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CERN Celebrates 20 Years Of Free Web With Original URL

Submitted by on May 3, 2013 – 12:03 pmOne Comment

Twenty years ago this week, the first public website went online. The World Wide Web made its protocols available to everyone free of charge, and the internet as we know it (more or less) was created. To celebrate the anniversary, CERN has recreated the original address for the first website.

The internet was originally a project for the sharing of information among physicists. In 1989, physicist Tim Berners-Lee proposed that a network be created for the massive European nuclear research center using the internet. A major breakthrough came when scientists figured out hypertext, or linking together individual pages.

On April 30, 1993, Berners-Lee took the experiment public with a website that explained the web itself. The page was at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

For many years, the URL was inactive, and redirected to CERN’s current info homepage. But now, the original site is visible.

From barely a generation ago, it is already a fascinating historical document. The page looks like a simple Word document, offering a rundown of basic information about the web.

An FAQ page signed by Berners-Lee himself shows only a few questions, saying that an “FAQ list is really a cop-out from managed information,” and users should be able to find all the answers they want on the rest of the site.

Another page describes 17 subjects supposedly describing everything on the web at the time, including literature and religion.

[via CERN]

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