Berners-Lee, Tim

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Berners-Lee, Tim

Tim Berners-Lee (Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee), 1955–, British computer scientist, b. London, grad. The Queen's College, Oxford (B.A. 1976). He joined CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, as a consultant software engineer in 1960. While there he wrote for his own private use a program for storing information including using random associations; this program formed the conceptual basis for the future development of the World Wide Web. In 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web; it was to be designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first Web server and the first client, a hypertext browser-editor, and defined the URL, HTTP and HTML specifications on which the Web depends. The Web was made available within CERN in Dec., 1990, and on the Internet at large in the summer of 1991. In 1994, Berners-Lee joined the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as Director of the W3 Consortium, which coordinates Web development worldwide. With M. Fischetti, he wrote Weaving the Web (1999). He was knighted in 2004.

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