Tim Berners-Lee first executive summary of the World Wide Web

I copy this here for historical reasons. Notice how Tim didn’t simply point to a specification, he actually pointed to a working demo of what the Web could be. (Complete version can be found on the w3c Web site.)

From :Tim Berners-Lee ([email protected]_.cern.ch)
Subject :WorldWideWeb: Summary
alt.hypertext
Date :1991-08-06 13:37:40 PST
(...)
     Information provider view
The WWW browsers can access many existing data systems via existing protocols  
(FTP, NNTP) or via HTTP and a gateway. In this way, the critical mass of data  
is quickly exceeded, and the increasing use of the system by readers and  
information suppliers encourage each other.
Making a web is as simple as writing a few SGML files which point to your  
existing data. Making it public involves running the FTP or HTTP daemon, and  
making at least one link into your web from another. In fact,  any file  
available by anonymous FTP can be immediately linked into a web. The very small  
start-up effort is designed to allow small contributions.  At the other end of  
the scale, large information providers may provide an HTTP server with full  
text or keyword indexing.
The WWW model gets over the frustrating incompatibilities of data format  
between suppliers and reader by allowing negotiation of format between a smart  
browser and a smart server. This should provide a basis for extension into  
multimedia, and allow those who share application standards to make full use of  
them across the web.
This summary does not describe the many exciting possibilities opened up by the  
WWW project, such as efficient document caching. the reduction of redundant  
out-of-date copies, and the use of knowledge daemons.  There is more  
information in the online project documentation, including some background on  
hypertext and many technical notes. (...)

You can also check out Linus’ first email presenting Linux.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

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