Tim Berners-Lee

Founder of the World Wide Web and HTML

The Web does not just connect machines, it connects people.

Tim Berners-Lee, speech to the Knight Foundation, 2008

On Christmas Eve 1990, British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, then employed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva (CERN), launched a new chapter in media and communications history – largely out of the public eye. Under the address http://info.cern.ch he presented the first online website on his NeXt computer and so laid the cornerstone for Internet technology which would radically change human coexistence around the globe within a few years.

The idea of a World Wide Web began when scientists working at CERN started looking for a better way to exchange information. Berners-Lee first laid out his ideas in the essay Information Management: A Proposal in March 1989. Within a short time he developed the entire basic framework for online functionality based on hypertext, which is still in use today. This included the page description language HTML, the transfer protocol HTTP, the uniform resource locator (URL) as well as the first browser and the first web server. The information technology pioneer didn’t patent his ground-breaking inventions but instead made them available to the general public. In 1994 he established the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where – now the recipient of numerous honorary titles – he teaches as a professor to this day.