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Famous Inventor
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee - inventing the World Wide Web
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee - inventing the World Wide WebSir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee (born 8 June 1955), is a British engineer and computer scientist and MIT professor credited with inventing the World Wide Web, making the first proposal for it in March 1989. On 25 December 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student staff at CERN, he implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP client and server via the Internet. However, the general ideas for the Internet were outlined, also the technological aspect, earlier than Berner-Lee's technological proposal. In 2007, he was ranked Joint First, alongside Albert Hofmann, in The Telegraph's list of 100 greatest living geniuses.Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web's continued development. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, and is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is a director of The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.In April 2009, he was elected as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, based in Washington, D.C.

 Early life

Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, United Kingdom, on 8 June 1955. He attended Sheen Mount primary school, and then went on to Emanuel School in London, from 1969 to 1973. He studied at The Queen's College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1976, where he received a first-class degree in Physics.


Tim Berners-Lee on November 18, 2005.

While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. While there, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE. After leaving CERN in 1980, he went to work at John Poole's Image Computer Systems, Ltd, in Bournemouth, England, but returned to CERN in 1984 as a fellow. In 1989, CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet: "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and — ta-da! — the World Wide Web." He wrote his initial proposal in March 1989, and in 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau, produced a revision which was accepted by his manager, Mike Sendall. He used similar ideas to those underlying the Enquire system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first Web browser, which also functioned as an editor (WorldWideWeb, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system), and the first Web server, CERN HTTPd (short for HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon).

The first Web site built was at CERN, and was first put on line on 6 August 1991. " was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address was, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website." -CERN It provided an explanation of what the World Wide Web was, and how one could use a browser and set up a Web server.

In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at MIT. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that its standards should be based on royalty-free technology, so that they could easily be adopted by anyone.

In 2001, Berners-Lee became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust, having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset, England.

In December 2004, he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, England, to work on his new project, the Semantic Web.

In June 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Berners-Lee will work with the UK Government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web, building on the work of the Power of Information Task Force.

He was also one of the pioneer voices in favour of Net Neutrality, and has expressed the view that ISPs should supply "connectivity with no strings attached," and should neither control nor monitor customers' browsing activities without their express consent.


This NeXT Computer was used by Berners-Lee at CERN and became the world's first Web server.
Tim Berners-Lee Millennium Technology Prize winner
Year awarded     2004
Invention     World Wide Web
Prize presented by     Tarja Halonen
Previous laureate     First recipient, no previous laureates
Following laureate     Shuji Nakamura

    * In March 2000 he was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.
    * In 2003, he received the Computer History Museum's Fellow Award, for his seminal contributions to the development of the World Wide Web.
    * On 15 April 2004, he was named as the first recipient of Finland's Millennium Technology Prize, for inventing the World Wide Web. The cash prize, worth one million euros (about £892,000, or US$1.3 million, as of May 2009), was awarded on 15 June, in Helsinki, Finland, by the President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen.
    * He was awarded the rank of Knight Commander (the second-highest rank in the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the 2004 New Year's Honours, and was invested on 16 July 2004.
    * On 21 July 2004, he was presented with the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from Lancaster University.
    * On 27 January 2005, he was named Greatest Briton of 2004, both for his achievements and for displaying the key British characteristics of "diffidence, determination, a sharp sense of humour and adaptability", as put by David Hempleman-Adams, a panel member. In 1999, Time Magazine included Berners-Lee in its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
    * On 13 June 2007, he received the Order of Merit, becoming one of only 24 living members entitled to hold the award, and to use 'O.M.' after their name. (The Order of Merit is regarded as a personal gift bestowed by the reigning monarch, and does not require ministerial advice.)
    * On 20 September 2008, he was awarded the IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for conceiving and further developing the World Wide Web IEEE.
    * On 21 April 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
    * On April 28 2009, he was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.
    * In 2009, he won the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement.
    * In October 2009, he will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

 Personal life

Berners-Lee had a religious upbringing, but left the Church of England as a teenager, just after being confirmed and "told how essential it was to believe in all kinds of unbelievable things". He and his family eventually joined a Unitarian Universalist church while they were living in Boston.

 See also

    * History of the World Wide Web
    * Kevin Hughes (www)
    * Network Neutrality
    * Semantic Web
    * Eelco van Asperen
    * Bob Taylor


    * Berners-Lee, Tim; Mark Fischetti (1999). Weaving the Web: The Past, Present and Future of the World Wide Web by its Inventor. Britain: Orion Business. ISBN 0-7528-2090-7.


   1. ^ a b c d e Berners-Lee biography at the World Wide Web Consortium
   2. ^ "Top 100 living geniuses" The Daily Telegraph October 28, 2007
   3. ^ "Draper Prize". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
   4. ^
   5. ^ MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (homepage)
   6. ^ MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (people)
   7. ^ "Timothy Berners-Lee Elected to National Academy of Sciences". Dr. Dobb's Journal. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
   8. ^ "Berners-Lee's original proposal to CERN". World Wide Web Consortium. March 1989. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
   9. ^ Berners-Lee, Tim. "Answers for Young People". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  10. ^ "Welcome to, the website of the world's first-ever web server". CERN. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  11. ^ "World Wide Web — Archive of world's first website". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  12. ^ "World Wide Web — First mentioned on USENET". Google. 1991-08-06. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  13. ^ "The original post to alt.hypertalk describing the WorldWideWeb Project". Google. 1991-08-09. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  14. ^ "Patent Policy - 5 February 2004". World Wide Web Consortium. 2004-02-05. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  15. ^ "Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web inventor, to join ECS". World Wide Web Consortium. 2004-12-02. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  16. ^ "Tim Berners-Lee". World Wide Web Consortium. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  17. ^ "Web creator rejects net tracking". BBC. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-15. "Warning sounded on web's future."
  18. ^ "Web creator rejects net tracking". BBC. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-25. "Sir Tim rejects net tracking like Phorm."
  19. ^ "Web inventor's warning on spy software". Telegraph. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-25. "Sir Tim rejects net tracking like Phorm."
  20. ^ "ICTlogy, review of ICT4D » Tim Berners Lee: doctor honoris causa". Open University of Catalonia. 2008-10-10.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Millennium Technology Prize 2004 awarded to inventor of World Wide Web". Millennium Technology Prize. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  23. ^ "Web's inventor gets a knighthood". BBC. 2003-12-31. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  24. ^ "Creator of the web turns knight". BBC. 2004-07-16. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  25. ^ "Lancaster University Honorary Degrees, July 2004". Lancaster University. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  26. ^ "Three loud cheers for the father of the web". The Telegraph. 2005-01-28. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  27. ^ "Web inventor gets Queen's honour". BBC. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  28. ^ Timothy Berners-Lee IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award 2008. Accessed 11 Nov 2008.
  29. ^ Universidad Politécnica de Madrid: Berners-Lee y Vinton G. Cerf - Doctores Honoris Causa por la UPM
  30. ^ (Dutch) Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2008-07-22). "Uitvinder World Wide Web krijgt eredoctoraat Vrije Universiteit". Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  31. ^ (Dutch) (2008-07-22). "'Bedenker' wereldwijd web krijgt eredoctoraat VU". Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  32. ^ Berners-Lee, Timothy (1998). " The World Wide Web and the "Web of Life"". World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Retrieved 2008-05-25.

 Further reading

    * Tim Berners-Lee and the Development of the World Wide Web (Unlocking the Secrets of Science), Ann Gaines (Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2001) ISBN 1-58415-096-3
    * Tim Berners-Lee: Inventor of the World Wide Web (Ferguson's Career Biographies), Melissa Stewart (Ferguson Publishing Company, 2001) ISBN 0-89434-367-X children's biography
    * Weaving the Web Berners-Lee, Tim, with Fischetti, Mark (Harper Collins Publishers,1999) ISBN 0-06-251586-1(cloth) ISBN 0-06-251587-X(paper)
    * How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web Robert Cailliau, James Gillies, R. Cailliau (Oxford University Press, 2000) ISBN 0-19-286207-3
    * School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton
    * BBC2 Newsnight – Video interview clip of Berners-Lee on the read/write Web[dead link]
    * Technology Review interview

 External links

    * TED Talks: Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web at TED in 2009
    * Tim Berners-Lee on the W3C site
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