Timothy Berners-Lee born 8th June 1955 London, England, is among the famous people we have in the ICT World. Berners-lee invented the World Wide Web (WWW) making the first proposal for it in March 1989.
On 25 December 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student staff at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucleaire), he implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP client and server via the Internet. Berners-Lee background:
Tim Berners-Lee's mother and father were both mathematicians who were part of the team that programmed Manchester University's Mark I, the world's first commercial, stored program computer, sold by Ferranti Ltd. One day when he was in high school Berners-Lee found his dad writing a speech on computers for Basil de Ferranti. Father and son talked about how the human brain has a unique advantage over computers, since it can connect concepts that aren't already associated. For example, if you are walking and see a nice tree, you might think about how cool the park is under the trees, and then think of your backyard, and then decide to plant a tree for shade behind your house. Young Berners-Lee was left with a powerful impression of the potential for computers to be able to link any two pieces of previously unrelated information.
- 1969 to 1973: Attended Sheen Mount primary school and Emanuel School in London.
- 1973 to 1976: graduated from Queen's College at Oxford University with a 1st class degree in physics.
In 1977: worked for two years as a software engineer with Plessey Telecommunications on distributed systems, message relays, and bar coding.
He then joined D.G. Nash, where he developed a multi-tasking operating system and typesetting software for intelligent printers.
In 1980, joined CERN as a consultant, while at CERN he proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers.
It was because CERN was so large and complex, with thousands of researchers and hundreds of systems, that Berners-Lee developed his first hypertext system to keep track of who worked on which project, what software was associated with which program, and which software ran on which computers. While there, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE.
Berners-Lee named his first hypertext system Enquire, after an old book he found as a child in his parents house called Enquire Within upon Everything which provided a range of household tips and advice. The book fascinated young Tim with the suggestion that it magically contained the answer to any problem in the world. With the building of the Enquire system in 1980, and then the Web ten years later, Berners-Lee has pretty much successfully dedicated his life to making that childhood book real.
1981 to 1984: left CERN and worked at Image Computer Systems Ltd, in Bournemouth, England as Technical Design Lead, with responsibility for real-time, graphics, and communications software for an innovative software program that enabled older dot-matrix printers to print a wide range of advanced graphics.
In 1984, he returned to CERN as a follow. CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet. He said “I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and — ta-da! — the World Wide Web."
In March 1989, he completed a project proposal for a system to communicate information among researchers in the CERN High Energy Physics department, intended to help those having problems sharing information across a wide range of different networks, computers, and countries. The project had two main goals:
- Open design. Like Robert Kahn's design for TCP/IP, the hypertext system should have an open architecture, and be able to run on any computer being used at CERN including Unix, VMS, Macintosh, NextStep, and Windows.
- Network distribution. The system should be distributed over a communications network. However, Berners-Lee thought that there might be an intermediary period when most of the research material was carried on individual CDROM's, which never became necessary.
In 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau, produced a revision which was accepted by his manager, Mike Sendall. He used similar ideas to those underlying the ENQUIRE system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first Web browser, which also functioned as an editor (WorldWideWeb, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system), and the first Web server (info.cern.ch), CERN HTTPd (short for HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon).
The first project Berners-Lee and Cailliau tackled was to put the CERN telephone book on the web site, making the project immediately useful and gaining it rapid acceptance. Some CERN staff started keeping one window open on their computer at all times just to access the telephone web page.
Since CERN had been connected to the ARPANET through the EUnet in 1990. In August, 1991, Tim posted a notice on the alt.hypertext newsgroup about where to download their web server and line mode browser, making it available around the world. Web servers started popping up around the globe almost immediately. An official Usenet 8 newsgroup called comp.infosystems.www was soon established to share info.
Berners-Lee then added support for the FTP protocol to the server, making a wide range of existing FTP directories and Usenet newsgroups immediately accessible through a web page. He also added a telnet server on info.cern.ch, making a simple line browser available to anyone with a telnet client. The first public demonstration of the web server was given at the Hypertext 91 conference. Development of this web server, which came to be called CERN httpd, would continue until July, 1996.
In 6 August 1991, the first Web site built was at CERN, and was first put on line. It provided an explanation of what the World Wide Web was, and how one could use a browser and set up a Web server.
In June 1992, CERN sent Berners-Lee on a three month trip through the United States. First he visited MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, then went to an IETF conference in Boston, then visited Xerox-Parc in Palo Alto, California. At the end of this trip he visited a old friend Ted Nelson, then living on a houseboat in Sausalito. Interestingly, Nelson had experience with film making, Berners-Lee had experience working with lighting and audiovisual equipment in the amateur theater, and Tom Bruce, who developed the first PC web browser called Cello, also worked professionally as a stage manager in the theater.
In April 30, 1993, CERN provided a certification for web technology and program code move to public domain so that anyone could use and improve it.
In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at MIT. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that its standards should be based on royalty-free technology, so that they could easily be adopted by anyone.
In 2001, Berners-Lee became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust, having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset, England.
In December 2004, he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, England, to work on his new project, the Semantic Web.
In June 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Berners-Lee will work with the UK Government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web, building on the work of the Power of Information Task Force.
He was also one of the pioneer voices in favour of Net Neutrality,[and has expressed the view that ISPs should supply "connectivity with no strings attached", and should neither control nor monitor customers' browsing activities without their express consent.
- In March 2000 he was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.
- In 2003, he received the Computer History Museum's Fellow Award, for his seminal contributions to the development of the World Wide Web.
- On 15 April 2004, he was named as the first recipient of Finland's Millennium Technology Prize, for inventing the World Wide Web. The cash prize, worth one million euros (about £892,000, or US$1.3 million, as of May 2009), was awarded on 15 June, in Helsinki, Finland, by the President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen.
- He was awarded the rank of Knight Commander (the second-highest rank in the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the 2004 New Year's Honours, and was invested on 16 July 2004.
- On 21 July 2004, he was presented with the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from Lancaster University.
- On 27 January 2005, he was named Greatest Briton of 2004, both for his achievements and for displaying the key British characteristics of "diffidence, determination, a sharp sense of humour and adaptability", as put by David Hempleman-Adams, a panel member. In 1999, Time Magazine included Berners-Lee in its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
- On 13 June 2007, he received the Order of Merit, becoming one of only 24 living members entitled to hold the award, and to use 'O.M.' after their name. (The Order of Merit is regarded as a personal gift bestowed by the reigning monarch, and does not require ministerial advice.).
- On 20 September 2008, he was awarded the IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for conceiving and further developing the World Wide Web IEEE.
- On 21 April 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
- On April 28 2009, he was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.
- In 2009, he won the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement.
- In October 2009, he will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.