Useful technical and historical links related to the line-mode browser

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People connected to the birth of the Web

General Resources


TCP — Transmission Control Protocol

HTTP — HyperText Markup Language

HTML — Hypertext Markup Language

URI — Uniform Resource Identifier

CSS — a system of rules that is used to describe what documents presented on the web should look like.

HTML — a way of describing the structure of documents shared on the web. Tags are used to mark the beginning and end of structural elements of a document such as paragraphs, images and links. This kind of structure is called a mark-up language - in this case 'hypertext markup language', or HTML.

JavaScript — a language used to add interactivity to web pages. Scripts in Javascript are instructions that are executed by the web browser, sometimes to manipulate elements in a web document.

Node.js — a framework that allows JavaScript to be run on a server. It is a compilation of the V8 JavaScript engine that runs inside the Chrome Web browser.

git/github — Git is a system used to allow different people to work on the same piece of document(s) at the same time while keeping track of the modifications being made by each of them. The documents being tracked are kept in what is known as a repository.

Github improves the collaboration git allows by adding social networking elements on Git like following users, displaying feeds from them and so on using a Web interface.

Text editors — Software that can be used to create documents or change the contents of existing ones. Examples of text editors are Notepad, Textmate, VI or Emacs.

Basic History

Why was the world wide web created?
CERN is a focus for an extensive community that includes more than 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries. Although they typically spend some of their time on the CERN site, the scientists usually work at universities and national laboratories in their home countries. Good contact between them is therefore essential.

In his 1989 proposal, Tim Berners-Lee proposed a new solution for this need to share vast amounts of information and collaborate with big, distributed teams. His idea was to merge the technologies of personal computers, computer networking and hypertext into a powerful and easy to use global information system. This system was eventually named World Wide Web.

Web data / growth statistics
The web grew very slowly at first. The first website came online at CERN in December 1990, and it was a full twelve months until the first server came online outside Europe, at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the US. By early 1993 there were no more than twenty WWW servers online across the globe. Initially this represented an insignificant proportion of the traffic on the Internet, and a number of other ‘web-like’ systems such as Gopher and WAIS were beginning to become popular. Two key events led to the web’s explosion, in 1993: CERN making WWW software freely available; and the release of the Mosaic browser by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the university of Illinois. By the end of the year there were around 500 web servers online, and web traffic represented 1% of global internet traffic. (Summary of Web growth statistics from Matthew Gray of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)