The World Wide Web

On its 30th anniversary, the Internet now has 1,8 billion websites

In this March 12, 2019, file photo, English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, delivers a speech during an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, marking 30 years of World Wide Web. Berners-Lee said Thursday, June 11, 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates “the gross inequality” of a world where almost half the population is unable to connect, telling a high-level U.N. meeting “our number one focus must be to close the digital divide.
In this March 12, 2019, file photo, English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, delivers a speech during an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, marking 30 years of World Wide Web. Berners-Lee said Thursday, June 11, 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates “the gross inequality” of a world where almost half the population is unable to connect, telling a high-level U.N. meeting “our number one focus must be to close the digital divide. AP - Fabrice Coffrini

It's 30 years since Tim Berners Lee, a young English software engineer, launched the world's first website, while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

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Most people who search on Google, share on Facebook and shop on Amazon have never heard of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. But they might not be doing any of those things had he not invented the World Wide Web.

In1989, Berners-Lee began working on ways to identify digital objects and retrieve them through browser software capable of rendering graphics and other images. 

He published a proposal on March 12, 1989, opening the way to a technological revolution that has transformed the way people buy goods, share ideas, get information and much more.

On August 6, 1991, he launched the world's first website, http://info.cern.ch , it was dedicated to information on his World Wide Web project.

It's estimated there are now over 1.8 billion websites.

Berners-Lee decided against patenting his technology and instead offered it as royalty-free software. 

That allowed other programmers to build upon the foundation he'd laid, spawning more than a billion websites today that have helped lure more than 3 billion people online.

In an interview with The Associated Press in 2019, Berners-Lee explained why he had recently released an ambitious rule book for governing online conduct.

It was a bill of rights and obligations for the internet - designed to counteract the growing prevalence of misinformation, mass surveillance and government censorship.

"There's a sense that some of these questions were really hard," said Berners-Lee.

"This new world in which so much of our society is actually determined by how social networks work and so on is new. And there's no rule book written a hundred years ago.

"So, this is, in a way, the first time we've had a rule book in which responsibility is being shared."

(with AP)

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