WWW – Happy 25th Birthday

Today the World Wide Web turns 25 years old.  Many people believe the Internet and the World Wide Web are synonymous with each other; that is incorrect.  The Internet was developed using various protocols, ARPANet, Telnet, Tymnet, starting in the 1950’s, to speed communications between different computer systems used in research. It wasn’t until 1982 when TCP/IP was developed that the Internet became a viable computer communications medium.

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist and programmer at CERN, wrote a paper describing what would become the World Wide Web.  The project was nearly shelved, several times, as Berners-Lee could only work on it during off times from his other, higher priority projects.

With the help of a others, Tim Berners-Lee managed to build a rudimentary language, the first web browser and web server program. By 1991, a growing group of computer enthusiast were discussing the W3 (WorldWideWeb) on alt.hypertext and other newsgroups.  In August 1991, the first publicly available web server came online with a rudimentary browser.  Not long after that, every computer science student and many universities were creating their own websites and setting up servers.

In 1993, NCSA released MOSAIC, the first Windows capable browser was publicly released.  Mosaic is said to be the browser that spurred the popularity of the WWW. It was easy to install and use, supported multiple internet protocols and was more reliable than the early browser.  Having a Windows version increased the number of people who had access to the internet enormously.

In 1997, the PC Club of Charlotte launched its first website.  Below is a screen shot of the oldest version I could find.  You can see the actual, partially working, site at the Internet Archive PC3.ORG circa 1998