World Wide Web

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  • The World Wide Web also called WWW or Web or W3 delivers what you see right now ....
  • The World Wide Web (or simply the "Web") is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents that runs over the Internet. With a Web browser, a user views Web pages that may contain text, images, and other multimedia and navigates between them using hyperlinks (Wikipedia, retrieved 23:25, 28 March 2007 (MEST)).


The World Wide Web is the combination of five basic ideas (slighly altered definition from Wikipedia)

  • Hypertext: a format of information which allows, in a computer environment, one to move from one part of a document to another or from one document to another through hyperlinks;
  • Resource Identifiers: unique identifiers used to locate a particular resource (computer file, document or other resource) on the network
  • The HTTP client-server model of computing: a system in which client software (e.g. a webbrowser) makes requests to a server like "get me this page" or "get me the program that can deal with this information". Server software therefore provides the client with resources or services, such as data or files.
  • Markup language (initially HTML, but today also XML formats like XHTML and SVG). Markup are characters or codes embedded in text which indicate structure , semantic meaning, or advice on presentation CSS.
  • A client that deal with other information too, e.g. PDF files. Some clients can access other Inter protocols and formats. E.g. it can act as mail reader or RSS aggregator. So both the client and the server can aggregate information.

See also: web application, portalware, etc. (applications that include interactive webpages and data processing and storing on some server).


The Web was created around 1990 by the British Tim Berners-Lee and the Belgian Robert Cailliau working at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

A Quotation of Tim Berner-Lee's Answers for Young People:

Did you invent the Internet?

No, no, no!

When I was doing the WWW, most of the bits I needed were already done.

Vint Cerf and people he worked with had figured out the Internet Protocol, and also the Transmission Control Protocol.

Paul Mockapetris and friends had figured out the Domain Name System.

People had already used TCP/IP and DNS to make email, and other cool things. So I could email other people who maybe would like to help work on making the WWW.

I didn't invent the hypertext link either. The idea of jumping from one document to another had been thought about lots of people, including Vanevar Bush in 1945, and by Ted Nelson (who actually invented the word hypertext). Bush did it before computers really existed. Ted thought of a system but didn't use the internet. Doug Engelbart in the 1960's made a great system just like WWW except that it just ran on one [big] computer, as the internet hadn't been invented yet. Lots of hypertext systems had been made which just worked on one computer, and didn't link all the way across the world.

I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and DNS ideas and -- ta-da! -- the World Wide Web.
What were the first WWW browsers?
  • Berners-Lee wrote in 1990 the first GUI browser, and called it "WorldWideWeb". It ran on the NeXT computer.
  • Viola, Pei Wei a student at U.C. Berkeley in 1992 or 1993 ?