Tim’s prototype hypertext editor for the NeXT – Web’s 1st website

Twenty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee announces his modest project. The World Wide Web isn’t “dead media” yet, but it sure obliterated a lot of the once-thriving Internet features that preceded it.

3. Tim Berners-Lee
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(13 users) More options Aug 6 1991, 12:31 pm

In article kan…@ardor.enet.dec.com (Nari
Kannan) writes:

> Is anyone reading this newsgroup aware of research or development efforts
> the
> following areas:
> 1. Hypertext links enabling retrieval from multiple heterogeneous sources
> information?

The WorldWideWeb (WWW) project aims to allow links to be made to any
information anywhere. The address format includes an access method
(=namespace), and for most name spaces a hostname and some sort of path.
We have a prototype hypertext editor for the NeXT, and a browser for line mode
terminals which runs on almost anything. These can access files either locally,
NFS mounted, or via anonymous FTP.

They can also go out using a simple protocol
(HTTP) to a server which interprets some other data and returns equivalent
hypertext files. For example, we have a server running on our mainframe
(http://cernvm.cern.ch/FIND in WWW syntax) which makes all the CERN computer
center documentation available. The HTTP protocol allows for a keyword search
on an index, which generates a list of matching documents as annother virtual
hypertext document.

If you’re interested in using the code, mail me. It’s very prototype, but
available by anonymous FTP from info.cern.ch. It’s copyright CERN but free
distribution and use is not normally a problem.

It continues for a spell. Click the link to read the complete transcript. It isn’t cluttered up with too many boring parenthetical comments from 2011.

I recall discussions of this “publication” on the Internet. I had been online – in New England, then the Southwest when this hit the ether – for eight-and-a-half years. I wondered if it would catch on. 🙂

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