History of the Web

  • This page looks at the development of the internet from APRANET and the Work of Tim Berners-Lee to the present day

The Beginning

  • It all started when a bunch of people at the start of the 1960s decided that it would be one hell of a development if computers were able to talk to each other and share information to each other. People like J.C.R. Licklider from MIT saw the potential of having computers have the ability to connect to a global network for computers in which they can share resources on. Later, in 1962, many other brilliant minds in MIT, including Licklider, joined up to the Defence Advanced Research Agency, aka. DARPA, to work on this technology. These visionaries later took part in the development of the Internet.



  • Lawrence Roberts, transfered from MIT to DARPA, was the one who was first to develop a plan for the Internet in 1966, which was named ARPANET, Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks.
  • Prior to this, a man named Paul Baran, who worked for one of the government agencies, was ordered by the U.S. Airforce to do a study on ways for them to maintain control over their arsenal of missiles and bombers in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, so they could retaliate if they survive a nuclear attack. Paul Baran's study involved many theories and methods to execute this, but one of the more noted ones was a packet switched network.
  • Thus the initial reason to why internet was developed was actually because the U.S. wanted a means to command its military to withstand a nuclear attack during the Cold War. ARPANET was retired in 1990 when the Internet we use nowadays took over.

Birth of E-Mail

  • In 1972, the amazing Ray Tomlinson of BBN decided, for no apparent reason, that the '@' symbol would link the name and the address of the computers and developed the very first e-mail compatible for ARPANET. Back then it was named the telnet protocol, where people could log in from remote computers and share information in ARPANET. Note that computers in those days were not user friendly at all; no GUI or anything, just lots of blargity blarg on a black background. Like this:

  • blargityblargonablackbackground.PNG

  • Later on, a group lead by Bob Kahn, from DARPA, and Vinton Cerf, from Stanford, began developing what is now known as TCP/IP.


  • A vital component of what lead to the development of LANs was constructed when Dr. Metcalfe proposed the idea of "Packet Networks" and the development of Ethernet in 1976. Suprisingly, the people at Harvard University rejected the idea. In outrage, Dr. Metcalfe proceeded to add even more equations into the dissertation and managed to be accepted. During this time, the number of internet hosts broke over 100!! =O.PNG

The 56k and More

  • The National Science Foundation made a cross country backbone known back then as the CSNET 56Kps network for organizations who weren't allowed in ARPANET. Vinton Cerf also proposed that ARPANET should team up and link up with CSNET in 1981, and a lot of things happened later:

  • 1. 1983: All machines connected to ARPANET were using TCP/IP. It became the standard internet protocol and replaced the old NCP. Packets were also now allowed to be directed to a domain name and translated by the server into the right IP address, which made it a lot easier to access other servers (who would want to remember so many numbers!!)

  • 2. 1984: A new network called the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) was made from replacing old CSNET lines with the new and improved T1 lines, which were about 25 times faster than the 56kers.

  • 3. 1998: Things were happening so fast that the network was going to be upgraded again, and here is where Tim Berners-Lee came in.

Tim Berners-Lee


  • At around about 1990, Tim Berners-Lee and other visionaries at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, which to you people you may know as CERN, did a spectacular thing that made internet leap. They proposed a new protocol which was based on a system called hypertext, where embedded links in text can be used to link to other text. This developed something in 1991 which was later known as the World Wide Web.


- Arthur_Chang Arthur_Chang May 15, 2007