Tribute to Tim Berrners-Lee

Credited with being the ‘Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web On this date 6th August in 1991 and WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.

Born 8th June 1955, Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA , also known as “TimBL”, is a British computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989 and on 25 December 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student at CERN, he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet

In 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work and is also the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web’s continued development. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, and is a senior researcher and holder of the Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is a director of The Web Science Research Initiative and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. In 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work. In April 2009, he was elected a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

In June 2009 then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (BOO! HISS!) announced Berners-Lee would work with the UK Government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web, building on the work of the Power of Information Task Force. Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt are the two key figures behind data.gov.uk, a UK Government project to open up almost all data acquired for official purposes for free re-use. Commenting on the opening up of Ordnance Survey data in April 2010 Berners-Lee said that: “The changes signal a wider cultural change in Government based on an assumption that information should be in the public domain unless there is a good reason not to—not the other way around.” He went on to say “Greater openness, accountability and transparency in Government will give people greater choice and make it easier for individuals to get more directly involved in issues that matter to them.”

In November 2009, Berners-Lee launched the World Wide Web Foundation in order to “Advance the Web to empower humanity by launching transformative programs that build local capacity to leverage the Web as a medium for positive change.” Berners-Lee is also one of the pioneer voices in favour of Net Neutrality, and has expressed the view that ISPs should supply “connectivity with no strings attached,” and should neither control nor monitor customers’ browsing activities without their expressed consent. He advocates the idea that net neutrality is a kind of human network right: “Threats to the Internet, such as companies or governments that interfere with or snoop on Internet traffic, compromise basic human network rights.”Berners-Lee is a co-director of the Open Data Institute.

He was honoured as the ‘Inventor of the World Wide Web’ in a section of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in which he also participated, working at a NeXT Computer. He tweeted: “This is for everyone”, instantly spelled out in LCD lights attached to the chairs of the 70,500 people in the audience.

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