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World Wide Web: the historical events that influence contemporary culture

The World Wide Web and its delivery machine, the first web server, may not have been conceived there, but born they were at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland (CERN). A lot like a growing child, since its birth to present day many influences continue to guide and form this manmade entity. A few, among multiple pivotal events to have occurred:

• 1991: Paul Kunz installs the first Web server in the U.S.
• 1993: Marc Andreessen develops Mosaic, the first web browser for the public; CERN allows the public to use the World Wide Web; HTML released
• 1995: Open-source Apache Web server software released to the public

In 1991, Tim Berners Lee officially presented and made available his World Wide Web project and files to the public. Mr. Berners Lee used an existing hypertext technology and paired it with the Internet. After meeting with Mr. Berners Lee, Paul Kunz set up North America’s first web server. This was the important step to promoting the Internet and the World Wide Web to actual world-wide status. Using these web servers, web page documents could now be stored and sent between computers.

In 1993, the Mosaic Web Browser was released for use with the Windows operating system. Around the same time, the founders of the World Wide Web convinced CERN to allow free public access to its technology and program code. And, Hypertext Markup Language or HTML was released to create and view Web pages. Now computer users within the general public we able to navigate and view information stored on the World Wide Web. These three events greatly contributed to the rapid growth of World Wide Web.

At this time there were thousands of web pages supported by multiple Web servers. The web server was used to deliver web content; essentially and simplistically it was one computer communicating with another over the World Wide Web. Presently, web servers have been expanded to facilitate peripherals used in conjunction with our personal computers such as our printers, routers, and even home networks. Essential to our daily support and use of multiple web servers is proper load balancing, like caching of information to increase speed and reduce the load on the server. The user is the primary focus and creating the best user experience, optimization, and personalization is paid for through a properly cared for web server. Furthermore, the protection against malicious use of the web server means the use of up-to-date virus protection software, firewalls, protocols, intrusion detections systems and multiple layers of security need to be in place and utilized.

The W3C was founded by Tim Berners-Lee in 1994 in order to act as the authority for many aspects of the World Wide Web. The W3C is where to find official definitions and many of the web based topics. One of the first topics was of course HTML. HTML versions have carefully ensured support of earlier versions of HTML along with more multimedia support, scripting support, style sheets and improvement of printing. HTML, the World Wide Web and web server technology continue to evolve and the primary vision is that all browsers will support all of the current standards in order that all information located on the World Wide Web is available to all users.

References:
Silva, Steve. Web Server Administration. 1 ed. Cambridge: Course Technology, 2008. Print.
Longman , Addison Wesley . “Chapter 2.” World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Longman , n.d. Web. 13 July 2010. .
Pilgrim, Mark . “How Did We Get Here? – Dive Into HTML 5.” Dive Into HTML 5. O’Reilly Media, n.d. Web. 13 July 2010. .
“Some early ideas for HTML.” World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). W3C, 9 Jan. 2003. Web. 13 July 2010. .
Betts, Mitch. “The Story So Far – Computerworld.” Computerworld – IT news, features, blogs, tech reviews, career advice. N.p., 19 Aug. 2002. Web. 13 July 2010. .

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