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article imageThe World Wide Web celebrating 20 years - one GigaByte at a time

By Andrew Moran     Aug 7, 2011 in Technology
London - The World Wide Web has been a revolutionary concept and has given billions around the world the opportunity to access unlimited amounts of information, interact with someone 5,000 miles away and to even work from home. It's now 20 years old.
The World Wide Web (WWW) is a system of interlinked hypertext documents that are accessed via the Internet – WWW is much different from the Internet as it is a global system of interconnected computer networks.
On August 6, 1991, Sir Tim Berners-Lee posted an illustration that summarized a project that would revolutionize the world as we know it. The posted illustration showed a computer organizing information using a web of hyperlinks.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Knight Foundation (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Click here to read a discussion on W3 from 1991.
“The WorldWideWeb (WWW) project aims to allow links to be made to any information anywhere,” wrote Berners-Lee 20 years ago. “The address format includes an access method (=namespace), and for most name spaces a hostname and some sort of path.”
“We have a prototype hypertext editor for the NeXT, and a browser for line mode terminals which runs on almost anything,” continued Berners-Lee. “These can access files either locally, NFS mounted, or via anonymous FTP. They can also go out using a simple protocol (HTTP) to a server which interprets some other data and returns equivalent hypertext files.”
The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite index peaked at 5 048 in March 2000  reflecting the high point...
The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite index peaked at 5,048 in March 2000, reflecting the high point of the dot-com bubble.
Little Professor
Although relatively young, the W3 has led an interesting life thus far.
After only a few years into its lifespan, there was a huge crash in the dot-com boom that saw nearly everyone invest in the dot-com industry. Only a few websites would survive the pop of the bubble and prosper to new heights, such as Amazon and eBay.
Years later, social media became the next big thing on the World Wide Web. Social networks MySpace – now an abandoned website that has reeked of indifference – Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter have become part of the daily business model and has been the forefront of communication between friends, family, public officials and co-workers.
Instead of watching your favorite television programs or movies on your television, most of what you see on your digital cable box can be viewed on the web – both legally and illegally – via download or stream.
The web can also be accessed on the run with many mobile smartphones containing access to email, websites, YouTube and the aforementioned social media outlets.
Although there have been some downsides to the creation of the web, including the erosion of privacy, child pornography and predators and various viruses, most can agree that there have been many more positives than negatives.
facebook on a smartphone
facebook on a smartphone
What does the web have in store for the next 20 years?
Will it be the proposed Semantic Web? Will we become engrossed in a virtual world? Will online video become a replacement for television? Will the web become even more personalized?
These are only some of the questions that will be answered in the coming years – or even days.
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