Tim Berners-Lee, Father of the Web. Perhaps one of the most overlooked founders of the internet and the world wide web as we know it today is Tim Berners-Lee.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked founders of the internet and the world wide web as we know it today is Tim Berners-Lee.
Berners-Lee was born in 1955 in England and grew up to be British physicist, computer scientist and MIT professor. He started his career in technology as an independent contractor at CERN in 1980 and began to develop his hypertext language. While there, he developed a way for the employees of the company to share documents and data through a common portal.
After leaving CERN, Berners-Lee worked at another company on the concept of networking and sharing information more smoothly. Within a few years, he was hired back at CERN as an employee and worked on the theory to link his hypertext idea with the growing demand of the Internet.
“I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and—ta-da!—the World Wide Web,” Berners-Lee said.
By 1990 his initial proposal and idea were accepted and by 1991, the first website was launched from CERN.
“Instead of data being stored on single computers, he wanted a system by which people could link all their data together and enable people to be able to search by following the links,” said John Anderson, author of “Who Invented HTML.”
Whereas, others were developing programs to be sold to consumers and companies to launch websites, Berners-Lee developed a system that all common users could quickly learn and import their own websites. This led to the over explosion of information and advancement of data on the world wide web across the world. His simple HTML code translated and created common-place pages to store and share information.
Berners-Lee established W3C at MIT in 1994 that included many companies that collaborated to develop regulations and devices to improve the quality of the Web. At that time, he made his development patent-free and royalties-free. Because of this, the World Wide Web Consortium agreed that criterion should be based on royalty-free technologies and open to anyone.
In more recent years, Berners-Lee was appointed to a chair at the Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science in England to advance on his newest project, the Semantic Web. This is a process that is basically a mechanical mind that incorporates a “network of hyperlinked human-readable web pages by inserting machine-readable metadata about pages and how they are related to each other.” This system will “enable the Web to work more intelligently and perform tasks” for the users. Berners-Lee described the Semantics Web as “a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines.”
He also launched the World Wide Web Foundation in 2009 and is in favor of Net Neutrality, an advocacy to prevent restrictions by ISP’s or governments from consumers accessing open content and material on the web.
“Threats to the Internet, such as companies or governments that interfere with or snoop on Internet traffic, compromise basic human network rights,” Berners-Lee said.
Although Tim Berners-Lee has not stopped in mastering the invention he has created, he has co-authored a book, Weaving the Web, which discusses his invention and what the future might hold for the world wide web.
“This book is written to address the questions most people ask – From ‘What were you thinking when you invented it?’ through ‘So what do you think of it now?’ to ‘Where is this all going to take us?’, this is the story,” according to the book’s blurb.
Who better to know the story than the man who fathered the web?