How The World Wide Web (www) Started

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When I was new, gullible and clueless, I saw and read about doing things online, the web, and the net, and thought all these words meant the same thing.
I even thought an autoresponder  was some sort of gizmo like a modem which attached itself to your computer somehow.
Anyway I digress. The World Wide Web (www) and the Internet are separate and NOT the same.
In actual fact the World Wide Web operates over the Internet, and was developed so international scientists (physics) could “talk” to each, sharing knowledge and data.
The Internet is “older” than the WWW  and originated during the 1960’s when the US government provided funds for military developments in research in relation to building computer networks.
The Internet is not “the train”, it is the ” railway tracks/line”. Globally it is a ginormous interwoven system of wires, cables, fibre optics and satellites. In other words an information pathway of mind-blowing proportions.
Tim Berners-Lee, an Englishman but working in Switzerland for the European Organization funds for Nuclear Research (CERN)  developed the World Wide Web arising out of his ENQUIRE  hypertext database and his fascination with and the foresight to use hyperlinks where every page of information was linked.
A hyperlink is a clickable link.
The period was 1980 to 1990. In the early stages most of  Berners-Lee’s supporters were fellow scientists such as Robert Cailliau, plus his boss Mike Sendall who encouraged him to install his HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) web system on their new NeXT workstation which became the first Web server.
Nothing much of commercial backing came about until Paul Kunz from the Stanford Linear Acceleration Center (SLAC) visited CERN in 1991 and brought the NeXT software back to SLAC where it was adapted to work on an IBM mainframe.
Robert Cailliau later organised the first international World Wide Web conference at CERN.

About the author

Kevin Johnston

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