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Tim Berners-Lee

Timothy J. Berners-Lee is the inventor of the World Wide Web. He was born in London, England on June 8, 1955.

In 1989, Berners-Lee proposed a project to his employer CERN, based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. With help from Robert Cailliau[?] he built a prototype system named Enquire[?], which later became the foundation of the World Wide Web. He is now head of the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees its continued development.

The first web site Tim built, (and therefore the first web site) was http://info.cern.ch (http://info.cern.ch). This provided an explanation about what the internet was, how to get your own browser, how to set up your own web server etc. Initially, it was also the world's first web directory, since Tim maintained a list of other web sites apart from his own.

While the component ideas of the World Wide Web are simple enough to be understood by a high school student, Berners-Lee's insight was to combine them in a way which is still exploring its full potential.

In his book "Weaving the Web", several recurring themes are apparent:

  • It is just as important to be able to edit the web as browse it (Wiki is therefore a significant step in the right direction)
  • Computers can be used for background tasks that enable humans to work better in groups (again, Wiki is a good example)
  • Every aspect of the internet should function as a web, rather than a tree structure. Notable current exceptions are the domain name system and the domain naming rules managed by ICANN.
  • Computer scientists have a moral responsibility as well as a technical responsibility.

See also: Semantic Web

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