The other day, in the post about Google spying on us all, we mentioned the name of Tim Berners-Lee. Now I have a strong feeling that most of you won’t know who he is or more importantly what he has done for us all.
His full title is; Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA. Those letters after his name mean he holds an Order Of Merit (OM), is a Knight of the British Empire (KBE), he is a Member of the Royal Society (FRS), a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering and also a member of the Royal Society of Arts. He is an English computer scientist and MIT Professor. He was ranked Joint First in The Telegraph’s list of 100 Greatest Living Geniuses. He is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation and he is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
…and one other thing, he invented the World Wide Web.
Back in 1980 while working for CERN he proposed a project based on hypertext (the language the Net uses) to help researchers share and update information. By 1989 he came up with the idea of adding hypertext to TCP and so the World Wide Web was born. He went on to build the first ever Web Browser and Editor.
He helped build the first Web Site which went online on 6th August 1991. It told anyone interested what the World Wide Web was and how they could get a Web Browser as well as maintaining a list of other Web Sites available.
In 1994 he founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available free to anybody, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that their standards must be based on Free technology, so they can be easily adopted by anyone.
If he had so chosen, he could have put a patent on the World Wide Web and charged every single one of us every time we visited a website. This would have made him the richest person on the planet but instead he decided to make it all available to anybody totally free of charge.
For this simple fact alone, Tim Berners-Lee is an Official Hero of The Bears!