Pictures and links on web site
The world's first website went online 25 years ago today
Invented by Tim Berners Lee, the first website went live at research lab CERN in 1990
By Madhumita Murgia - Telegraph UK
Today the world's first website turns 25 years old. Created by 60-year-old British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, while he was a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the website still exists today.
The site's address is info.cern.ch, and provides information about the world wide web - the platform that sits on top of the Internet, where documents and pages on the Internet can be accessed by URLs, and connected to each other via hyperlinks, like this.
"When we link information in the web, we enable ourselves to discover facts, create ideas, buy and sell things, and forge new relationships at a speed and scale that was unimaginable in the analogue era," Sir Berners-Lee has written.
That simple idea - the link - has transformed politics, overthrown governments, led to the invention of today's best known global businesses, and irrevocably changed our social interactions with the world.
When Berners-Lee created the first website, the “internet” was a group of static documents, used almost exclusively by defence organisations and academic institutions.
His proposal was supposed to allow electronic documents on the internet to be easily searched and shared.
"I found it frustrating that in those days, there was different information on different computers, but you had to log on to different computers to get at it.
"Also, sometimes you had to learn a different program on each computer. So finding out how things worked was really difficult. Often it was just easier to go and ask people when they were having coffee.
"Because people at CERN came from universities all over the world, they brought with them all types of computers. Not just Unix, Mac and PC: there were all kinds of big mainframe computer and medium sized computers running all sorts of software.
"I actually wrote some programs to take information from one system and convert it so it could be inserted into another system. More than once. And when you are a programmer, and you solve one problem and then you solve one that's very similar, you often think, 'Isn't there a better way? Can't we just fix this problem for good?'
"That became 'Can't we convert every information system so that it looks like part of some imaginary information system which everyone can read?' And that became the World Wide Web."
Today, he is a passionate advocate of the open web and net neutrality - the principle that all information on the Internet should be equally accessible to users, regardless of their source.
In particular, he has publicly campaigned against censorship of the web by governments.
He has also called for a new model of privacy on the web, where people legally own all their data on the web, so it cannot be used without their permission.
Meanwhile, CERN has evolved from an organisation studying computing and networking, to a cutting-edge particle physics laboratory. In 2013, scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN, which "marks the culmination of decades of intellectual effort by many people around the world,” said CERN's Director-General Rolf Heuer.
If you visit CERN today, you can see the orginal NeXT computer on which Sir Berners-Lee built the very first website, with the label hand-written in red ink: "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN!!"
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