By Elise Ackerman
Posted: 03/12/2009 01:24:59 PM PDT
It all began 20 years ago today with a frustrated 29-year-old programmer who had a passion for order.
Tim Berners-Lee, now famous as the founder of the World Wide Web, was working as an obscure consultant at Cern, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in the suburbs of Geneva. Berners-Lee loved the laboratory. It was full of stimulating projects and creative people, but his work, and the work of his colleagues, was stymied by the lack of institutional knowledge.
So Berners-Lee proposed adding “hypertext” to the Cern network, basically embedding software in documents that would point to other related documents. And thus was born the Web, a global communications network that has shaken up industries, created enormous wealth and transformed the way ordinary people live their lives.