Twenty years ago today the technology for the World Wide Web (the web) was made available, royalty-free, by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, headquartered in Geneva.

British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a CERN researcher at the time, along with Belgian computer scientist Robert Calilliau, proposed a system to use hypertext “to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will,” for information sharing between scientists at institutions all over the world.

The wide-spread adoption and rapid growth of the web is credited to its royalty-free availability and the ease of use of its technology.

The web project was developed on Sir Tim’s NeXT computer which also served as the world’s first web server hosting the world’s first web site. In honor of this special occasion the original URL to that first site has been restored after being dormant for many years.

Resources

Article by Robert Calilliau.

CERN Project to restore the first web site.

BBC News coverage.

Article by Mark Boulton. Mark Boulton Design designed the new CERN web site.