How the creator of the World Wide Web wanted to connect knowledge with each other

Tim Barners-Lee He was the creator of the World Wide Web in 1989. He inspired it by a book from his childhood: Inquire Within Upon Everything, in Spanish “Asking about Everything Above All”, which was a 19th century publication that was full of information and random relationships, all perfectly indexed.

In 1894 it had 89 editions and had sold more than one million copies. And it is that this nineteenth book had a kind of hyperlinks, like those found on the internet.


Influenced by it as a child, ENQUIRE was born, a software project written in the second half of 1980 by Berners-Lee. More than a website, ENQUIRE (whose title referred to that nineteenth title) it was assimilated to the current concept of a wiki.

For Berners-Lee, ENQUIRE stored information without using structures such as matrices or trees, since these structures are hierarchical and rigid, while the human mind operates in a much more anarchic way ...

More than a data encoder, ENQUIRE aspired to stimulate the fantastic curiosity of the child who stayed up late reading Inquire Within Upon Everything. More than an encyclopedia, library or data storage system, then, Berners-Lee wanted to build a creative space where everyone could play together.

First Berners-Lee Web Server.

To connect knowledge at different levels, he found the hypertext, that is, a coded word or phrase that, by clicking on it, sends the reader to another document or piece of content linked in some way. The term "hypertext", in fact, was coined in 1963 by the technician Ted Nelson, to carry out an unfinished project a project that he called Xanadu, with which all the fragments of information would be published with bi-directional hypertext links, to and from the related information.

Weaving new networks among knowledge, then, was Berners-Lee's greatest obsession. A network without a center, without important nodes, without matrices, so that curiosity and imagination would ride on the Internet, expanding and multiplying.

In March 1989, Berners-Lee already had its design ready, and made an official request for funding to senior managers of the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), where I worked. The proposal aroused enthusiasm and bewilderment in equal parts. However, the proposal went ahead, and thus resulted in what we know today as world Wide Web or simply Web.

Video: Computer Basics: Connecting to the Internet (November 2019).