Tim Berners-Lee shared the first proposal for World Wide Web on this day in 1989

Thanks to Web Design Museum for reminding me that today marks the 34th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s first proposal for the World Wide Web:

This proposal concerns the management of general information about accelerators and experiments at CERN. It discusses the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems and derives a solution based on a distributed hypertext system.


Many of the discussions of the future at CERN and the LHC era end with the question – ªYes, but how will we ever keep track of such a large project?º This proposal provides an answer to such questions. Firstly, it discusses the problem of information access at CERN. Then, it introduces the idea of linked information systems, and compares them with less flexible ways of finding information.

It then summarises my short experience with non-linear text systems known as ªhypertextº, describes what CERN needs from such a system, and what industry may provide. Finally, it suggests steps we should take to involve ourselves with hypertext now, so that individually and collectively we may understand what we are creating.

via a HTML version of the proposal

It’s a fascinating read given what the Web is now and what it was proposed as being. Hypermedia, hypertext, hyperlinks, Hypercards! I think it’s fitting that everything was prefixed with the word “hyper” before the Web really took a hold of society in the 90s and early 00s. Alas, Berners-Lee didn’t have commercialism in mind with his proposal but the transfer of information has been a remarkable feat of technology.

WWW related: A great definition of the World Wide Web, Web Development History and internet history from a dev perspective, and Web predictions for 1995 and 1999

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