Today marks the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, a day when a CERN scientist – Sir Tim Berners-Lee – propounded the creation of a data sharing system which eventually transformed into the World Wide Web. Google is celebrating the special occasion with a doodle that pays homage to the early days of personal computers linked to a global system for free exchange of information. The doodle also serves as a nostalgic reminder of the pixelated text and graphics that characterised the initial stages of connected computing.
Google’s doodle commemorates the 30 years of a remarkable idea, which blossomed as a crude idea on flowcharts into its final that revolutionised the entire world. Additionally, the doodle’s artwork is a reminder of the blocky graphics and boxy computing machines that perfectly encapsulate the idea of connected computing back in the days. Aside from revisiting the milestone, the doodle servers as a reminder of how far we’ve come from an era of slow internet speed and into a period when gigabit connections are on the edge of becoming mainstream.
World Wide Web was the brainchild of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, an alumnus of the prestigious Queen’s College at Oxford and later a CERN Fellow, who wanted to create a system for allowing the exchange of information between researchers. His original proposal at CERN was the creation of a hypertext-based system called Mesh that relied on a Web of links embedded in the text. “Imagine, then, the references in this document all being associated with the network address of the thing to which they referred, so that while reading this document you could skip to them with a click of the mouse”, Lee wrote in his submission.
His proposal was labelled as “vague, but exciting,” by Berners-Lee’s boss. Once the idea was green-lit, Lee was joined by a host of scientists who later refined the system and added more capabilities with time, ranging from text sharing to the exchange of more visual-oriented data. The rest, as they say, is history.
Aside from creating the doodle, Google has also outlined the creation of World Wide Web with a brief history on the Arts and Culture blog that contains images of the original proposal as well as the computer which was used to develop the system. In a separate blog post on its Doodles Archive page, Google reveals the World Wide Web doodle is visible across most of the world, with the exception of the majority of Africa, Iceland, Central Asia, Indonesia, and China.