Monday, March 23, 2009

"Vague but exciting" and the never ending enthusiasm of Tim Berners - Lee

What were you doing 20 years ago, in March 1989?
I was working for the first time in a secondary school (Padre Poveda School in Guadix, Granada). It was my firt "substituciĆ³n" and I was excited at becoming a teacher. What about computers in my life? it wasn't until a year later that I attended a course on MSDos system, but I must say I did so just for one day. I got bored easily. That was my relationships with computers at that time. But it wasn't until the WWW came up that I became extremely interested in computers and their potential for education and self learning.

20 years ago, Tim Berners- Lee invented the Web and developed the HTTP protocol. When his supervisor, Mike Sendall, read his project he wrote on one side of the document "Vague, but exciting". That was the beginning. Then, on 30 April 1993 something very important happened, Tim Berners- Lee convinced his superiors in the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) stated a document that put the Web in the public domain, that meant that CERN renounced intellectual property rights to the Web, but no one else could claim those rights either. That act of generosity made the Web a great invention.

Later, Berners-Lee moved to Cambridge in US to work at the MIT (where I was lucky to meet him last summer) and took up the role of Director of the World Wide Web Consortium. "W3C's mission is: To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web."

On this website you can see several videos about the celebration of the 20th anniversary and also about the history of the Web.

But if you want to watch one of the latest talk of Tim Berners- Lee and participate of his enthusiasm about the Web, see this video. You will understand why I feel so close to his ideas of sharing and putting everything on the Web as a way of contributing to a global community. Here he explains why he started the Web and his present project called "linked data".