20 years ago Saturday, August 6, 1991, the first ever webpage was published. It was done by a 36-year-old physicist, named Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN facility in the Swiss Alps and, obviously, was not very complex. According to CERN,
Info.cern.ch 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 http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, 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.
While this was a major accomplishment, it went almost entirely unnoticed. That could be, in part, because only two people in the world had a web browser to be able to access it. In fact, it wasn't until 1993 when Mosaic was released that the general populace had the ability to access any of the web.
For more on the history of the web, hit the break.
In 1994 Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium, better known as W3C in order to try and bring standards to a technology that didn't have them. Thanks to the work of the W3C, a website you build for Internet Explorer will also work in FireFox, Chrome, Sarafi, Opera, etc. Of course, there are deviations from the standards causing some compatibility issues, but the web would be a dark and scary place if it weren't for Berners-Lee, who is still the director of the organization, and the W3C's work.
It is hard to imagine what the Internet would be like today if it weren't for the creation of the WWW. In fact, you would probably have to navigate Usenet to find our channel if you wanted to read this story. Definitely no RSS feeds where that comes from. Even more interestingly is where the Internet will take us in the next 20 years. I don't know about you, but I look forward to seeing it.