Bang… Crash… Thud… KABOOM… Okay, I’ve made it overdramatic, but that’s exactly what happens at sub-atomic level at CERN (original name Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire).
The advanced physics facility was established on September 29, 1954, with the prime focus of aiding in research in high-energy physics. At the time of writing, CERN runs six particle accelerators and a decelerator. Many important discoveries have been made at the center. And what has all this got to do with the World Wide Web?
In 1984, Sir Tim Berners-Lee joined CERN as a fellow. He had previously worked as an independent contractor to the research facility. Anyway, in 1989, CERN had the largest Internet node in Europe. Sir Tim saw this as a good time to run his hypertext idea. Using high-end NeXT computers that were running the NeXTSTEP operating systems, Berners-Lee created and implemented the first web server. He also developed the world’s first web browser and set up the world’s first web page on 20th of December 1990. Voila, the World Wide Web was born!
Here are a couple of interesting titbits on the origins of the WWW.
The computers on which the World Wide Web was developed were from NeXT, the company Steve Jobs had created after quitting Apple Computers because of a power struggle with CEO John Sculley.
The world’s first web browser was named “WorldWideWeb” by Sir Tim. Later, its name was changed to Nexus to differentiate between the network and the program.
The idea for Gmail was proposed by Rajen Sheth in an interview with Google. The email service was launched on 1st April 2004 with 1GB storage space which was 40 times of what was then offered by the competition. Most web users thought it was an April Fool's prank because Google is notorious for that. Initially, Gmail was available only to people who had special invites and this made it even more coveted. As its popularity grew, Gmail started to capture the web-based email market and, as of 2017, is the most popular free email service in the world. [more...]