Tim Berners-Lee & the World Wide Web
LCC 2700: Intro to Computational Media
Fall 2005
David Jimison
Quick Internet History
• 1962 J.C.R. Licklider promotes his idea of a “galactic network” at
the Advanced Research Projects Agency (soon to be DARPA)
• Designed to survive large network losses and remain operational
• Four centers had first network
• 1984 Domain Name System Developed
• 1989 Internet begins to be commercialized. First dial up internet
service provider starts
• 1991 Tim Berners-Lee introduces the World Wide Web
Map of the internet 1998 – Wired Magazine
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee
Born in England in 1955
Banned from using Oxford Computer after
being caught hacking
Built a computer from an old television and
an M6800 processor
Began working at CERN, the world’s largest
particle physics lab
Built a prototype of the WWW called
Enquire in 1980
Launching the Web
First web page created in 1991
Poster at the ACM Hypertext conference
There were already other methods of
sharing information
– Gopher
First web page:
Berners-Lee quote:
• “I didn't invent the hypertext link either. The idea of jumping from
one document to another had been thought about lots of people,
including Vanevar Bush in 1945, and by Ted Nelson (who actually
invented the word hypertext). Bush did it before computers really
existed. Ted thought of a system but didn't use the internet. Doug
Engelbart in the 1960's made a great system just like WWW except
that it just ran on one [big] computer, as the internet hadn't been
invented yet. Lots of hypertext systems had been made which just
worked on one computer, and didn't link all the way across the
• I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and
DNS ideas and -- ta-da! -- the World Wide Web.”
What does the World Wide Web consist of?
• Universal Resource Identifiers (URIs) are the names that
represents the address of the server
• HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the system used to send
data between the client and the server. It can encompass a wide
range of data types.
• HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the structure of rules that
encompass the data of a web document. This consists of tags such
– <html> to represent the language that is being used
– <a href> an anchor to another document
– <img src>a method of inserting an image into the document
Why did the Web Win?
There were many different systems available for use
Patent and Royalty free system
Easy to Use
Easy to Create
World Wide Web Consortium
Founded in 1994
Jointly administered from Boston, Japan, and France
Has offices all over the world
Creates standards and guidelines to be used by the web
In order for the Web to reach its full potential, the most
fundamental Web technologies must be compatible with one
another and allow any hardware and software used to access the
Web to work together. W3C refers to this goal as “Web
interoperability.” By publishing open (non-proprietary) standards
for Web languages and protocols, W3C seeks to avoid market
fragmentation and thus Web fragmentation.
Outside corporations develop other software that does not always
follow these guidelines. (ie. Internet Explorer)
From Yesterday to Now
•Pioneers of the web helped to
establish its direction
•528 Million can view Flash
animation content
•136 Million Americans use the
internet – over half own high
speed connections
The Semantic Web
Intends to give meaning to the content of
the web
Machine to understand the information
that it is presenting and make
associations and connections with it
Uses several different mark up languages
for users to create their own meta
An Example of the Semantic Web
• BY MIGUEL SALMERONAt the doctor's office, Lucy instructed her
Semantic Web agent through her handheld Web browser. The
agent promptly retrieved information about Mom's prescribed
treatment from the doctor's agent, looked up several lists of
providers, and checked for the ones in-plan for Mom's insurance
within a 20-mile radius of her home and with a rating of excellent
or very good on trusted rating services. It then began trying to find
a match between available appointment times (supplied by the
agents of individual providers through their Web sites) and Pete's
and Lucy's busy schedules. (The emphasized keywords indicate
terms whose semantics, or meaning, were defined for the agent
through the Semantic Web.)
The Web’s Future
•Is a lack of hierarchy good?
•Will the web become a huge shopping mall or a library?
•What do people want from ubiquitous connections to the web?

Computation as a Medium - Georgia Institute of Technology