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On This Day: World Wide Web (WWW) Became Public Domain

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

On April 30, 1993, CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research - announced that it was putting WWW into the public domain

Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, was born in the UK and his parents were computer scientists by profession. Lee was fascinated by trains in his childhood and had a model railway in his bedroom.

He graduated from Oxford University and started his career stint as a software engineer at CERN, a nuclear research organisation located in Geneva, Switzerland. Lee in the organisation observed that while scientists from across the globe arrived at CERN to utilize its accelerators, they did not have a platform to share information.

According to him back in those days, every computer had different information stored in it and one had to log on to individual systems to access that information. There were also different programs on computers which further made accessing the information a complex procedure.

Lee realised that this problem can be solved with a platform that can also offer a range of applications. Millions of computers at the time were being integrated via the revolutionary internet and Lee recognised that hypertext, cutting-edge technology can be used for sharing information seamlessly.


In what may come as a surprise for many is that his proposal regarding the World Wide Web was rejected by his boss, terming it as vague but exciting.

By the year 1990, the CERN based software engineer invented three underlying technologies including HTTP, URI, HTML that revolutionised the computer industry. On April 30, 1993, CERN announced that it was putting WWW  into the public domain.

In 1994, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from CERN and incepted the World Wide Web Consortium which serves as an international association for developing Open Web Standards. He currently serves as the director of the association.

He further co-founded the World Wide Web Foundation in partnership with Rosemary Leith in the year 2009. The Web Foundation is striving for a web that is safe and can empower everyone.

Source: https://webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/

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first published:April 30, 2021, 09:30 IST