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“Hey sis, can you tell me who invented the thermometer?” Joel asked his sister, Isabel. “I need to make a project for school”. “Why don’t you try the searching the Internet; you will find your answer there.” replied Isabel.

Searching on the Internet is common when one needs information, news, or some data for a project. The most common 3 letters in today’s world are ‘www’. What is the World Wide Web and how does it work? Let us know more in the following paragraphs.

What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989 at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. It is a system of resources that help a viewer to view and interact with information related to anything under the sun. One can access the World Wide Web from a computer that is connected to the Internet, that is, in turn, globally interconnected to computer networks. One can easily move from one resource to another and navigate through the web with the help of browsers. These browsers present formulated text, images, sounds, etc, in the form of a page. One can even click on hyperlinks and navigate to other related pages on either the same computer or server, or any other server on the network.

All pages on the World Wide Web are formulated using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). The information is transferred on the computers using a set of rules called the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

Who Invented the World Wide Web?

The Internet was present before the World Wide Web was invented. The Internet or Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks (ARPAnet) was funded by the US Military, to have a military command and control center to withstand a nuclear attack after the cold war. ARPAnet was used to distribute information between different computers located in different geographical locations. The TCP/IP communications standard was created by APRAnet, and is used even today. In 1969, ARPAnet was opened for public use, and many computer geeks found new ways to share computers.

The history of World Wide Web began with the help of an Englishman, Tim Berners-Lee. He, along with the help of Robert Cailliau and a few others at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN) developed the World Wide Web.

Berners-Lee was a graduate in physics who joined CERN in 1980. Because CERN, today known as European Particle Physics Laboratory, was so large and had thousands of researchers working, he developed the first hypertext system. This would help keep track of those who worked on a project, the software associated with the program, and the software that ran on the computer. The first hypertext system was called Enquire by Berners-Lee.

Robert Cailliau joined Berners-Lee, and helped him run the first World Wide Web conference. In 1990, after a month spent developing the first web browser, Berners-Lee deployed a program on his and Cailliau’s computer. Thus, they became the first people to communicate through a web server on December 25, 1990. Their first project was to put the entire CERN telephone book on the web site. This project gained immediate response and all employees at CERN accessed the telephone directory only through the web page. CERN was connected to ARPAnet in 1990. Thus, Berners-Lee could post a notice to the public to download the web server and line mode browser. His web server took the world by storm and web servers were downloaded across the world.

Soon, Berners-Lee added the FTP protocol to the server. This made a wide range of existing web directories immediately accessible though a web page. In June 1992, Berners-Lee was sent to the United States by CERN for a three-month trip. Here, he met Tom Bruce, the creator of the first PC web browser―Cello.

Today, one cannot imagine life without the World Wide Web and the Internet. It has made a global impact, and turned the old idiom, ‘It’s a small, small world’, into reality.

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