30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web
Today is the 30th birth anniversary of the World Wide Web, and in case you were wondering how the webpages looked back in the day, then you have come to the right place. Thanks to CERN, a European research organization near Geneva, some of the digital assets that are associated with the birth of the web have been preserved.
The URL to the world’s first website – info.cern.ch – is currently restored and available for the public. CERN managed to look at the first web servers at CERN and managed to preserve some assets from them. The organization even went through documentation and tried to restore machine names and IP addresses to their original state.
On April 30 1993, CERN published a statement that made World Wide Web (“W3”, or simply “the web”) technology available on a royalty-free basis. By making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish.
“When the first website was born, it was probably quite lonely. And with few people having access to browsers – or to web servers so that they could, in turn, publish their own content – it must have taken a visionary leap of faith at the time to see why it was so exciting. The early WWW team, led by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, had such vision and belief. The fact that they called their technology the World Wide Web hints at the fact that they knew they had something special, something big,” said CERN in a blog post.
British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented the web at CERN in 1989. The project, which Berners-Lee named “World Wide Web”, was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for information sharing between physicists in universities and institutes around the world.
The first website at CERN – and in the world – was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself and was hosted on Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer. The website described the basic features of the web; how to access other people’s documents and how to set up your own server. Although the NeXT machine – the original web server – is still at CERN, sadly the world’s first website is no longer online at its original address.