Happy Internaut Day! 25 Years Ago Today The World Wide Web Went Live, Here’s The History And Some Amazing Stats

Today marks 25 years since the public gained access to the World Wide Web and a whole bunch of free porn. On August 23, 1991, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee changed the world by unleashing W3, which allows for the internet that you are using right now. The World Wide Web was launched at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. You may be familiar with CERN in Switzerland because they host the Large Hadron Collider, but it is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.

The World Wide Web was being developed as far back as 1980. Berner-Lee was an independent contractor at CERN where he proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext. His version hypertext would become hyperlinks in an effort to make sharing and updating information between researchers easier.

“In those days, there was different information on different computers, but you had to log on to different computers to get at it. Also, sometimes you had to learn a different program on each computer. Often it was just easier to go and ask people when they were having coffee,” Tim says.

Over the next decade, he would continue to develop his “universal linked information system” or what would become the World Wide Web.

“I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and—ta-da!—the World Wide Web. Creating the web was really an act of desperation, because the situation without it was very difficult when I was working at CERN later. Most of the technology involved in the web, like the hypertext, like the Internet, multifont text objects, had all been designed already. I just had to put them together. It was a step of generalizing, going to a higher level of abstraction, thinking about all the documentation systems out there as being possibly part of a larger imaginary documentation system.”

From the WebFoundation:

In March 1989, Tim laid out his vision for what would become the Web in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal”. Believe it or not, Tim’s initial proposal was not immediately accepted. In fact, his boss at the time, Mike Sendall, noted the words “Vague but exciting” on the cover. The Web was never an official CERN project, but Mike managed to give Tim time to work on it in September 1990. He began work using a NeXT computer, one of Steve Jobs’ early products.

Tim wrote the three fundamental technologies that are still used by the World Wide Web today; HTML: HyperText Markup Language, URI: Uniform Resource Identifier, the address of a website, also known as URL, and HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol.

The very first web page went live on August 6, 1991, and can still be seen in its original form at the original URL. This site, which explains what the World Wide Web is, was only available to users at CERN. It gave rise to the internet as we know and use it today.

Berners-Lee wrote the first Web page editor/browser (“WorldWideWeb.app”) and the first Web server (“httpd“).

Seeing the true potential of his historic creation, the British computer scientist made the World Wide Web free for anyone to use and nobody could be denied access. “Had the technology been proprietary, and in my total control, it would probably not have taken off, Tim said. “You can’t propose that something be a universal space and at the same time keep control of it.”

Coding for the World Wide Web would be available on a royalty-free basis forever and was announced in April 1993.

The World Wide Web and the internet are two different but related things and are not synonymous.

The Internet is described as the following by Webopedia:

The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with any other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet. Information that travels over the Internet does so via a variety of languages known as protocols.

The World Wide Web is:

The World Wide Web, or simply Web, is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet. The Web uses the HTTP protocol, only one of the languages spoken over the Internet, to transmit data. Web services, which use HTTP to allow applications to communicate in order to exchange business logic, use the the Web to share information. The Web also utilizes browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to access Web documents called Web pages that are linked to each other via hyperlinks. Web documents also contain graphics, sounds, text and video.

So the World Wide Web is just one of several methods that information can be disseminated over the internet, which was first connected in 1969 and carries information between nodes.

Today we have cat GIFs, copious amounts of internet porn and the ability to call complete strangers derogatory names thanks to 25 years of the World Wide Web. Today is known as Internaut Day, which is a portmanteau of the words internet and astronaut and refers to a designer, operator, or technically capable user of the internet.

Here are some crazy statistics about the World Wide Web:

  • At least 40 percent of the world has access to the internet
  • There are 3.4 billion internauts as of 1 July 2016, half of these are on Facebook.
  • There are 1.07 billion websites
  • An estimated 75 percent are not active
  • The are 4.73 billion webpages
  • The internet is host to almost one zetabyte of data
  • The average global connection speed is 5.7 Mb/s
  • South Korea offers the highest average connection speed of 26.7 Mb/s
  • India’s average connection speed is 2.5 Mb/s
  • At least 48.5 percent of internet traffic in 2015 was generated only by bots
  • As a whole, humanity tweets 7,300 times a second
  • We transfer and access 37,000 GB of data per second
  • We search for 56,000 items per second on Google
  • We consume 129,000 YouTube videos per second
  • We send 2.5 million emails per second
  • There are 680 million results for the word ‘cats’ on Google Search
  • BitTorrent “only” makes up about 25 percent of the internet traffic in Asia-Pacific, same as YouTube

Thanks Tim Berners-Lee! You allowed us to see so much internet porn.