Who is Tim Berners-Lee?

Kamel Amroune I 4:39 pm, 30th November

Inventor, scientist, professor, director, founder, and author - Tim Berners-Lee wears multiple prestigious hats. Best known for his invention of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee successfully implemented the communication between HTTP client (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and the server through the internet. 

Early life

Berners-Lee was born in London on June 8, 1955, and took to computing much like a fish takes to water. His parents worked on the first commercial computer, the Ferranti Mark I. Upon his graduation from the University of Oxford, Berners-Lee was involved in designing computer software at Plessey Telecommunications Ltd. He later worked at CERN, the Geneva-based particle physics laboratory, as a software engineering consultant apart from holding many other positions in the computer science industry.

The birth of the World Wide Web

The seed for the World Wide Web was sown at CERN, where Berners-Lee developed 'Enquire,' a program that stored information in files containing 'links' both within the file and among separate files. This technique later was named the "hypertext." 

He returned in 1984 to CERN and worked on the computer network of the laboratory, developing procedures that enabled computers to communicate with each other. It was in 1989 that Berners-Lee proposed the creation of a "global hypertext document" with a goal to help researchers share results, and techniques without constantly emailing each other. Researchers can instead place the data “online,” and their peers could retrieve it immediately or at any time. 

Between 1990 and 1991, Berners-Lee developed the software for the world's first Web server and the first “browser.” 

The technological wonder of the digital age had a humble beginning at CERN with its first application being the laboratory’s telephone directory.

In 1994, he established the W3 (World Wide Web) Consortium at MIT. The Consortium guides the development of interoperable technologies including tools, guidelines, specifications, and software to explore the full potential of the Web.

He is the Director at the World Wide Web Foundation launched in 2009 to explore the potential of the Web for the benefit of humanity. 

As web technology evolved, Berners-Lee's specifications of HTTP, HTML, and URLs also evolved and were refined. 

Awards and accolades

He has received multiple awards and accolades including the title of " Inventor of the World Wide Web" in 2012 during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics. His name was featured in Time Magazine's list of 20th century's "100 Most Important People." He received the Turing Award in 2016 for the invention of the World Wide Web, the fundamental protocols, algorithms and the first internet browser. For his accomplishments, Berners-Lee was awarded a knighthood in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2000, he authored the book titled "Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web" with Mark Fischetti.

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