# 25 years ago: Sir Tim Berners-Lee builds world's first website

There are just under a billion web domains registered in the world today, and over four billion webpages, by some estimates. We've come a long way: it all started to come together just 25 years ago in a small office at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). On December 20, 1990, a Fellow at CERN, Tim Berners- …

1. What is this "web domain" you speak of and where do I register it?

/snarky /coat

1. Yes. And URI scheme names are canonically in lowercase, so it should be "the http: in URLs", not "the HTTP:" as the article has it.

(And, arguably, it should be "in URIs", though HTTP URIs are always URLs,1 and there's some sentiment in the W3C and IETF URI working groups that we should deprecate the URI abbreviation and simply use the term "URL", as the URL/URN distinction is not widely recognized. And many careful writers would prefer that "http:" in the phrase above be enclosed in quotation marks, since we're talking about the literal string per se and not the URI scheme it names.)

You might think a tech site would go to a bit of trouble to get the technical details correct. Unless you're a regular reader, of course.

'tis a good day for snark indeed.

1More precisely, they're always syntactically URLs, even though they're not always semantically URLs. That is, some times they do not in fact "locate" a resource, but are used purely as names. It's a largely-pointless distinction only a computer-scientist-philosopher could love. I like it a lot.

2. To this date he's never posted a cat picture online

Maybe he thinks there's already enough pussy on the web...

3. I remember when it was the "World Wide Wait" because transfer speed was so slow, watching a page load was pretty close to watching paint dry.

I remember seeing a PC struggling with NCSA Mosaic in the uni labs and thinking "this'll never fly"

As usual, I've kept my 100% score of being wrong on major things.

1. "I remember when it was the "World Wide Wait" because transfer speed was so slow, watching a page load was pretty close to watching paint dry."

2. #### NCSA Mosaic

Hmmmyes, on a VAX/VMS with DECWindows, 19" BW monitor. No cat pictures then, and just the occasional moving GIF.

and ISDN line would put you in debt for life and a 10meg hard drive was a lot less.

I'm not sure where the phrase 'never under estimate the bandwidth of a lorry load of tapes' came from but the internet didnt seem viable,

15. #### From the CERN FAQ

"In the long term, when there is a really large mass of data out there, with deep interconnections, then there is some really exciting work to be done on automatic algorithms to make multi-level searches. "

Nomination for understatement of the last few decades.

The rest of the CERN site is interesting reading as well, brings back memories...

16. #### The first website outside of CERN

Came up on an IBM mainframe and was written in Rexx (according to Sir Tim's book).

17. #### Ahead of the curve in so many ways

Tim knew the potential on his hands. A few notes from his prototype website (http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/Bugs.html):

--

"Things to be done"

Form processing

If you can edit hypertext, you edit a hypertext form and return it. To be able to submit a form back to the server would allow special search patterns, administrative processing, electronic voting, ...

Search engines

Now the web of data and indexes exists, some really smart intelligent algorithms ("knowbots?") could run on it. Recursive index and link tracing, Just think...

--

"Just think" indeed Tim! I can't help but read that and feel a proud sense of nostalgia.

## POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.