Who are the inventors of the WWW

30 years of the WWW: Tim Berners-Lee and his gift for everyone

On March 12, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee laid the cornerstone of the World Wide Web. Instead of having his invention patented, the physicist is making a gift to mankind with the software code - which within a very short time revolutionizes communication, commerce and access to information

In 1989, at the CERN research center near Geneva, a technology was created that will change many people's lives within a few years: the World Wide Web.

The Internet already existed at that time: its more than one million users around the world, who usually belong to academic institutions, can communicate with each other by e-mail, for example. At CERN, where thousands of scientists are working on highly complex experiments, there is still information chaos.

Tim Berners-Lee is looking for a solution at CERN

The professionals from all over the world use a variety of different computers, programs and storage media. Different file formats make a smooth exchange of digital data almost impossible. In addition, the staff changes constantly: knowledge about past projects is constantly being lost.

The Briton Tim Berners-Lee, who works as a software consultant at CERN, is looking for a solution: He wants to make information of all kinds accessible so that it can be viewed at any time on a computer and also easily updated.

In a proposal that he presented to his superiors in 1989, he describes a system of documents that are linked by links and stored on servers accessible to everyone. It is the basic principle of today's World Wide Web.

In the following months, Berners-Lee developed the first web browser. He creates the markup language HTML, which can be used to create websites, and devises a format for web addresses. And he creates the HTT protocol with which computers can call up the new types of pages over the Internet. A user can now click on links from one website to another - in theory.

Berners-Lee puts the telephone directory on www

Because the World Wide Web is still missing the content. Berners-Lee and his colleagues first put the telephone directory online. Gradually, scientists and other internet users are starting to document their projects online.

In order to further accelerate the growth of the knowledge network, Berners-Lee decided to take a big step: Instead of patenting the software code, he was giving away his invention. In 1993, CERN made the code freely available to everyone.

The World Wide Web is revolutionizing communication, commerce and entertainment

The American browser manufacturer Netscape, among others, benefited from this and triggered the Internet boom in 1995 with a spectacular IPO. The rapidly growing range of websites is now attracting more and more curious people to the Internet.

In a very short space of time, the World Wide Web is not only revolutionizing communication, commerce and entertainment: it is also providing over 3.5 billion people with unprecedented access to information.

You can also read why the thoughts of PC pioneer Douglas Engelbart gave such a pioneering warning that Apple founder Steve Wozniak called him God years later: