The World Wide Web turns 20; Everything you need to know about the Internet and the Web

by Bryce Tarling

August 6, 1991, marked the day when Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited for the invention of the World Wide Web, posted a short summary of his project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. Not only is this page credited as the first page ever written for the Web, this was also the day that the Web became publicly available to users on the Internet.

"The World-Wide Web was developed to be a pool of human knowledge, and human culture, which would allow collaborators in remote sites to share their ideas and all aspects of a common project."

Check out this copy of the first web page ever writen.

Despite being so integral to our everyday lives howver, there is a lot of misunderstanding around the technology.

The Internet actually refers to the system of linking computers together and dates back to the American space program in the 1960s. At the MIT Lincoln Lab, in October 1965, two computers talked to each other for the first time using packet-switching technology.

Not to be confused with the World Wide Web, however, the Internet is a global network that connects millions of computers. It is a network of networks—or a networking infrastructure. Within the Internet, a network distinguishes itself with its own language or protocol, which is essentially an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices. Programmers can choose between a variety of standard protocols in communicating between devices.

As such, no single individual or organization can actually own or control the Internet. It is more of a concept than a physical structure where different individuals, organizations and service providers all contribute to the system.

The World Wide Web, or the Web, is a specific network of Internet servers that supports certain document formats. The documents used on the Web are formatted with a specific protocol, or language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language), which is only one of many languages used over the Internet. A Web browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome is simply an application that makes it easy to access documents that have been formatted in HTML—also called web pages. 

The Web essentially provides a way of accessing information through the Internet. Not all Internet servers are part of the World Wide Web. Still, it's where we all get together.


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Bryce Tarling

Bryce Tarling

Bryce is currently studying in the Douglas College Print Futures Program in pursuit of a career in writing and editing. He has worked as an English teacher both in the Lower Mainland and in Japan. He has also served brief stints in the restaurant industry. In his free time he enjoys photography, consuming media in the form of books, film, and music, and finding delectable places for trying... more

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