The World Wide Web (WWW) was formally introduced as a proposal in March 1989 (http://info.cern.ch/Proposal.html) and implemented in May 1990 (http://info.cern.ch/) by Sir Tim Berners-Lee of CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research). The novelty of the concept proposed was in its then hypothetical capacity to share information easily over the Internet by deploying hyperlinked hypertext, encoded, displayable and retrievable through hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and hypertext markup language (HTML), by means of a browser. The Internet, a global system of interconnected computer networks based on the TCP/IP communications protocol standard, predated the Web by approximately thirty years. The “Web”, which would eventually become the most widely used portion of this broader Internet, was made available to the public in 1991. The first Web browser with a graphical user interface (GUI), Mosaic, was introduced in 1993 and from this point on enabled users to interface more intuitively with the Web via icons and visuals rather than text commands. Technically, in a period of just 20 years, the Web has evolved from an information repository of posted static text Web pages to a dynamically charged user-interactive environment (“Web 2.0”) of social networking sites, multimedia content-sharing sites, and real-time communication propelled on the back-end by diverse types of specialized servers, and database and content management systems (CMS). The “Semantic Web”, and its extension into “Web 3.0”, is evolving to manage and better exploit the vast universes of data (“big data”) that have been generated by producers, consumers, prosumers, and users across the globe in multiple languages. The development of sophisticated search engine, data mining, and visualization technologies has as its goal to search, find, share, combine, and visualize information data with greater ease. Web technologies and standards (including extensible markup language (XML), Web ontology language (OWL), the resource description framework (RDF), Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG)), Web technologies and standards, linked to industry initiatives, academic research projects, and international organizations such as the W3C, Unicode Consortium and ICANN, continue to evolve rapidly.
Alesso, H. Peter & Smith, Craig F
2006Thinking on the Web – Berners-Lee, Gödel, and Turing. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.