30 years of the World Wide Web

por | marzo 15, 2019

On March 12, 1989, an English engineer working at CERN, Timothy Berners-Lee, created the first address of what would be the World Wide Web. He was looking for how to standardize information between computers to facilitate access to the center’s researchers, and he achieved it through three standards: the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the hypertext tag language, the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which allows transfer of information between computers, and the system of identifiers Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

To create this network, he used a platform that the North American army used for communications called Arpanet since the late 1960s. With these protocols, Berners-Lee got, to put it in a simplified way, that cars, buses, trucks-the contents-could circulate freely on the highway -Arpanet, first; Internet after- already existing.

What began as a network of CERN scientists to exchange information ended up being the immense web that we call the internet and that has probably become the most revolutionary invention of the last century. Nothing like the Network and its applications have changed our lives in all senses, from when we get up until we go to bed, through how we move, how we work, how we read, how we study, how we have fun and even how we link. There is nothing in our events that has not been affected by digitization.

In thirty years – just one generation – the economy has changed radically, so that now a business in any sector that is not based on the internet is inconceivable. Companies that have adapted to what is known as the new economy go ahead, and those that have been left behind have virtually disappeared. And, at the same time, companies have appeared with their internet-based business that have taken over the market. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba … are companies born in the age of internet that are those with the highest market capitalization and others created before, like Apple. Samsung or Microsoft, have taken advantage of new technologies to grow exponentially, differentiating themselves from their competitors.

This new economy has also modified the way of doing business. Some example. Uber is the largest passenger transport company in the world and does not own any taxi. And Airbnb may be the largest real estate company on the planet without having its own floor. This incessant flow of information and that constant interconnection between all economic agents – producers, service providers, intermediaries, consumers, … – make the data have become the gold of the sixteenth century or the oil of the twentieth.

On the Internet, they began transmitting simple texts and, thirty years later, admits the circulation of money or that a surgeon in Madrid operates on a patient who is in an operating room in Barcelona.

Tim Berners-Lee is also president of the Word Wide Web Foundation, whose mission is to make the network grow with cleanliness and really help social progress. He has been complaining for a couple of years: “While the Web has created opportunities, giving voice to marginalized groups and making our lives easier, it has also created opportunities for scammers, has given voice to those who proclaim hatred and made it easier to commit everything. type of crimes, “he said on Tuesday to mark this anniversary. It is true. It is what has almost any human development. Nuclear energy is used to cure a cancer and to make an atomic bomb.

Perhaps this is the challenge that the Internet has in the coming years: to develop among all the ethics of the new economy that defines issues such as net neutrality, privacy, misinformation or commercial abuse. The other is to facilitate access to this technology to as much of the population as possible. @vicentelozano

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