World Wide Web

World Wide Web turns 35 today 12th March 2024

The World Wide Web (WWW), the invention attributed to Tim Berners-Lee while working at CERN, was conceived on 12th March 1989. This makes the World Wide Web 35 years old today.

It is important to recognise that the Web and the Internet are two different entities; the Web is a service that functions via the Internet, a worldwide network of interconnected computer networks. Whereas the Internet is the system.

The first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server through the Internet took place in mid-November 1989.

The Web has since evolved significantly, with the release of the first web browser and server, and the development of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which have shaped the modern digital experience.

First website

The inaugural website was launched at CERN and became accessible on 20th December 1990. Tim Berners-Lee developed this site to disseminate information about the World Wide Web project. In August 1991, it was made available to the public. Today, it is still possible visit this site, offering an intriguing look into the web’s nascent stages.

The internet

The internet, as we know it today, began to evolve in the mid-20th century. This era, known as the Information Age, Digital Age, or Computer Age, is characterised by a transition from traditional industry to an economy driven by information technology. This shift commenced in the 1940s and 1950s. The invention of the transistor in 1947 and the optical amplifier in 1957 were pivotal developments that propelled the advent of the internet.

The term ‘internet’ commonly denotes the worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that utilize the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to connect devices globally. It is an extensive network comprising private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global systems.


Since the ARPANET’s inception, which is the internet’s precursor, the internet has been in existence for over 50 years. The ARPANET was conceived in the late 1960s and became operational in 1969. The internet is approximately 55 years old.

Art illustration depicting users on the World Wide Web – 35 years old today, 12th March 2024

The ARPANET, also known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, represented the first wide-area packet-switched network featuring distributed control and was among the earliest to adopt the TCP/IP protocol suite.

These innovations laid the groundwork for what would become the Internet. Initiated by the U.S. Department of Defence’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the primary goal of ARPANET was to connect computers at Pentagon-funded research institutions via telephone lines, facilitating resource sharing and communication across distant computers.

The project commenced in 1966, with the initial computers being connected in 1969. By 1971, the network was operational and underwent rapid expansion. ARPANET was instrumental in introducing several protocols pivotal in today’s Internet communication, including the Network Control Protocol (NCP) and subsequently, TCP/IP.

Following the advent of the wider Internet, which ARPANET played a crucial role in catalyzing, the network was officially decommissioned in 1990.

Happy Birthday WWW and thank you Tim-Burners-Lee (I think)

Let’s see how far artificial intelligence (AI) becomes embedded in the next generation of the World Wide Web and of further internet development. Will the big tech companies of today still be running the AI projects of tomorrow?

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