Friday, March 02, 2007
Cutlural exchange: the world wide web was not established by an American. It was British physicist Tim Berners-Lee
He is director of the World Wide Web Consortium (which oversees its continued development), and a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, says Wikipedia.
Berners-Lee was born in London, England. His parents, both mathematicians, were employed together on the team that built the Manchester Mark I, one of the earliest computers. They taught Berners-Lee to use mathematics everywhere, even at the dinner table.
He is an alumnus of The Queen's College, Oxford where he played tiddlywinks for Oxford, against rival Cambridge. While at Queen's, Berners-Lee built a computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television. During his time at university, he was caught hacking with a friend and was subsequently banned from using the university computer. He graduated in 1976 with a degree in physics.
While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers.
The first Web site built was at CERN and was first put online on August 6, 1991. It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own a browser and how to set up a Web server. It was also the world's first Web directory, since Berners-Lee maintained a list of other Web sites apart from his own.
In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 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 their standards must be based on royalty-free technology, so they can be easily adopted by anyone.
He is now living in Lexington, Massachusetts (USA) with his wife and two children.