The technology that Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn developed is the transmission control protocol or TCP. TCP allows small networks to talk to each other using a common standard or protocol that determines how they actually interact. The biggest benefit of TCP is there’s no single point of failure in the system. They’re not all talking to a central hub, each computer can talk point to point or host a host and pass the packets along as needed to the next system. And the other important thing about TCP is computers could also acknowledge successful transmission or if the transmission wasn’t received, but expected it could request to retransmit all of that missing data, making the system very robust against errors. And so because of that data transmission was very tolerant of any errors and any lost data.
By 1985 small networks had started to connect to each other and larger networks. Were starting to connect all using this TCP network. Work. And so most of the network computers were using TCP by 1985. And there’s a real big push to bring more computers onto the internet. Every few years there were these interconnectivity conferences where small network owners were encouraged to adopt TCP so they could connect to the internet as it was growing. But unfortunately, there really wasn’t much out there. At that time, there were computer systems available, but there wasn’t any way to just publicly access information on those systems.
So we really needed one more piece to make the internet into the useful information sharing tool that we know today. The last piece of the puzzle is the creation of the world wide web. The World Wide Web is the interconnected web of webpages that we use today that most of us think of as the internet. And the World Wide Web actually debuted on this very system and next cube from 1990 that makes up the very first web server. And this technology was all developed by one man, Tim Berners-Lee, Tim Berners-Lee was an engineer at CERN in Europe, and in the 1980s. He was really interested in creating a way that they can better present information on the internet. CERN had a lot of research that they wanted to share. And they needed a way to make it available to the general public.
So over the next few years, he worked on creating all of the underlying technologies needed to build his vision of the world wide web, including the web browser, the web server, the Hypertext Markup Language, and the hypertext transfer protocol, HTTP, all very core technologies to what we do on the internet today. And so with the development of the World Wide Web, you had personal computers that started to get computer browsers such as mosaic installed on it. This is one of the early web browsers showing what the World Wide Web looked like in the early 1990s. And so mosaic is built on this idea of the hypertext transfer protocol. It’s a protocol for sending and requesting data from the servers connected on the internet’s and so with the work of Tim Berners-Lee had the creation of the first web server, the first web browser and all together they may up the World Wide Web. So let’s take a quick look at a video interviewing Tim Berners-Lee as the World Wide Web turned 25 in the year 2015 and just get some thoughts of his experience developing the World Wide Web in the last 25 years.