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Tim Berners – Lee ( M.I.T ) father of the World Wide Web

Posted on: January 31, 2009


Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA (born 8 June 1955) is an computer scientist and MIT professor credited with inventing the World Wide Web. On 25 December 1990 he implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP client and server via the Internet with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student staff at CERN. He was ranked Joint First alongside Albert Hofmann in The Telegraph’s list of 100 greatest living geniuses.[2] Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web’s continued development, the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation and he is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Biography
Tim Berners-Lee on November 18, 2005.
Background and early career
His parents, both mathematicians, were employed together on the team that built the Manchester Mark 1, one of the earliest computers. They taught their son to use mathematics everywhere, even at the dinner table. Berners-Lee attended Sheen Mount Primary School, before moving on to study his O-Levels and A-Levels at Emanuel School in Battersea, where a computer centre is dedicated in his name.

He is alumnus of The Queen’s College, Oxford. While at Queen’s, Berners-Lee built a computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television. During his time at university, he was caught hacking with a friend and was subsequently banned from using the university computer. He graduated in 1976 with a degree in physics.

He met his first wife Jane while at Oxford and they married soon after they started work in Poole. After graduation, Berners-Lee was employed at Plessey Controls Limited in Poole as a programmer. Jane also worked at Plessey Telecommunications Limited in Poole. In 1978, he worked at D.G. Nash Limited (also in Poole) where he wrote typesetting software.
Personal life
Berners-Lee currently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts (USA), is married to Nancy Carlson, and has two children, Alice and Ben.

He left the Church of England, a religion in which he had been brought up, as a teenager just after being confirmed because he could not “believe in all kinds of unbelievable things.” He and his family eventually found a Unitarian Universalist church while they were living in Boston.

Current life
In 2001, he became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset, UK.

In December 2004 he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK, to work on his new project – the Semantic Web.[7]

Berners-Lee believes the future of Semantic Web holds immense potential for how machines will collaborate in the coming days. In an interview with an Indian publication, he shared his views as:

“It is evolving at the moment. The data Web is in small stages, but it is a reality, for instance there is a Web of data about all kinds of things, like there is a Web of data about proteins, it is in very early stages. When it comes to publicly accessible data, there is an explosion of data Web in the life sciences community. When you look about data for proteins and genes, and cell biology and biological pathways, lots of companies are very excited. We have a healthcare and life sciences interest group at the Consortium, which is coordinating lot of interest out there.”

He has also become one of the pioneer voices in favour of Net Neutrality.[8]

He feels that ISPs should not intercept customers’ browsing activities, and has such strong views about this that he would change ISPs to get away from such activities.

Inventing the World Wide Web

This NeXT Computer was used by Berners-Lee at CERN and became the world’s first Web server.While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. While there, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE. After leaving CERN, in 1980, he went to work at John Poole’s Image Computer Systems Ltd in Bournemouth but returned to CERN in 1984 as a fellow. In 1989, CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet: “I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and – ta-da! – the World Wide Web.” He wrote his initial proposal in March 1989, and in 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau, produced a revision which was accepted by his manager, Mike Sendall. He used similar ideas to those underlying the Enquire system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first web browser and editor (WorldWideWeb, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system) and the first Web server, CERN HTTPd (short for HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon).

The first Web site built was at CERN and was first put online on 6 August 1991. It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own a browser and how to set up a Web server. It was also the world’s first Web directory, since Berners-Lee maintained a list of other Web sites apart from his own.

In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that their standards must be based on royalty-free technology, so they can be easily adopted by anyone.

Source : Wikipedia

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