Pour a round of birthday shots for the world’s first website: It just celebrated its 25th birthday.
Way back in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee, a world-renown computer scientist from England, created the page while working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). It’s a rather adorable, dated page, providing information about the brand new creation called the world wide web and explains how the platform can connect users to documents and other websites via URLs.
“When we link information in the web, we enable ourselves to discover facts, create ideas, buy and sell things, and forge new relationships at a speed and scale that was unimaginable in the analogue era,” he wrote, according to the Telegraph newspaper.
This first website came about at a time when the internet “was a group of static documents, used almost exclusively by defense organisations and academic institutions,” the Telegraph continues. Berners-Lee suggested at the time that these electric documents could, in theory, be easily searched and shared by like-minded individuals around the world.
“I found it frustrating that in those days, there was different information on different computers, but you had to log on to different computers to get at it,” he told the paper. “Also, sometimes you had to learn a different program on each computer. So finding out how things worked was really difficult. Often it was just easier to go and ask people when they were having coffee.
“Because people at CERN came from universities all over the world, they brought with them all types of computers. Not just Unix, Mac and PC: there were all kinds of big mainframe computer and medium sized computers running all sorts of software,” he said.
In his recent interview, Berners-Lee pointed out that his suggestion to convert documents written in different languages into other systems, and several times over, was something of a light bulb moment for him. The idea of converting, say, Unix to PC tipped off a goal of making it so that documents, or websites, could be instantly translated around the world, and thus the world wide web was born.