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History of the World Wide Web

People sometimes confuse the term Web or WWW with the Internet. In fact these are two different terms. The Internet is a worldwide network comprised of computer networks interconnected to form a larger network while the Web is an Internet-based computer network that allows users on one computer to access information stored on another through the Internet.

The WWW project is based on the principle of accessing available if information worldwide. The Web's implementation follows a standard client-server model where a user relies on a program (the client) to connect to a remote machine (the server), where the data is stored. A user use web clients such as Internet explorer, Netscape or Lynx to send a request for a hypertext document on a server, the server receives the request and sends the data to the client which present the data to the user.

WWW pages are formatted using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and information is transferred among computers on the WWW using a set of rules known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP

The World-Wide Web began in March 1989 by English computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee at CERN. (Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire) which is now called "European Laboratory for Particle Physics. The need for the WWW system arose "from the geographical dispersion of large collaborations, and the fast turnover of fellows, students, and visiting scientists who had to get up to speed on projects and leave a lasting contribution before leaving.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first web browser on a NeXT computer, called Worldwide Web, finishing the first version on Christmas day, 1990. He released the program to a number of people at CERN in March, 1991, introducing the web to the high energy physics community, and beginning its spread.

In a fateful decision that significantly helped the web to grow, Berners-Lee managed to get CERN to provide a certification on April 30, 1993, that the web technology and program code was in the public domain so that anyone could use and improve it.

In 1994, Berners-Lee joined the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he currently holds the 3Com Founders Chair, and has served as Director of the W3C Consortium since it was founded. Berners-Lee has also authored a number of web related documents, including those in the HTML and HTTP sections.

The first widely used web browser was NCSA Mosaic. The Mosaic programming team then developed the first commercial web browser called Netscape Navigator, later renamed Communicator, then renamed back to just Netscape. The Netscape browser led in user share until Microsoft Internet Explorer took the lead in 1999 due to its distribution advantage. A free open source software version of Netscape was then developed called Mozilla, which was the internal name for the old Netscape browser, and released in 2002. Mozilla has since gained in market share, particularly on non-Windows platforms, largely due to its open source foundation, and in 2004 was released in the quickly popular FireFox version.

Today the WWW or simply the Web is the main source of information with billions of documents linked to form a huge knowledge base and a market place for millions of people worldwide.


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