CERN is marking the 30th anniversary of the publication of the document that made web technology free for everyone to use by commencing a project to restore the world’s first website (Sir) Tim Berners-Lee invented the web at CERN in 1989 and on 30 April 1993, CERN published a statement that made the basic technology running it available on a royalty-free basis.
The statement, part of the world’s first web site (published 1991); allowed visitors to learn more about the web, how to create their own web page, and how to search for information. It was hosted on a NeXT computer, made by a company founded by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
It’s hard to believe all that we see online has been developed in just two decades – and much of it in even a shorter space of time.
Back in the earlyish 90’s, I was starting to use BBS’s – bulletin board services; which I accessed via a 2400 baud modem. To give you some idea of the speed, it would take over 18 hours to download a 20 megabyte file – assuming you could stay connected for that long.
BBS’s were text only and very slow to navigate; still, it seemed cutting edge to me and it was very exciting. I had heard about this “World Wide Web” thing and I was initially resistant. After all, BBS’s were the future – or so I thought.
I still remember my first online foray on the World Wide Web in the mid 90’s and thinking this would change the world forever. It has, and yet it’s really still only in its adolescence.
You can view a 1993 copy of the world’s first website here, now back at its original address.
To think – all of this sprang from that. It’s truly a remarkable time to have lived in.
Learn more about the evolution of the World Wide Web, including the period before the web when the Internet was being developed (they are separate beasties – the WWW rides on the Internet).
You can also learn more about the restoration project here.