Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS (born 8 June 1955),[1] also known as TimBL, is an English engineer and computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He is currently a professor of computer science at the University of Oxford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[3][4] He made a proposal for an information management system on March 12, 1989,[5][6] and he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the internet in mid-November the same year.[7][8][9][10][11]

Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the continued development of the Web. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation and is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com founders chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).[12] He is a director of the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI),[13] and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.[14][15] In 2011, he was named as a member of the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation.[16] He is a founder and president of the Open Data Institute, and is currently an advisor at social network MeWe.[17]

In 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work.[18][19] In April 2009, he was elected a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.[20][21] Named in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century, Berners-Lee has received a number of other accolades for his invention.[22] He was honoured as the "Inventor of the World Wide Web" during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, in which he appeared in person, working with a vintage NeXT Computer at the London Olympic Stadium.[23] He tweeted "This is for everyone",[24] which instantly was spelled out in LCD lights attached to the chairs of the 80,000 people in the audience.[23] Berners-Lee received the 2016 Turing Award "for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale".[25]

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners Lee arriving at the Guildhall to receive the Honorary Freedom of the City of London
Berners-Lee in 2014
Timothy John Berners-Lee

8 June 1955 (age 63)[1]
London, England
Other names
  • TimBL
  • TBL
EducationEmanuel School
Alma materThe Queen's College, Oxford
OccupationProfessor of computer science
  • Nancy Carlson
    (m. 1990; div. 2011)
  • Rosemary Leith (m. 2014)
Scientific career

Early life and education

Berners-Lee was born in London, England, United Kingdom,[26] one of four children born to Mary Lee Woods and Conway Berners-Lee; his brother Mike is an expert on greenhouse gases. His parents worked on the first commercially built computer, the Ferranti Mark 1. He attended Sheen Mount Primary School, and then went on to attend south west London's Emanuel School from 1969 to 1973, at the time a direct grant grammar school, which became an independent school in 1975.[1][18] A keen trainspotter as a child, he learnt about electronics from tinkering with a model railway.[27] He studied at The Queen's College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1976, where he received a first-class bachelor of arts degree in physics.[1][26] While he was at university, Berners-Lee made a computer out of an old television set, which he bought from a repair shop.[28]


Tim Berners-Lee
Berners-Lee, 2005

After graduation, Berners-Lee worked as an engineer at the telecommunications company Plessey in Poole, Dorset.[26] In 1978, he joined D. G. Nash in Ferndown, Dorset, where he helped create type-setting software for printers.[26]

Berners-Lee worked as an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980. While in Geneva, he proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers.[29] To demonstrate it, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE.[30]

After leaving CERN in late 1980, he went to work at John Poole's Image Computer Systems, Ltd, in Bournemouth, Dorset.[31] He ran the company's technical side for three years.[32] The project he worked on was a "real-time remote procedure call" which gave him experience in computer networking.[31] In 1984, he returned to CERN as a fellow.[30]

In 1989, CERN was the largest internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with 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[33] ... Creating the web was really an act of desperation, because the situation without it was very difficult when I was working at CERN later. Most of the technology involved in the web, like the hypertext, like the internet, multifont text objects, had all been designed already. I just had to put them together. It was a step of generalising, going to a higher level of abstraction, thinking about all the documentation systems out there as being possibly part of a larger imaginary documentation system.[34]

First Web Server
This NeXT Computer was used by Berners-Lee at CERN and became the world's first web server

Berners-Lee wrote his proposal in March 1989 and, in 1990, redistributed it. It then was accepted by his manager, Mike Sendall, who called his proposals 'vague, but exciting'.[35] He used similar ideas to those underlying the ENQUIRE system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first Web browser. His software also functioned as an editor (called WorldWideWeb, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system), and the first Web server, CERN HTTPd (short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol daemon).

Mike Sendall buys a NeXT cube for evaluation, and gives it to Tim [Berners-Lee]. Tim's prototype implementation on NeXTStep is made in the space of a few months, thanks to the qualities of the NeXTStep software development system. This prototype offers WYSIWYG browsing/authoring! Current Web browsers used in 'surfing the internet' are mere passive windows, depriving the user of the possibility to contribute. During some sessions in the CERN cafeteria, Tim and I try to find a catching name for the system. I was determined that the name should not yet again be taken from Greek mythology..... Tim proposes 'World-Wide Web'. I like this very much, except that it is difficult to pronounce in French... by Robert Cailliau, 2 November 1995.[36]

The first website was built at CERN. Despite this being an international organisation hosted by Switzerland, the office that Berners-Lee used was just across the border in France.[37] The website was put online on 6 August 1991 for the first time:[28]

info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever website and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first webpage address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website.[38]

It provided an explanation of what the World Wide Web was, and how people could use a browser and set up a web server, as well as how to get started with your own website.[39][40][41][42][28] In a list of 80 cultural moments that shaped the world, chosen by a panel of 25 eminent scientists, academics, writers, and world leaders, the invention of the World Wide Web was ranked number one, with the entry stating, "The fastest growing communications medium of all time, the internet has changed the shape of modern life forever. We can connect with each other instantly, all over the world".[43]

In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the W3C at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that its standards should be based on royalty-free technology, so that they easily could be adopted by anyone.[44]

In 2001, Berners-Lee became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust, having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset.[45] In December 2004, he accepted a chair in computer science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Hampshire, to work on the Semantic Web.[46][47]

In a Times article in October 2009, Berners-Lee admitted that the initial pair of slashes ("//") in a web address were "unnecessary". He told the newspaper that he easily could have designed web addresses without the slashes. "There you go, it seemed like a good idea at the time", he said in his lighthearted apology.[48]

Recent work

Tim Berners-Lee at the Home Office, London, on 11 March 2010

In June 2009, then-British prime minister, Gordon Brown, announced that Berners-Lee would work with the UK government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web, building on the work of the Power of Information Task Force.[49] Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt are the two key figures behind data.gov.uk, a UK government project to open up almost all data acquired for official purposes for free re-use. Commenting on the opening up of Ordnance Survey data in April 2010, Berners-Lee said that: "The changes signal a wider cultural change in government based on an assumption that information should be in the public domain unless there is a good reason not to—not the other way around." He went on to say: "Greater openness, accountability and transparency in Government will give people greater choice and make it easier for individuals to get more directly involved in issues that matter to them."[50]

Berners-Lee announcing W3F
Berners-Lee speaking at the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation

In November 2009, Berners-Lee launched the World Wide Web Foundation in order to "advance the Web to empower humanity by launching transformative programs that build local capacity to leverage the Web as a medium for positive change."[51]

Berners-Lee is one of the pioneer voices in favour of net neutrality,[52] and has expressed the view that ISPs should supply "connectivity with no strings attached", and should neither control nor monitor the browsing activities of customers without their expressed consent.[53][54] He advocates the idea that net neutrality is a kind of human network right: "Threats to the internet, such as companies or governments that interfere with or snoop on internet traffic, compromise basic human network rights."[55] Berners-Lee participated in an open letter to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He and 20 other Internet pioneers urged the FCC to cancel a vote on 14 December 2017 to uphold net neutrality. The letter was addressed to Senator Roger Wicker, Senator Brian Schatz, Representative Marsha Blackburn and Representative Michael F. Doyle.[56]

This is for Everyone
Berners-Lee's tweet, "This is for everyone",[24] at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London

Berners-Lee joined the board of advisors of start-up State.com, based in London.[57] As of May 2012, Berners-Lee is president of the Open Data Institute,[58] which he co-founded with Nigel Shadbolt in 2012.

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) was launched in October 2013 and Berners-Lee is leading the coalition of public and private organisations that includes Google, Facebook, Intel, and Microsoft. The A4AI seeks to make internet access more affordable so that access is broadened in the developing world, where only 31% of people are online. Berners-Lee will work with those aiming to decrease internet access prices so that they fall below the UN Broadband Commission's worldwide target of 5% of monthly income.[59]

Berners-Lee holds the founders chair in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he heads the Decentralized Information Group and is leading Solid, a joint project with the Qatar Computing Research Institute that aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy.[60] In October 2016, he joined the Department of Computer Science at Oxford University as a professorial research fellow[61] and as a fellow of Christ Church, one of the Oxford colleges.[62]

On 30 September 2018, Berners-Lee announced a new application made by open-source startup Inrupt called Solid, which aims to give users more control over their personal data and lets users choose where the data goes, who's allowed to see certain elements and which apps are allowed to see that data.[63]

Personal life

Berners-Lee married Nancy Carlson, an American computer programmer, in 1990; she was also working in Switzerland, at the World Health Organization.[64] They had two children and divorced in 2011.

He formed a relationship with Rosemary Leith, a Canadian internet and banking entrepreneur. Leith studied business at Queen's University, then moved to Britain to pursue a career in investment and analysis.[65] She worked in the City of London as a principal investor prior to 2000.[66] She was married to Mark Opzoomer, later the CEO of Rambler Media; the couple had three children, after which she left the financial sector, co-founding a start-up during the dot-com bubble. Management Today described her webzine (as it was called then) as "the first web site devoted entirely to those women struggling to strike a healthy balance between work and home life".[65] More recent projects span both finance and internet. In 2011, she chaired the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for the Future of Internet Security[67] and from 2015 she has been on the board of YouGov.[68] She is on the advisory board for funding platform AllBright, to support "female entrepreneurs from start-ups to established businesses",[69] and provided funding to Netwealth Investments Ltd.[70] Leith is a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.[71]

In 2014, Berners-Lee and Leith married at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace in London.[72] The couple collaborate on projects such as venture capital to support artificial intelligence companies.[73] Leith is a founding director of the World Wide Web Foundation.[74] a non-profit organisation Berners-Lee launched.

Berners-Lee was raised as an Anglican, but in his youth, he turned away from religion. After he became a parent, he became a Unitarian Universalist (UU).[75] He has stated: "Like many people, I had a religious upbringing which I rejected as a teenager ... Like many people, I came back to religion when we had children".[76] He and his wife wanted to teach spirituality to their children, and after hearing a Unitarian minister and visiting the UU Church, they opted for it.[77] He is an active member of that church,[78] to which he adheres because he perceives it as a tolerant and liberal belief. He has said: "I believe that much of the philosophy of life associated with many religions is much more sound than the dogma which comes along with it. So I do respect them."[76]


Berners-Lee has received many awards and honours. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2004 New Year Honours "for services to the global development of the internet", and was invested formally on 16 July 2004.[18][19]

On 13 June 2007, he was appointed to the Order of Merit (OM), an order restricted to 24 (living) members.[79] Bestowing membership of the Order of Merit is within the personal purview of the Queen, and does not require recommendation by ministers or the Prime Minister. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2001.[2] He has been conferred honorary degrees from a number of Universities around the world, including Manchester (his parents worked on the Manchester Mark 1 in the 1940s), Harvard and Yale.[80][81][82]

In 2012, Berners-Lee was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires to mark his 80th birthday.[83][84]

In 2013, he was awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.[85] On 4 April 2017, he received the 2016 ACM Turing Award "for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale".[25]


In 2017 Berners-Lee was criticized for approving Encrypted Media Extensions, a standard seen by prominent defenders of Internet freedom, such as the Free Software Foundation, as dangerous by helping to implement DRM.[86][87]

See also


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Further reading

External links

Preceded by
First recipient
Millennium Technology Prize winner
2004 (for the World Wide Web)
Succeeded by
Shuji Nakamura
CERN httpd

CERN httpd (later also known as W3C httpd) is an early, now discontinued, web server (HTTP) daemon originally developed at CERN from 1990 onwards by Tim Berners-Lee, Ari Luotonen and Henrik Frystyk Nielsen. Implemented in C, it was the first ever web server software.


ENQUIRE was a software project written in 1980 by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, which was the predecessor to the World Wide Web. It was a simple hypertext program that had some of the same ideas as the Web and the Semantic Web but was different in several important ways.

According to Berners-Lee, the name was inspired by the title of an old how-to book, Enquire Within Upon Everything.


Erwise is a discontinued pioneering web browser, and the first commonly available with a graphical user interface.Released in April 1992, the browser was written for Unix computers running X and used the W3 common access library. Erwise was the combined master's project of four Finnish students at the Helsinki University of Technology (now merged into Aalto University): Kim Nyberg, Teemu Rantanen, Kati Suominen and Kari Sydänmaanlakka. The group decided to make a web browser at the suggestion of Robert Cailliau, who was visiting the university, and were supervised by Ari Lemmke.

The development of Erwise halted after the students graduated and went on to other projects. Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, travelled to Finland to encourage the group to continue with the project. However, none of the project members could afford to continue with the project without proper funding.The name Erwise originates from otherwise and the name of the project group, OHT.

First International Conference on the World-Wide Web

The First International Conference on the World-Wide Web (also known as WWW1) was the first-ever conference about the World Wide Web, and the first meeting of what became the International World Wide Web Conference. It was held on May 25 to 27, 1994 in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference had 380 participants, who were accepted out of 800 applicants. It has been referred to as the "Woodstock of the Web".The event was organized by Robert Cailliau, a computer scientist who had helped to develop the original WWW specification, and was hosted by CERN. Cailliau had lobbied inside CERN, and at conferences like the ACM Hypertext Conference in 1991 (in San Antonio) and 1993 (in Seattle). After returning from the Seattle conference, he announced the new World Wide Web Conference 1. Coincidentally, the NCSA announced their Mosaic and the Web conference 23 hours later.

Giant Global Graph

Giant Global Graph (GGG) is a name coined in 2007 by Tim Berners-Lee to help distinguish between the nature and significance of the content on the existing World Wide Web and that of a promulgated next-generation web, presumptively named Web 3.0. In common usage, "World Wide Web" refers primarily to a web of discrete information objects readable by human beings, with functional linkages provided between them by human-created hyperlinks. Next-generation Web 3.0 information designs go beyond the discrete web pages of previous generations by emphasizing the metadata which describe information objects like web pages and attribute the relationships that conceptually or semantically link the information objects to each other. Additionally, Web 3.0 technologies and designs enable the organization of entirely new kinds of human- and machine-created data objects.

An important related concept that overlaps with Giant Global Graph without fully encompassing it is that of the Semantic Web.

Social networking services are one of the earliest and best-known examples of this distinction. In a Social Network, the information about relationships between people, and the kinds of data objects those people share, is at least as important as the data objects themselves. Plus, participants in a Social Network create new kinds of data that did not exist on the web before, such as their Likes for other people's comments and content. Currently, these new kinds of data are primarily structured and mediated by the proprietary systems of companies like Facebook. In the ideal future of the decentralized Giant Global Graph or Semantic Web, such information would be structured in such a way that it could be readable by many different systems and dynamically organized into many different user-readable formats.

The GGG concept also relates to the Decentralization of Internet Information, whereby properly-formatted semantic web data objects can be organized and their relationships discerned by any computer on the Internet, rather than solely being organized by large centralized systems such as Facebook and Google. For instance, people using the FOAF protocol to organize information on websites or other Internet nodes can define and interact with their social networks without necessarily requiring the intervention of centralized systems like Facebook.

Crucially, where the term Web 3.0 refers to a suite of technologies and to a particular phase in the development of the web, the term Giant Global Graph is intended to refer more generally to the total environment of information that will be generated and sustained through the implementation of these technologies. This environment will be a qualitatively different one than that which existed before the development of these technologies.

As of 2017, anticipated progress toward a pervasive semantic web has been side-tracked by the widespread application of machine learning technologies to process existing, unstructured data and content, and that it is no longer clear whether a Web 3.0 epoch will materialize as originally envisioned.

History of the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web ("WWW" or the "Web") is a global information medium which users can read and write via computers connected to the Internet. The term is often mistakenly used as a synonym for the Internet itself, but the Web is a service that operates over the Internet, just as e-mail also does. The history of the Internet dates back significantly further than that of the World Wide Web. Web is the global information system.

Linked data

In computing, linked data (often capitalized as Linked Data) is a method of publishing structured data so that it can be interlinked and become more useful through semantic queries. It builds upon standard Web technologies such as HTTP, RDF and URIs, but rather than using them to serve web pages only for human readers, it extends them to share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers. Part of the vision of linked data is for the internet to become a global database.

Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), coined the term in a 2006 design note about the Semantic Web project.Linked data may also be open data, in which case it is usually described as linked open data (LOD).

List of awards and honours received by Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, (born 8 June 1955), also known as "TimBL", the inventor of the World Wide Web, has received a number of awards and honours.


NeXTSTEP is a discontinued object-oriented, multitasking operating system based on UNIX. It was developed by NeXT Computer in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was initially used for its range of proprietary workstation computers such as the NeXTcube. It was later ported to several other computer architectures.

Although relatively unsuccessful at the time, it attracted interest from computer scientists and researchers. It was used as the original platform for the development of the Electronic AppWrapper, the first commercial electronic software distribution catalog to collectively manage encryption and provide digital rights for application software and digital media, a forerunner of the modern "app store" concept. It was also the platform on which Tim Berners-Lee created the first web browser, and on which id Software developed the video game Doom.

After the purchase of NeXT by Apple, it became the source of the popular operating systems macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and audioOS. Many bundled macOS applications, such as TextEdit, Mail, and Chess, are descendants of NeXTSTEP applications.

Nicola Pellow

Nicola Pellow was one of the nineteen members of the WWW Project at CERN working with Tim Berners-Lee. She joined the project in November 1990, while an undergraduate math student enrolled in a sandwich course at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University). Pellow recalled having little experience with programming languages, "... apart from using a bit of Pascal and FORTRAN as part of my degree course."Almost immediately after Berners-Lee completed the WorldWideWeb web browser for the NeXT platform, Pellow was tasked with creating a browser, after a quick lesson in C programming. She wrote the generic Line Mode Browser that could run on non-NeXT systems. The WWW team began to improve on her work, creating several experimental versions. Pellow was involved in porting the browser to different types of computers.She left CERN at the end of August 1991, and was president of Leicester Polytechnic Caving Club in her final year, but returned to CERN after graduating in 1992, and worked with Robert Cailliau on MacWWW, the first web browser for the classic Mac OS.

Nigel Shadbolt

Sir Nigel Richard Shadbolt (born 9 April 1956) is Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. He is Chairman of the Open Data Institute which he co-founded with Tim Berners-Lee. He is also a Visiting Professor in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. Shadbolt is an interdisciplinary researcher, policy expert and commentator. His research focuses on understanding how intelligent behaviour is embodied and emerges in humans, machines and, most recently, on the Web, and has made contributions to the fields of Psychology, Cognitive science, Computational neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computer science and the emerging field of Web science.


Notation3, or N3 as it is more commonly known, is a shorthand non-XML serialization of Resource Description Framework models, designed with human-readability in mind: N3 is much more compact and readable than XML RDF notation. The format is being developed by Tim Berners-Lee and others from the Semantic Web community. A formalization of the logic underlying N3 was published by Berners-Lee and others in 2008.N3 has several features that go beyond a serialization for RDF models, such as support for RDF-based rules. Turtle is a simplified, RDF-only subset of N3.

Robert Cailliau

Robert Cailliau (born 26 January 1947) is a Belgian informatics engineer, computer scientist and author who proposed the first (pre-www) hypertext system for CERN in 1987 and collaborated with Tim Berners-Lee on www from before it got its name. He designed the historical logo of the WWW, organized the first International World Wide Web Conference at CERN in 1994 and helped transfer Web development from CERN to the global Web consortium in 1995. Together with Dr. James Gillies, Cailliau wrote How the Web Was Born, the first book-length account of the origins of the World Wide Web.

Solid (web decentralization project)

Solid (Social Linked Data) is a web decentralization project led by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, developed collaboratively at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The project "aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy" by developing a platform for linked-data applications that are completely decentralized and fully under users' control rather than controlled by other entities. The ultimate goal of Solid is to allow users to have full control of their own data, including access control and storage location. To that end, Tim Berners-Lee formed a company called Inrupt to help build a commercial ecosystem to fuel Solid.

Web Science Trust

The Web Science Trust is a UK Charitable Trust with the aim of supporting the global development of Web science. It was originally started in 2006 as a joint effort between MIT and University of Southampton to formalise the social and technical aspects of the World Wide Web. The Trust coordinates a set of international "WSTNet Laboratories" that include academic research groups in the emerging area of Web science.It was first announced at MIT on November 2, 2006 as the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), changing its name in 2009 to the Web Science Trust. Tim Berners-Lee originally led this program, now run by a Board of Trustees, which aims to attract government and private funds to support their many activities. The Web Science Trust supports curriculum development in universities and research institutions to train future generations of Web Scientists. Given the similarities between Web Science and Information Science, Web Science overlaps with the interests of the ISchool movement, particularly in the United States, but focuses more specifically on the Web itself. The annual Web Science conference brings together participants from many fields including those studying both the social and the computational aspects of the World Wide Web.

Areas of interest include:

Social networks

Social machine


Understanding online community

Analyzing the human interactions inherent in social media

Web observatories

Developing "accountability" and other mechanisms for enhancing privacy and trust on the Web.

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, such as https://www.example.com/), which may be interlinked by hypertext, and are accessible over the Internet. The resources of the WWW may be accessed by users by a software application called a web browser.

English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and then to the general public in August 1991. The World Wide Web has been central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool for billions of people to interact on the Internet.Web resources may be any type of downloaded media, but web pages are hypertext media that have been formatted in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Such formatting allows for embedded hyperlinks that contain URLs and permit users to navigate to other web resources. In addition to text, web pages may contain images, video, audio, and software components that are rendered in the user's web browser as coherent pages of multimedia content.

Multiple web resources with a common theme, a common domain name, or both, make up a website. Websites are stored in computers that are running a program called a web server that responds to requests made over the Internet from web browsers running on a user's computer. Website content can be largely provided by a publisher, or interactively where users contribute content or the content depends upon the users or their actions. Websites may be provided for a myriad of informative, entertainment, commercial, governmental, or non-governmental reasons.

World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3).

Founded and currently led by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web. As of 19 November 2018, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has 476 members.The W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.

World Wide Web Foundation

The World Wide Web Foundation, also known as the Web Foundation, is an international non-profit organisation advocating for a free and open web for everyone.

The organisation was founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. Announced in September 2008 in Washington, D.C., the Web Foundation launched operations in November 2009 at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).It is focused on increasing global access to the World Wide Web, while ensuring the web is a safe and empowering tool that people can use freely and fully to improve their lives. One of its former board members is former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.This organization is not related to the Open Web Foundation.

World Wide What?

World Wide What? is a 2015 British film written, directed and filmed by Adam Townsend and Andy Trace of Cavalier, and produced by Poppy Gaye of Founders Forum. The film shows a parallel universe in which Tim Berners-Lee failed to invent the World Wide Web and the subsequent impact that would have on the lives of high-profile tech entrepreneurs. The film is narrated by Stephen Fry and includes cameos from Jimmy Wales, Arianna Huffington, Sean Parker, Tim Berners-Lee, Reid Hoffman, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Acton Smith, Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, Brent Hoberman, and Steve Case.

Network topology
and switching

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