It’s the 15th birthday of the release of the source code for the World Wide Web, according to the BBC.
Just 15 years. And it’s already almost impossible to remember how we lived before tinterweb.
The first ever web site was http://info.cern.ch. It’s still there (the site not the same web page…) It is pretty rubbish, which is oddly comforting. (No reasonable menu, you can only find the other pages by going to the sitemap, elements don’t fit exactly, in IE6, and they use style attributes in tags instead of the class definition 🙂 ) There’s some screenshots of Tim Berners-Lee’s first browsers, which could give present-day browsers some serious competition.
It links to CERN’s proper site which is brilliant, although most of it is so far over my head that i might as well be reading an umbrella.
The web itself has become indispensable. Especially for finding out anything you want to know – instantly. It’s true that much of what you get is spurious, but the more of us that develop a built-in bullshit detector the better.
And mostly, it’s great that the web has grown so fast precisely because it was designed to be free and open and collaborative The BBC reported Robert Cailliau:
“We had toyed with the idea of asking for some sort of royalty. But Tim wasn’t very much in favour of that.” ………
“If we had put a price on it like the University of Minnesota had done with Gopher then it would not have expanded into what it is now.
(Maybe someone should tell the DRM fanatics.)