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Fascinating facts about Tim Berners-Lee inventor of the World Wide Web in 1991.

Tim Berners-Lee
The World Wide Web (WWW) has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, computer and Internet set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities. Invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991, the Web has become a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard to geographic location.
Inventor: Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee photo courtesy World Wide Web Consortium.
Criteria; Modern prototype..
Birth: June 8, 1955 in London, England
Nationality: British
Invention: World Wide Web
Web image © Vaunt Design Group
Function: noun / hypertext document Retrieval system
Definition: Enquire was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. The Web consisted of URL, HTTP and HTML.
Patent: The Web is considered to be an open source project.

CAPS: Berners-Lee, Berners Lee, Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web, Enquire, Vinton Cerf, WWW, ARYS, Web, World Wide Web, communication, computer, url, http, html, SIPS, history, biography, inventor, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.

The Story:
Tim Berners-Lee graduated from the Queen's College at Oxford University, England, 1976. Whilst there he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television.

He spent two years with Plessey Telecommunications Ltd  (Poole, Dorset, UK) a major UK Telecom equipment manufacturer, working on distributed transaction systems, message relays, and bar code technology.

In 1978 Tim left Plessey to join D.G Nash Ltd (Ferndown, Dorset, UK), where he wrote among other things typesetting software for intelligent printers, and a multitasking operating system.

A year and a half spent as an independent consultant included a six month stint (Jun-Dec 1980)as consultant software engineer at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Whilst there, he wrote for his own private use his first program for storing information including using random associations. Named "Enquire", and never published, this program formed the conceptual basis for the future development of the World Wide Web.

From 1981 until 1984, Tim worked at John Poole's Image Computer Systems Ltd, with technical design responsibility. Work here included real time control firmware, graphics and communications software, and a generic macro language. In 1984, he took up a fellowship at CERN, to work on distributed real-time systems for scientific data acquisition and system control. Among other things, he worked on FASTBUS system software and designed a heterogeneous remote procedure call system.

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.

Through 1991 and 1993, Tim continued working on the design of the Web, coordinating feedback from users across the Internet. His initial specifications of URLs, HTTP and HTML were refined and discussed in larger circles as the Web technology spread.

In 1994, Tim joined the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS)at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1999, he became the first holder of the 3Com Founders chair. He is Director of the World Wide Web Consortium which coordinates Web development worldwide, with teams at MIT, at INRIA in France, and at Keio University in Japan. The Consortium takes as its goal to lead the Web to its full potential, ensuring its stability through rapid evolution and revolutionary transformations of its usage.


Invention of the World Wide Web  from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Internet  from The Great Idea Finder
Communication History   from The Great Idea Finder

Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web
by Tim Berners-Lee, Mark Fischetti (Contributor) / Paperback: 246 pages / HarperBusiness; (2000)
Tim Berners-Lee is responsible for one of that century's most important advancements: the world wide web. Now, this low-profile genius-who never personally profitted from his invention -offers a compelling protrait of his invention. He reveals the Web's origins and the creation of the now ubiquitous http and www acronyms and shares his views on such critical issues.
Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its Full Potential
by Tim Berners-Lee, Dieter Fensel /  Paperback: 503 pages  / The MIT Press; New Ed edition ( 2005)
As the World Wide Web continues to expand, it becomes increasingly difficult for users to obtain information efficiently. Spinning the Semantic Web describes an exciting new type of hierarchy and standardization that will replace the current "web of links" with a "web of meaning." Using a flexible set of languages and tools, the Semantic Web will make all available information -- display elements, metadata, services, images, and especially content -- accessible. The result will be an immense repository of information accessible for a wide range of new applications.

Inventing the Internet
by Janet Abbate
/ Paperback: 272 pages / MIT Press; 1st edition (July 31, 2000)
The story she unfolds is an often twisting tale of collaboration and conflict among a remarkable variety of players, including government and military agencies, computer scientists in academia and industry, graduate students, telecommunications companies, standards organizations, and network users.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon
/ Paperback: 304 pages / Touchstone Books, (January 1998)
Twenty five years ago, it didn't exist. Today, twenty million people worldwide are surfing the Net. Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the exciting story of the pioneers responsible for creating the most talked about, most influential, and most far-reaching communications breakthrough since the invention of the telephone.
From Memex to Hypertext: Vannevar Bush and the Mind's Machine
by James M. Nyce, Paul Kahn, Vannevar Bush / Hardcover - 367 pages  / Academic Pr(January 1992)
Bush's Memex has been the prototype for a machine to help people think. This book contains Bush's essays, and original essays by academic and commerical researchers relating the state of art in personal computing, hypertext and information retrieval software to bush's ideas and Memex.
Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days That Built the Future of Business

by Robert H. Reid /
Paperback - 416 pages (March 1999) / John Wiley & Sons
The dynamic history of the Web's creation and evolution—as well as its emergence as a dynamic business tool—through revealing profiles of its architects, the brilliant minds who have helped thrust the Web onto desktops and corporate agendas around the world. Each chapter examines the Web's business development through the story of some of its pioneers


Tim Berners-Lee
This is the official site for Tim Berners-Lee. Here you will find his biography, slides from some talks, essays on web architecture, frequently asked questions, articles, and more. Sponsored by the World Wide Web Consortium.
World Wide Web Consortium
Leading the Web to its Full Potential.
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Celebrates inventor/innovator role models through outreach activities and annual awards to inspire a
new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Featured Tim Berners-Lee November, 1999 for his invention of the World Wide Web.
Time Magazine's Greatest 100 Minds of the Century
If computer networking were a traditional science, Berners-Lee would win a Nobel Prize," Novell CEO Eric Schmidt said in Time. when it deemed Berners-Lee one of the greatest 100 minds of the century.
The European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

Internet Talk Radio
Geek of the Week: Tim Berners-Lee
WWW Design Decisions in Perspective
Tim Berners-Lee, December 95: MIT 6.001 Guest lecture
A Brief History of the Internet
Article by the pioneers for
Internet Society.
Integrating the Web into Existing Extension and Educational Technology
by R. Daniel Lineberger, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University
Vinton G. Cerf
Interview Vinton Cerf "Father of the Internet" by Nick Wingfield Staff Writer, CNET NEWS.COM


  • August 2002 - says there are at least 2,469,940,685 web pages
  • April 2004 - says there are at least 6,000,000,000 web pages
  • April 2005 - Google - Searching 8,058,044,651 web pages
  • The Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which specifies how each page of information is given a unique "address" at which it can be found.
  • Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which specifies how the browser and server send the information to each other,.
  • Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), a method of encoding the information so it can be displayed on a variety of devices.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised May 30, 2007.

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