stage manager in the theater. Maybe these Internet techies are all really just artists at heart...

In a fateful decision that significantly helped the web to grow, Berners-Lee managed to get CERN to provide a certification on April 30, 1993, that the web technology and program code was in the public domain so that anyone could use and improve it.

In 1994, Berners-Lee joined the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he currently holds the 3Com Founders Chair, and has served as Director of the W3C Consortium since it was founded. Berners-Lee has also authored a number of web related documents, including those in the HTML and HTTP sections, and several items listed in the references section. " from livinginternet.com/w/wi_lee.htm
 



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