The Web turned 25 in 2014. Though young, the Web has a rich history that we do not attempt to treat on this site. We include here a few key moments from the early days of the Web, as well as links to other valuable Web history resources.
- March 1989: “Information Management: A Proposal” written by Tim Berners-Lee (TBL) and circulated for comments at CERN.
- October 1990: TBL starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep development environment. He makes up “WorldWideWeb” as a name for the program and project.
- August 1991: Web software made available on the Internet via FTP.
- May 1992: Pei Wei’s “Viola” GUI browser for X test version
- February 1993: National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen’s “Mosaic for X”
- April 1993: CERN’s declares that WWW technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN.
- May 1994: First International WWW Conference, CERN, Geneva.
- October 1994: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) founded
Why did the Web succeed?
Some key principles that have allowed the Web to flourish:
- It is universal. It will work with any device, any operating system, and type of information, any language, any culture, and form of connectivity, and for people with disabilities. A hypertext link can be made to anything.
- It is royalty-free. One does not need to pay royalties to implement W3C’s Web standards.
- It is decentralised. Anyone can create a site - with no need to ask for permission.
- It is built on open standards and collaboration.
Learn even more
- Some things you probably didn’t know about the Web
- How it All Started, a presentation from Tim Berners-Lee from 2004 at the 10th Anniversary of W3C
- Timeline from Pew Research Center
- From the Computer History Museum, Web History in the Revolution project and Core 2014 on Web 25
- Welcome to the story of the Web, by Nominet
- A Little History of the World Wide Web from W3C
- Biography of Tim Berners-Lee