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Sir Tim Berners-Lee of Boston, the British computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web, writes in Wired 30 years after his proposal on March 12, 1989, for "linked information systems" that include hypertext:
  • "The web has become a public square, a library, a doctor’s office, a shop, a school, a design studio, an office, a cinema, a bank, and so much more."
  • "Of course with every new feature, every new website, the divide between those who are online and those who are not increases."
  • "And while the web has created opportunity, given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier."
  • "But given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30."

An image of the first page of Tim Berners-Lee's original proposal for the world wide web in March 1989 (From the collection of CERN)

30 years ago:
  • America Online did not yet exist.
  • CompuServe, PC-Link and Prodigy were accessible only via dial-up modem connections.
  • Broadband internet service would not be generally available for at least 10 more years.
  • Internet email was not yet a thing.
  • Web browsers had not been invented.
  • Portable cellular telephones were not yet in general use.
  • Text was not yet a verb.
  • The Dot Com Bust would occur in 10 years.

Tell us:
  • What the World Wide Web has meant for you?
  • What might the World Wide Web mean for your future?

©Quentin Leo