You probably heard the news on Tuesday about Internaut Day (No, that’s not a typo, the word is a combination of the Greek word ‘nauta,’ which means traveler, and the Internet.)— or as it’s more commonly known, the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web going public. While many people thanked Tim Berners-Lee for his contribution to computers by creating the web, it seems like they have the wrong day!
This Tech Time Warp goes back in history and looks at when the World Wide Web officially became public—and please don’t confuse this with the Internet or you might see another angry tweet from Tim Berners-Lee!
Setting the record straight
First things first, the Internet and the Web are two different things. Even though most people use the terms interchangeably, these are two different inventions. The Internet was designed in 1973 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, and it was introduced in 1984. The Internet is a network of networks and was developed as a way for different computers to interact and deliver information from one location to another. The Web on the other hand is information (i.e. documents connected by hypertext links) and a vehicle for users to access the Internet.
So now that we have that squared away, Tim Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for the Web in March 1989. By October 1990, Tim had outlined many staple features including HTML, URI, and HTTP. On Aug, 6, 1991, Tim invited the public to help collaborate on the developmental process of uploading information to the Web. The first website (which was later restored) can be viewed here. It wasn’t until April 1993 that CERN announced that the Web was an open domain allowing any user to access it. While the web was intended to be a source of information, it looks like we lost some of the most important information of all—the Web’s birthday! Turns out August 23rd isn’t significant at all (so much for #InternautDay), but as the World Wide Web Foundation states, we should celebrate the Web every day.