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This article is from the In-Depth Report The World Wide Web Turns 25

Facts about the Web's Creation

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Web's first days



© ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/ ALEX SLOBODKIN

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First program by Tim Berners-Lee that attempted to link bits of data:
—Enquire, 1980, for Berners-Lee's personal use as a software consultant at CERN; he later left and the code was lost

Second program:
—Tangle, 1984, when Berners-Lee returned, to help him keep track of CERN's many scientists, projects and incompatible computers

Early names for the Web:
—Information Mesh, Mine of Information, The Information Mine (But Berners-Lee thought the acronym, TIM, was too egocentric!)

Computer the Web code was written on, and Web browser was designed on:

NeXT, by NeXT, Inc., founded by Steve Jobs, who had started Apple Computer earlier and returned to it later

Programming language used:
—C

Time taken to write the code:
—Three months

First Web browser:
—Called WorldWideWeb; it could edit Web pages as well as access them; it worked only on the NeXT platform

First server address:
—nxoc01.cern.ch (NeXT, Online Controls, 1), with an alias of info.cern.ch

First full demonstration:
—Christmas Day 1990, operating over the Internet from Berners-Lee's NeXT machine to the NeXT computer of his office partner and now Web co-developer, Robert Cailliau

Content of first Web page:
—The CERN phone directory

First U.S. Web server:
—April 1991, hosted by the Stanford University Linear Accelerator lab

Hits (pages viewed) on the info.cern.ch server:
  August 1991: 100 a day
  August 1992: 1,000 a day
  August 1993: 10,000 a day

First Web browsers:
WorldWideWeb, December 1990, for the NeXT platform, by Berners-Lee
Erwise, April 1992, for Unix, by students at Helsinki University of Technology
Viola, May 1992, for Unix, by student Pei Wei at the University of California, Berkeley
Samba, summer 1992, for Macintosh, by Robert Cailliau at CERN, finished by intern Nicola Pellow

Notable early servers that showed the Web's complex capabilities:
—1992, virtual museum of objects in the Vatican, by programmer Frans van Hoesel
—1992, virtual geographic maps, with pan and zoom, by Steve Putz at Xerox PARC

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