Belgian Paul Otlet launches
the idea of Hypertext.
1945 In a paper ("As We May Think", 1945) Vannevar Bush describes a kind of
hypertext link, called "memex".
1957 The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) is created as a reaction to
the successful launching of the Sputnik by the Russians, causing a crisis
in American confidence. The Americans hoped not again to be caught off
guard on the technological frontier, although, ironically, the greatest
achievement of Arpa(net), i.e. the WWW, was realized by the Europeans.
1962 Psychologist and computer scientist JCR Licklider, working for ARPA, proposes
to establish computer networks to augment human thinking, and enhance scientific
Nelson coins the word "hypertext".
1966 Larry Roberts, consulted by ARPA, is the main architect of ARPANET. ARPANET
includes 15 computers in California, Utah, Cambridge Mass.
American Department of Defense asks BBN (Bolt Beranek and Newman, Cambridge,
Massachusetts) to rebuild ARPANET.
1971 Ray Tomlinson (BBN) sends the first email (probably "QWERTYUIOP"), after
having written a first FTP (File Transfer Protocol: "CPYNET") to send files
from one ARPANET PDP-10 computer to another in his office. He choosed "@"
to start the address after the name of the receiver.
Progressively, the most important
activity on ARPANET becomes email. By modem and telephone connections,
many small and bigger networks are installed in the world, mainly to use
a PC as a kind of terminal to a bigger computer at a university.
consulting for CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research at Genève),
Berners-Lee writes a notebook program, "Enquire-Within-Upon-Everything",
which allows links to be made between arbitrary nodes. Each node had a
title, a type, and a list of bidirectional typed links.
Atkinson of Apple Computer realized the first real application with
hypertext in his impressive Hypercard program.
1988 Eudora, the first email program, is developed at University of Illinois.
March 1989 the now historical
document (or here)
"Information Management: A Proposal" is written by Tim Berners-Lee and
circulated for comments at CERN,
In September 1989 Mike Sendall
(Tim's manager at CERN) accepts the purchase of a NeXT cube, and allows
Tim to go ahead and write a global hypertext system.
Tim Berners-Lee and Robert
Cailliau (CERN) conceived HTML
(Hypertext Transfer Markup Language) as a very simple solution for transfer
of texts and images, using the NeXTStep development environment.
1990 First names for the project were "Mesh", "Mine of Information", and "Information
Mine", but Tim decided on "World Wide Web" when writing the code in 1990.
In November 1990 Robert Cailliau
is co-author of the new version and proposal (12 November 1990). Initial
WWW program development continues on the NeXT.
In December 1990 Tim Berners-Lee
gives a CERN colloquium on hypertext in general. A WWW browser/editor is
demonstrated: access is possible to hypertext files.
In March 1991 a line mode browser
(WWW) is released to a limited audience on "PRIAM" Vax, RS6000, Sun4.
In May 1991there is a general
release of WWW on central CERN machines.
On 12 June 1991 a CERN Computing
Seminar is given on "Hypertext" and the WWW program.
In August 1991 files
are available on the net by FTP.
In October 1991 the CERN mailing
lists www-interest (now www-announce) and [email protected] have been
In December 1991a poster and
demonstration are presented at the conference Hypertext'91 in San Antonio,
The CERN Computer Newsletter
(CNL) 204 announces WWW to the World!
On 12 December 1991 Paul Kunz
installs first Web server outside of Europe, at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center)
Separately, Java technology
was created as a programming tool in a small, closed-door project initiated
by Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan, and James Gosling of Sun to anticipate
and plan for the "next wave" in computing. Their initial conclusion was
that at least one significant trend would be the convergence of digitally
controlled consumer devices and computers. However, the project to launch
JAVA as a major cable movie language was not a success.
Presentation and demo at HEPVM (Lyon (FR)). People at FNAL (Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory (US)), NIKHEF (Nationaal Instituut voor Kern- en
Hoge Energie Fysica, (NL)), DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron, Hamburg,
(DE)) join the project with WWW servers.
In February 1993 NCSA (National
Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois (US)) releases
the first alpha version of Marc Andreesen's "Mosaic for X".
April 1993: declaration by CERN's directors that WWW technology would be
freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN.
In October 1993 there are over
200 known HTTP servers.
The European Commission, the
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and CERN start the first Web-based project of the
European Union (DG XIII): WISE, using the Web for dissemination of technological
information to Europe's less favoured regions.
Robert Cailliau gets go-ahead
from CERN management to organize the First International WWW Conference
In March 1994 Marc
Andreesen and colleagues leave NCSA to form "Mosaic Communications
Corp." (now Netscape).
In June over 1500 servers are
now registered and the load on the first Web server (info.cern.ch) is 1000
times what it has been 3 years earlier.
CERN decides, for stringent
budget restrictions, imposed by the development of the new Hadron Collider,
not to continue WWW development, and in concertation with the European
Commission and INRIA (the Institut National pour la Recherche en Informatique
et Automatique, FR) transfers the WebCore project to INRIA, France.
Hotmail starts web based email,
checkable everywhere on the net.
In October 1994 the World
Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded. The Consortium's stated purpose
is to "support the advancement of information technology in the field of
networking, graphics and user interface by evolving the World Wide Web
toward a true information infrastructure, and to encourage cooperation
in the industry through the promotion and development of standard interfaces
in the information envroment known as the 'World Wide Web."' (Berners-Lee).
The W3C consists of a number of companies interested in the promotion of
an interactive Web, and is headquartered at MIT. This organization will
likely be the primary source of the newest innovations to the Web, and
a sort of governing body for the Web. Tim Berners-Lee, who while at CERN
created the original Web standards, is now the director of W3C.
1995 In March 1995 the JAVA source code was released over the Internet. The team knew that releasing code to developers for free is one of the
fastest ways to create widespread adoption.
1996 Mirabilis (Israel) starts ICQ ("I Seek You"), the first and still most
popular form of "Instant Messaging".
1998 Google is founded by two Stanford graduate students, who worked on the idea since
Microsoft acquires Hotmail;
AOL acquires Mirabilis and Netscape.
Other interesting Links: The
Pioneers | Ideas for an