Tim Berners-Lee

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Tim Berners-Lee
Birthname Timothy John Berners-Lee
Date of Birth June 8, 1955
Birth Place London, England United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Computer Scientist
Biography Inventor of the World Wide Web
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Tim Berners-Lee is a computer scientist and professor, best know for inventing the World Wide Web. To this day his continues to help develop the web, and is recognized world wide for his innovating work.

Contribution to Ethics and Information Technology

Berners-Lee has had a successful positive impact on the standards and ethics that have subdued private organizations from monopolizing the World Wide Web, which would have hindered its own competitive innovate development. Even though there were numerous opportunities for Berners-Lee to become quite wealthy from his own creation, Berners-Lee has consistently supported making the World Wide Web (WWW) accessible to everyone, with no single ownership or user fees for its use. Berners-Lee is the founder of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) whose mission statement is "To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web[1]." The individual credited for the invention of the World Wide Web currently drives a 13-year-old Volkswagen Rabbit.[2]

W3C and Information Ethics

Berners-Lee is the founder and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C), which is a web standards organization founded in 1994 which develops interoperable technologies to lead the Web to its full potential. [3] The W3C supports the decentralization of information and promotes the use of the WWW as public resource tool. The W3C was partially created for the purpose of deflating private businesses whose main objective was to turn the free innovative environment of the WWW into a business by charging customers to use their product while attempting to gain as many users as possible to increase profits. Berners-Lee, in-line with his visions for the WWW, sought to disable such a company. In 1995, Berners-Lee and the W3C licensed the technology from the original MOSAIC to Microsoft because their company was going to release a new browser, called Internet Explorer, free of charge to their customers.[4] Internet Explorer's rise may not have been so substantial if it wasn't for the help provided by W3C and Berners-Lee to create and promote their product as a universal open-source software. "The decision to make the Web an open system was necessary for it to be universal. You can't propose that something be a universal space and at the same time keep control of it."[5] Internet Explorer within a years time, implemented Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that works with HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) to help developers make improvements on the open-source software. On one hand, their was a widely used, one year old browser and on the other, there was a relatively new open-source browser that is free. By the end of the first week after Internet Explorers initial release, they had over 1 million downloads of their browser. By 1999 Microsoft's market share passed Netscape's. In 2001, "Microsoft implements tools that support Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), a technology under development by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)." [6]

Brief History of the World Wide Web

A computer that was used by computer scientists at CERN to create browsers and computer code.
In December 1990, Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN used this computer to create the first World Wide Web Server[7].

In 1991, a few computer scientists released the World Wide Web (WWW) in a lab at CERN. Tim Berners-Lee co-created the World Wide Web (WWW) with a few colleagues on a server-based computer by using the Internet (a medium for sending and receiving files, pictues, text, etc.). He joined multiple webpage together by using the first ever hypertext link. This made possible a “web” of created documents (made through applying computer code, specifically HTML) to be edited and connected on the first, and now outdated, Internet Browser called MOSAIC. After hearing about Berners-Lee’s invention, other companies created improved second-generation browsers could access servers over the Internet. Most of these entities were for-profit organizations. Privatization and capitalism is what Berners-Lee was against and he soon took action. The fight for control in a rapidly expanding, and potentially profitable, market was headed by the Netscape browser, who released their first browser in 1994 and charged their customers to buy their product. This marked the beginning of the "browser war."

Achievements and Awards

Tim Berners-Lee has been rewarded with various accolades for his invention of the WWW and his devotion to its ethical longevity. He has received 15 honorary degrees from various universities. Other awards include[8]:

Date Achievement
1994 Founded World Wide Web Consortium
1995 Kilby Foundations “Young Innovator of the Year” Award
1999 First holder of the 3Com Founders chair
2004 Knighted “Sir Tim Berners-Lee” by H.M. the Queen for services to the global development of the Internet.
2007 Received the Order of Merit by H.M. the Queen
2010 UNESCO Niels Bohr Gold Medal Award

External Links


  1. <http://www.w3.org/Consortium/mission.html>
  2. Wright, Robert. "TIM BERNERS-LEE: THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE WEB - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Time Magazine, May 1997. Web. 05 Oct. 2011. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,986354,00.html>.
  3. Tim, Berners-Lee. "Tim Berners-Lee." W3.org. 01 Sep 2011. Web. 5 Oct 2011. <http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/>.
  4. http://www.livinginternet.com/w/wi_browse.htm
  5. Berners-Lee http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/FAQ.html#General
  6. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/products/history
  7. "First World Wide Web (www) server." Science Photo Library. N.p., March 30, 2011. Web. 5 Oct 2011. <http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/349909/enlarge>
  8. http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Longer.html