The silver anniversary of the Web: 25 Years of an idea that changed the world
Think what the world today without the Internet and existing web pages, it is like trying to imagine without cars, airplanes or electricity. So massive and far-reaching for our lives it manages to become “The Web” at only 25 years of life. Meet 25 years in the world of technology is really a lot, and is also a confirmation that the World Wide Web (its formal name) and went from being a novelty to become a milestone that changed our way of life.
Just as the industrial revolution allowed accelerate manufacturing processes at unknown speeds, and aircraft gave us the possibility to shorten the time and see the world from another perspective, the Web allowed us to reach all corners of the globe with a few clicks mouse. Let’s review some origins and curiosities.
AN INGENIOUS SOLUTION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
We can consider the Web as an invention because it was born from an idea of its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, to solve management and content management used in the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), where he worked as designed the first prototype of the web and its protocols.
What exactly Berners-Lee invented? During his years at CERN, the agency was already one of the nodes of Europe’s largest Internet, but even though the Internet was already used by government and military, there was no method or platform to display and navigate content as we do today, ie no web browsers or pages, such as hyperlinks or you know although other search services and content based on link text today as Gopher, Archie or Veronica.
It is worth remembering that the Internet is the digital infrastructure on which a number of services (web, mail, chat, streaming video, voice calls, etc.) are mounted, so no Web and Internet be taken as synonyms. In fact, the Internet began to take shape 20 years before that Berners-Lee wrote his famous work.
The problem that concerned CERN Lee was based on the loss of information generated by thousands of scientists of great value to the progress they made, and all the problems this created between teams and related areas. His idea was to unify a single space, accessible from anywhere in the world via the internet that would store, query, update and share that information in bulk.
The March 12, 1989, Berners-Lee presented the project to his boss, who called it “vague, but exciting”. This did not stop the British 34 years and son of computer scientists at the University of Manchester, who advanced with his idea until a year later managed to implement it.
To make your idea come true, Lee had to develop several vital aspects for operation. Internet existed since the day some students interconnected multiple computers between Stanford and California (UCLA), through a telephone line switched in 1969, which was later adopted and modernized by the army and the intelligence agencies of the USA.
Indeed, before there was the World Wide Web, there were already born email (created in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson , who also developed in 1982 the first mail client), and even seven years later, in 1978, one of those Post the distinction of becoming the first message considered spam in Internet history earned.
In its initial project until its first implementation, Berners-Lee, with the help of mechanical engineer Robert Cailliau (considered co creator of the web), finished defining the concept of “hypertext” who was born in the 1960s, the primary form of communication that uses the web, linking content within internet linked.
To achieve this they developed the HTML, now recognized by almost anyone, or at least ever heard, and joined various universal protocols to build the WWW:
- URL: Uniform Resource Locator is the unique and universal identification given to each of the content hosted on the web, and is visible in the web address that your browser displays. The concept varied in recent years toward more comprehensive one called URI, Uniform Resource Identifier.
- HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol is the way the browsers to the servers that host the sites and their contents, as well as communications between servers communicate.
- HTML: HyperText Markup Language is the protocol that defines the structure and content of each hypertext document. It is the basic language used for creating a website.
- XML: eXtensible Markup Language, created to facilitate access to parts of HTML that do not provide readable information. It is used to describe the structure of text documents.
MILESTONES OF THE LAST 25 YEARS
The breakthrough was Berners-Lee joined hypertext and the Internet. When he started working on the idea in his mind, the first thing I did was try to unite through his invention, members of specialized technological communities in content digitization and internet. No one accepted his invitation. This motivated him, as in his book weaving the Web, to tackle the project himself.
The Web motorized and launched a radical change in the way we behave as a society. It allowed us to speak out, review, create, meet people, catch up, optimize work, visit places, learn, among many other things.
But he also gave us a platform that transformed our society and their relationships. We will not enter into the discussion of whether these changes have been for better or worse, we could agree that they are somewhat confusing and painful, as they have certainly been other changes throughout history.
That impulse that changes our way of relating to society was social networks, driven by the constant desire to interact with others and supported on the web. Although it seems simple, what we now know as Web and use every day would not have been possible if not for a few small details that Tim Berners-Lee not left to chance.
Realizing the extent of his invention, he decided to make certain usage rules to ensure free access and use. When you create the web decided to release both operating as the software protocols and their servers. This concept made the web will consolidate and disseminate unexpected speed: The number of web servers increased from 26 in 1992 to 200 in 1995.
Three years after the final commissioning of the Web, Berners-Lee traveled to the U.S. to work at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From there he created the W3C, an international organization of standardization of Web technologies, which still runs Berners-Lee, also made by organizations in France and Japan.
The Importance of W3C in the world is to standardize the sites based on a global standard, providing tools, resources and standards for creating websites, free of charge and free, another pillar that enabled the WWW has transcended and grown so much.