Happy birthday to the world wide web

This content is 18 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post highlighting the 35th anniversary of the Internet. Today it’s the turn of the world wide web – for which Tim Berners-Lee (now Sir Tim Berners-Lee) posted a message on the alt.hypertext newsgroup encouraging people to try out the concept on 6th August 1991.

At that time, I was studying for my BSc in Computer Studies and this is just one example of how irrelevant that degree was (I’m still struggling to think of anything learned in my studies that has been useful in the subsequent 12 years that I’ve been working in IT). Although there was some object oriented programming in Modula-2 (along with some C/C++) we were still learning COBOL. Up and coming operating systems (e.g. OS/2 and Windows NT) were ignored in favour of Unix and the low level language I used was 68000 assembler (not 8086). In my final year of studies (1993-1994) I did at least have the opportunity to study distributed computing but there was no mention of such concepts as hypertext in my classes. Perhaps all of this is a little harsh at it would have been difficult back then to forsee the effect that the world wide web has had on our lives.

It was not until 1995 that I first used a graphical web browser and was introduced to the delights of Yahoo! and Altavista. My first online service was a CompuServe account and later I migrated to dial-up Internet access before finally getting a broadband connection in 2002. Today, in common with many others, I rely on the world wide web for an increasing number of services – at home and at work.

Read more about the creation of the web.

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