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Development of the World Wide Web

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CERN stands for "Centre Europe 'n de Recherché which means the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. After the 2nd World War, many international organisations were evolving during which Raoul Dautry, Pierre Auger and Lew Kowarski from France, Edoardo Amaldi from Italy and Niels Bohr from Denmark intended to build an Atomic Physics Laboratory. After many intergovernal meeting and conventions, on 29 September 1954, it came formally in existence.

CERN's main area is high energy physics researches. It provides particle accelerators for nuclear physics experiments. After 1954, there has been numerous researches and evolvements at CERN and is continuing its contribution to science and technology. The main aim of CERN is,

  • Research: Solving the mysteries of the Universe
  • Technology: Developing new technologies.
  • Collaborating: Uniting the nations through science.
  • Education: Providing trainings and research platforms for future scientists.

(CERN, 2008)

2. WWW

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist in CERN wrote a proposal to develop a distributed information system for the laboratory. His boss commented the idea to be vague but exciting. After those words the way information was transmitted revolutionised. By 1990, Tim had defined the Web's basic concepts of URL, HTTP and HTML and also wrote the first browser http://info.cern.ch and server software. The WWW was born. (CERN, 2008)

3. Development of WWW

After the successful operation on the multi-platform computer network at the CERN laboratories in August 1991 CERN files "alt.hypertext" was made accessible to the public. During the time all the coded programmes were stored in a computer in CERN called the "Web Server" because it interconnects with the HTML documents. There was only one web server located at CERN.Gradually after that www began to spread throughout the world specially universities and research labs.

YEAR

WEB SERVER

1991

1

1992

50

1999

720,000

2001

24 million+

2010

240 million+

Source: http://www.netcraft.co.uk/survey

During 1993, Marc Andreessen, University student at the University of Illinois led a team that developed the Graphical User Interface (GUI) browser called "Mosaic". Later, Mosaic was released for Windows and Macintosh platforms to install it.Popularity of this Graphical browser that made people without computer awareness possible to use www by navigating and pointing. (Gribble C, 2009)

4. Internet

The internet is a global system of interconnected computers, having ability to provide transparent, self-organising, interoperability among large numbers of diverse networks, host computer and application. (Dimensioning the internet, 1998)

5. Internet History

The idea of developing a global network was thought by three pioneers and a conference where they developed a concept of publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks around the world to share the information. Among these pioneers, Vannevar Bush gave an idea of potential uses of information technology through his library system. Norbert Wiener invented the Cybernetics which inspired many developers to work on the possibilities from the IT and Marshall McLuhan made the whole concept of interconnected computer popular. Finally the conference of Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence in 1956 approved the concept and realised the stride improvement of technology.

In 1957 the first satellite, Sputnik I was launched by the Soviet Union. This satellite could affect US by the space based nuclear attack. Therefore to stop this US government was forced to create an agency that mandates this kind of foreign attack. As a result US formed Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA).This organisation was primarily created to help defend US against the attack through constant effective communication.JCR Licklider, head of Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) based within the ARPA focused on the benefits of a nationwide communication network. During the process he hired Lawrence Roberts to implement in his vision.

Lawrence Roberts led to the development of the network. After few years a special computer called an "Interface Message Processor" was developed to comprehend the design and in October 1969, network called ARPANET was up and running which was later called CSNET.This network then connected all the universities in America and was later also connected to the EUNet.This was the European network to connect the research facilities in Europe. After the Internet went global, US government had to transfer the management to an independent authority in 1995. (Website 1, Ruthfield S 1995)

6. Internet: Its Uses

Internet has made the world into a global village. It uses has been tremendously grown since its introduction. With millions of user worldwide posting and publishing information, it's making more data available, producing more results and interacting more easily.

Information

"Internet" and "www" is sometime misinterpreted as a synonym term where as they are totally different. Internet is like hardware of computer which provides software like www to work on it. World Wide Web is a global set of images, documents and other resources logically inter related by hyperlinks and referenced with Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI).

The internet has enabled individuals and organisation to publish information on such a platform where large number of users can access it.Millions of user posting information worldwide makes internet the biggest database of information and easiest route to use it.Search Engines like "Google", "Bing", "Yahoo", "Ask Jeeves" has made it even more simpler to look for information in the internet. They are designed to search for information over the internet. By just providing the word for the needed information it searches the entire database in the form of web pages, pictures, videos, or files. Information such as news, product information, maps, weather can be easily retrieved by a single click. Publishing and maintaining web logs (blogs) is also widely in use recently because of the simplicity and zero cost to publish. It is like a diary which can be easily accessed by anyone from anywhere. Users can also build up and take part in discussion forums as per interest and express one's idea as and when and however he/she wishes. Almost every site provides a blog page to make the consumers and internet users provide their honest view easily. So much diverse information online and in within the reach has allowed decentralisation of the information. Retrieval of information from web is certainly quicker, easier and also saves great deal of time compared to encyclopaedias and old fashioned libraries.

Communication

Communication is another area where the internet is frequently used. It is used in the form of emails, chat, video conference and voice calls. The internet has shown us new ways of communicating and has taken communication to a whole new level. For various reasons such as its low cost, simplicity and accessibility it is getting high attention.

Among the all email is an important communication service available. It allows user to send mail electronically with a valid email address to any other valid email address via the internet. It can be read from any computer connected to the internet. User can also attach files like pictures, documents, sound and video with the email. Email has made data transfer and retrieval so much easier. Email gets delivered to the recipient within seconds therefore there is no waiting for the post to get delivered and no worries of losing it. (Folger L, 1997)

The next best thing to email is chatting, Chat service allows user to actually have a live conversation with each other or a group. Chat is used in individuals or as a company to pass the message. Many providers like Microsoft and Yahoo provides these features in their website itself for free. (Folger L, 1997)

Another way of communicating via the internet is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).This technology is used to transfer voice and packet switched networks over the internet. The technology offers ability to transmit more than one telephone call over the same broadband connection. VoIP enables conference calling, call forwarding and many other features which normal telephone has in almost zero cost. So, just with the internet, microphone and web-camera one can call anyone anywhere along with the video call.  (Harris S and Hansen A, ND)

Social Networking

Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups like small rural communities or a neighbourhood subdivision, if you will. Although social networking is possible in person especially in the workplace, universities and high schools, it is most popular online. This is because unlike most high schools, colleges or workplace, internet is filled with the millions of individuals who are looking to meet other people to get first-hand information and experiences about any number of topics. (Brown K, ND)

The internet has enabled entirely new way of interacting with people through social networking. Social sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo provides platform to connect many friends and interact with them which wouldn't have been possible without the internet. It includes visiting other profile pages, commenting or posting feeds, uploading pictures and videos. These kinds of sites have united many friends and groups within the socialisation. However, it definitely arises less face to face interaction and some minor identity thefts. Recently such social sites have also helped raising awareness to the people.

E-Shopping

The most recent but now a very common and frequent use of the internet is buying and selling over the internet. E-marketing is very popular for many reasons. One good reason is that it takes only a fraction of the cost of advertising through other medium like newspaper and television. Also it has been found that it can reach a far greater consumers based in the internet. E-shopping is also very popular because it can be done sitting in a room. Even if someone needs to sell their products they don't have to open a shop. May be because of this easiness E-shopping is becoming more and more popular. (Folger L, 1997)

7. Future

Out of the 6.7 billion human population 1.7 billion of the population is equipped with or has access to internet. This is a growth of 380.3% compared to that of year 2000.The statistics clearly shows the pace of Internet's popularity among us people. (Internet World Stats, 2009)

Technology is always evolving. The speed which internet developed in the past was so swift it is very likely it will continue its pace in the future.So,what lies in the future for internet and what can users expect? The internet connects world at the present time but is it possible to go further than that? "Internet is going off planet."(Dr.Cerf V).A robot is being deployed to North Pole of Mars carrying communication protocol which will eventually lead to inter planetary extension of the internet. Many high-tech innovations such as virtual reality and IP-TV have already become possible in many areas. For example, some medical companies have successfully demonstrated virtual surgery from a virtual flesh. Many websites broadcasts live video through internet protocol (IP) and also allow user to share videos peer to peer (p2p).

Most significantly, internet is going mobile in the future. Having said that it is already available in almost all countries with mobile phone facilities but in near future mobile internet will play a major part in the. From heavy machines, internet will be accessible to all possible handhelds and mobile devices. The internet will be accessible anywhere, anytime in a broader band. That means the speed of the net will be very high. For example, time to listen to music will be much higher than to actually download it.

"We are taking the computer from the two-dimensional 'desktop' metaphor and turning it into a 3D 'shopping mall' model of interaction." (Tom Defanti, ND). This statement clearly suggests where the internet is heading in the future. A 3D interaction will allow Internet users to be in any geographical region without actually getting out of their room. It will allow performing multi task in virtual 3D environment just as in real environment.

"Besides the development of internet itself, there is also a fear of enslavement by our own creations. Rapid development will eventually lead machines to become intelligent, evolve rapidly and end up treating us like pets." (Saffo P, ND) There is also strong possibility the face interaction will be no more in existence. Even at present, people spend so much time interacting through the internet; there will be time when people will be only interacting with artificially generated stimuli.

The development of early forms of networked communication, the telegraph, radio, telephone, television to the internet, communication has come a long way. Prediction made during the 90s is overachieved by 2010.Therefore it won't be surprising if the present prediction comes to reality in future. Ideas like virtual friend, biometric identity and capacity of a machine to download human brain is very daunting. All the developments might be for the benefit of human if the governing body let it remain like that, if not the world will be no more better place to live than it is now.( Janna Quitney Anderson,2006)

8. References

  • IEEE Internet Computing, (1998) Interview: Dan Connolly on the architect of the web, Vol 2,Number 2, March-April, pp. 24-25
  • IEEE Internet Computing, (1998)Dimensioning the Internet ,Vol 2,Number 2, March-April,p8
  • Janna Quitney Anderson, (2006) The future of the internet II, Elon University Lee Rainie
  • Web communication(2008), 1954: foundations for European science[online], CERN,available at; http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/about/History54-en.html ,accessed on 26/03/10
  • Web communication(2008), 1990: Tim Berners-Lee invents the Web [online], CERN, available at http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/about/History90-en.html ,accessed on 26/03/10
  • Cheryl Gribble(2009), History of the Web; Beginning at CERN [online],hitmill.com, available http://www.hitmill.com/internet/web_history.html, accessed on 27/03/10
  • Web Server Survey,WSS(2010),March 2010 Web Server Survey[online],WSS,available,http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2010/03/17/march_2010_web_server_survey.html accessed on 27/03/10
  • Steve Crocker(2007),Internet History [online],livinginternet.com ,available  at http://www.livinginternet.com/tindex_i.htm ,  accessed on 28/03/10
  • Steve Crocker(2007),Internet History, One page Summary [online],livinginternet.com ,available  at http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_summary.htm ,  accessed on 28/03/10
  • Harris S and  Hansen A,A public Net[online],National Science Foundation, available at http://www.nsf.gov/about/history/nsf0050/internet/publicnet.htm accessed on 28/03/10
  • Internet World Stats(2009), Internet Usage Statistic[online],available at  http://www.Internetworldstats.com/stats.htm accessed on 28/03/10
  • Folger L(1997),Common Uses of Internet[online],available at http://www.bizymoms.com/computers-and-technology/internet-communication.html accessed on 29/03/2010
  • http://www.bizymoms.com/computers-and-technology/uses-of-the-internet.html
  • Folger L(1997),Internet Communication[online],available at http://www.bizymoms.com/computers-and-technology/internet-communication.html accessed on 29/03/2010
  • Folger L(1997),What is VoIP?[online],available at http://www.bizymoms.com/computers-and-technology/VOIP.html accessed on 29/03/2010
  • Brown K,What is Social Networking?[online].Karen Brown, available at http://www.whatissocialnetworking.com/ accessed on 29/03/2010
  • Harris S and  Hansen A, Expectation for the Internet of Tomorrow[online],National Science Foundation, available at http://www.nsf.gov/about/history/nsf0050/internet/expectation.htm accessed on 28/03/10
  • BBC (2006),Internet's future in 2020 debated[online],BBC,available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5370688.stm accessed on 29/03/10

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