April 30, 1993: CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee declares the World Wide Web public domain
Can you imagine telling someone 100 years ago that today people everywhere would be able to access the answer to almost any question instantly? If that wouldn’t have made their heads explode, then just imagine adding in that this unique form of sorcery would also provide unlimited access to everything from shopping to hilarious pictures of cats, all for free. The World Wide Web or WWW for short, has become not only an intricate part of our culture but also provided a whole new way of life for the modern world. Ever wonder where everyone’s favorite toy came from tho?
That’s Sir Tim Berners-Lee to you
One of the biggest gateways to the worldwide obsession with the Internet came with the introduction of the World Wide Web, as developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. That said, don’t get confused in thinking it’d be legit to say that he invented the Internet, because the net and the WWW are actually two different things. The World Wide Web is really a means of accessing online information through websites, hyperlinks, and all that jazz, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
The Internet’s evolution
See the development of the Internet itself goes way back to the days that a guy named J.C.R. Licklider started kicking around ideas for an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. By the 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense had something called ARPANET which let multiple computers swap info over the same network. Then came TCP/IP, where info started getting wild and crazy and transferring over multiple networks.
The web goes worldwide
Things slowly but surely developed from there. Cut to the 1980s, when Sir Tim was working at a place called CERN. Now, back in those days, the Internet was still little more than a prototype and definitely not something accessible by the public at large. That’s when Sir Tim decided to get all global and developed what we now know as the World Wide Web. This was the Internet’s real turning point, as it made the net hugely popular and accessible to the public at large. Though he could’ve doubtless made zillions of dollars on the invention, Sir Tim released the World Wide Web as public domain software on 30 April 1993 and became the unsung hero of Instagrammers everywhere.