Another bonus of inventing the World Wide Web …

Today, CERN’s been throwing a party to celebrate the 20th birthday of the web — which they date to the now-famous memo that Tim Berners-Lee wrote to his boss, sketching out a framework for a document-sharing system. As they tell it:

Twenty years ago this month, something happened at CERN that would change the world forever: Tim Berners-Lee handed a document to his supervisor Mike Sendall entitled “Information Management : a Proposal”. “Vague, but exciting” is how Mike described it, and he gave Tim the nod to take his proposal forward. The following year, the World Wide Web was born.

A panel of speakers and dignitaries marked the event with a short symposium, after which Sir Tim and a few others took a private tour of the ATLAS cavern, part of the Large Hadron Collider. Sir Tim is at left, dwarfed by the massive project. (Learn more about what happens at ATLAS by watching Brian Cox’s TEDTalk.)

CERN has built out a helpful website celebrating the web’s birthday — including a look at the very first web site and web server, at info.cern.ch. The site now contains a pocket history of the web, including a photo of the very first web surfer, Robert Cailliau.

Berners-Lee spoke at the celebration today, sharing his vision for the next rev of the Web — one in which data is as open and exchangeable as words and images are on the current Web. Watch his TEDTalk to get the inspiring details >>

Photo: CERN