In December of 2003 Tim Berners Lee was knighted for his pioneering work to create the World Wide Web.
For most the World Wide Web has become an important part of our lives, for some more so than others. In Tim Berners Lee (TBL) being knighted his importance has been recognised. He originaly created the hyper text markup language (HTML) to display information on the computers. He also created the Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) which made it possible to transfer these files from one computer to another. His book Weaving the Web exlpains how he went about this.
Reading about his knighthood I have thought about the innovation of the World Wide Web but also the huge potential it has for revolutionising our society. We used to live in a society where we called people, sent letters and transfered documents from one place to another physically. By creating the World Wide Web TBL created a platform for people to communicate via computers speeding up people's work. Rather than using internal mail services to transfer documents, have them edited then send them back it is now possible for a document to be edited, e-mailed and re-edited in a short amount of time. With Instant messaging software it has become available to converse with people around the world irrespective of time zones and more.
What is most interesting with the World Wide Web is it's ability to create new jobs. A few years ago the web was no more than a few lines of text displayed on a screen. Today the World Wide Web is the future of television, voting and more. Through portals such as yahoo, google and many more we are living in a society where distances have become far smaller. We live in a society where we are aiming for instant gratification, where if there is a song we like then either we will go to some websites to watch the clip online or we will download the clip and listen to it from home. Other people are working on the SETI@home project allowing for their computer to work for the international community.
The World Wide Web is the future of television and entertainment. With projects such as Internet2 and The Grid we are approaching a society where machines are connected together via higher and higher bandwidth connections. Television will no longer require us to live our life according to the programmer's schedule and we will no longer wait a few months for films to be released in our country as we will be able to download them within a few seconds from the web.
Through creating the World Wide Web Tim Berners Lee created a new environment within which people can work. It is sometimes viewed as one of the most important revolutions the World has seen.
Articles by Richard Azia unless otherwise indicated.