Berners-Lee, Timothy (1955 - )
Tim Berners-Lee was born in London on June 8 1955.
He graduated from Oxford University in 1976, where he built his first computer with a soldering iron, a Motorola M6800 processor and an old television set. He joined Plessey Telecommunications Ltd., a major British telecommunications equipment manufacturer, where he worked with distributed systems, message retransmission and barcode systems for two years.
In 1978, he left Plessey and accepted a job as a programmer at DG Nash Ltd., where he wrote software for intelligent printers and collaborated on the development of a multitasking operating system.
From June to December 1980, he spent six months in Geneva, working as a software engineering consultant at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire). It was there that he started to research the hypertext concept proposed by Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson. With the help of his colleague, Robert Cailliau, he wrote the first version of a program to help CERN researchers share and search information. He called this program Enquire after the title of a book that he owned in his childhood, Enquire Within Upon Everything. The program set out the governing principles of the future Web.
Brom 1981 to 1984, Tim worked as head of technical design at an image computer systems company. His work included the development of real-time control software and graphics and communications programs. Finally, he won a scholarship to go back to CERN in 1984. There he was able apply everything that he had recently learned, as he designed systems control and data acquisition systems and real-time distributed systems. One of the projects on which he worked was the Fastbus software system.
In 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project based on the primitive Enquire, known as the World Wide Web. His design was to enable work teams to share their knowledge and contributions across a network (web) of hypertext-linked documents. He programmed the first web server (httpd) and the first client (WorldWideWeb), a browser/editor running on the NeXTStep environment. He started to develop the WorldWideWeb program in October 1990 and had the first final version ready by December. This version was available CERN researchers only, but by summer 1991 the program was available to all Internet users.
Brom 1991 to 1993, Tim continued his work on WWW design, coordinating developers all over the world via the Internet. His first the URL, HTTP and HTML specifications were discussed and refined across the Internet community.
In 1994, he joined the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT.
In 2002, he received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Research, along with Larry Roberts, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn. In July 2004 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE).
He is currently the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization that coordinates global web development in order to exploit its full potential.