Who invented the world wide web?

Tim Berners-Lee defines the world wide webAlmost universally you will find references that state that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide. According to the World Wide Web Foundation, "Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989." But is it that simple?

Like any use of the word invention, it is rarely a simple process of one person creating something new entirely from scratch. Let's define the world wide web and its components.

What is the World Wide Web?

Many people use the term internet interchangeably with "the web" or "world wide web." The internet is the information super highway, the infrastructure on which we travel. Web browsers and web servers make up the world wide web, the vehicle we use to travel on the highway.

Thomas Alva Edison prolific inventor and legendary lunatic

Thomas Alva Edison prolific inventor and legendary lunatic

Thomas Alva Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and telecommunications.

Edison's first invention was the Universal Stock Ticker in 1869. Edison used the money he earned from the stock ticker to start his lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

It has been said that Edison did not just have a laboratory at Menlo Park, he created an invention factory. Edison was a systems thinker and a project manager. Edison took the image of an inventor as one man tinkering alone in a shop and turned it into an industry.

Edison’s first major invention at Menlo Park was the phonograph in November 1877.

Thomas Edison the rock star

Edison was the top rock star of his generation for creating the magical music box known as the phonograph. Edison conceived the principle of recording and reproducing sound as a byproduct of his efforts to play back recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission by telephone. Edison was a pioneer in the field of audio recording with his tin foil voice recorder. Considered to be his first great invention, the phonograph was Edison's life-long personal favorite.

Edison made a name for himself as the inventor of the phonograph giving demonstrations of his famous talking machine to the president and the US Congress. Becoming a legendary larger than life folk hero of the 19th century, Edison was dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Park.

The 1980s internet protocols become universal language of computers

Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf set the standardsThe internet was not something born of a single idea, but rather a gradual evolution, and the work of many people over many years.

The idea started with a vision to create a decentralized computer network, whereby every computer was connected to each other, but if one member of the systems was hit, the others would remain unaffected.From the initial idea of a decentralized computer network came the concept of packet switching. During the 1960s Paul Baran developed the concept of packet switching networks while conducting research at the historic RAND organization.

What is a Protocol?

The network concept of protocols establishes a set of rules for each system to speak the others language in order for them to communicate. Once the concept of packet switching was developed the next stage in the evolution was to create a language that would be understood by all computer systems.

This new standard set of rules would enable different types of computers, with different hardware and software platforms, to communicate in spite of their differences. Protocols describe both the format that a message must take as well as the way in which messages are exchanged between computers.

The next phase in the evolution of the Internet would be the work of Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf during the 1970s. Kahn and Cerf would collaborate as key members of a team to create TCP/IP, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), the building blocks of the modern internet.

TCP/IP becomes the language of the Internet


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