The Open Web Was Born 20 Years Ago Today
In 1989, CERN and Tim Berners-Lee changed the world forever with the creation of the modern Internet. They changed the world again four years later when the net was freed from being owned by any one person or organization.
CERN announced that today is the 20th anniversary of the free and open Web. On April 30, 1993, CERN put the software behind the World Wide Web into the public domain. The Internet only grew as fast as it did thanks to the software behind it being made available to all.
“There is no sector of society that has not been transformed by the invention, in a physics laboratory, of the web”, says Rolf Heuer, CERN Director-General. “From research to business and education, the web has been reshaping the way we communicate, work, innovate and live. The web is a powerful example of the way that basic research benefits humankind.”
As part of the celebration, CERN has put the world’s very first publicly accessible Web site back online. It must have been mind blowing to see a computer fetch a wall of text from another computer hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.
Like most other relics of the Internet’s past, the first Web site really helps to put things into perspective. It’s easy to take the Internet of today for granted, but this Web site should really hit home just how revolutionary this stuff was only 20 years ago.
Of course, the Internet is still just as revolutionary today as it was two decades ago. In fact, there’s an argument to be had that the Internet of today is doing far more good than any other invention in human history as its bringing millions of people from every walk of life together to exchange ideas while promoting empathy among the human race. No other tool in human history has ever had that kind of power. So maybe, just maybe, it’s something that’s worth protecting.