Twenty-five years ago, the World Wide Web first went public when Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at CERN, granted the general public access to the web for the first time on 23 August 1991. It allowed non-technical computer experts to use the Internet in a simple way, paving the way for the information age.
On internaut day ('internaut' being a portmanteau of 'internet' and 'astronaut' – an early reference to technically able internet users), here are ten things you might not have known about the World Wide Web:
1. Most people think the internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing – but they are different systems. The internet is a network of computers that are connected. The World Wide Web refers to the web pages found on this network of computers. The web browser uses the internet in order to access the web.
2. On 12 March 1989, Berners-Lee submitted a proposal for a "distributed hypertext system" that would allow scientists at CERN, the renowned particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, to share data from experiments across networks.
3. Berners-Lee began working on his idea using a NeXT computer, which was one of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' early products.
4. In October 1990, Berners-Lee began working on the world's first web browser, called WorldWideWeb – but it was later renamed Nexus so not to cause confusion between the WorldWideWeb (the software) and the World Wide Web (the information space).
5. The first websites were very simple – just pages of words and pictures – and the majority of people could not create their own web pages.
6. In August 1991, the first website went online: http://info.cern.ch.
7. In April 1993, World Wide Web technology was made available to all for free. "CERN relinquishes all intellectual property rights to this code, both source and binary and permission is given to anyone to use, duplicate, modify and distribute it," a statement read.
8. The first picture uploaded to the web was of an all-female physics-themed rock band in 1992.
9. Berners-Lee is now the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which works to develop the Web. It is abbreviated WWW or W3C.
10. The Web is now much more accessible thanks to the Web 2.0 movement, which led to user-generated content and the social-media age with blogging tools, video publishing such as YouTube and photo-sharing.