Who was the creator of the web hypertext and what inspired him to do it?

Tim Berners-Lee he grew up on the periphery of London during the 1960s, and like many other boys his age (like Bill gates or Steve Jobs), was a great fan of electronics. However, Berners-Lee was also fond of something else.

Since childhood, I obsessively consulted a book that was at home, a Victorian-era book whose title could be translated as “Findings about all things”, And that allowed him to read all kinds of curiosities without connection to each other. There were no chapters, no associated topics, everything was a chaos that allowed you to jump capriciously from one theme to another.

This book and the pleasure it gave him to jump randomly through different subjects inoculated him with the idea that our brain works through associations, not of hierarchy of rigid themes. Seeing one thing can make us think of another. For example, the red color of that dress, we think of blood, of blood, we jump to the fear of blood, then to the more general fears of the human being, then to courage, etc.

In 1984, Berners-Lee started working at CERN, which today houses the gigantic LHC, to work in a group responsible for compiling the results of all the experiments that were performed there.

Cultural pot

CERN was a microcosm where the coolest minds, coming from the most dissimilar research areas, collaborated with each other to get bigger ideas. Berners-Lee became obsessed with the idea of ​​creating a system that allowed people to share their opinions in order to work together.

That's when Berners-Lee thought of the hypertext, as he explains Walter Isaacson in his book The innovators:

Hypertext, a concept that will be familiar to anyone who regularly surfs the Web, is a coded word or phrase such that, by clicking on it, it sends the user to another document or piece of content. Imagined by Bush in his description of a memex machine, the term was coined in 1963 by visionary technician Ted Nelson, who fantasized about a very ambitious project called Xanadu, never put into practice, in which all the pieces of information would be published with bidirectional hypertexual links, to and from related information.

This NeXTcube used by Berners-Lee at CERN became the first web server. In March 1989, Berners-Lee had already finished its design and presented it to the top executives of CERN with a financing proposal. The idea aroused enthusiasm, but also confusion. A “network” of notes instead of a fixed hierarchical system? Fortunately, at CERN another person worked who had been thinking about a similar concept: Robert Cailliau, who joined forces with him. That network project was baptized as “World Wide Web. Proposal for a project with hypertext.

Berners-Lee and the Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau They proposed in 1990 to use hypertext "to link and access information of various types such as a network of nodes in which the user can navigate at will."

The first website was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991 using a NeXT computer. Since then, Berners-Lee has played an active role in guiding the development of Web standards (such as the markup languages ​​with which web pages are created), and in recent years he has advocated his vision of a semantic Web.

Video: Sir Tim Berners Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web. First Internet Connection 1990. (February 2020).