Landmark Web anniversary passes quietly
Depending on your point of reference, belated birthday greetings are in order: The World Wide Web quietly turned 20 last week.

It was on April 30, 1993 the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), would be free to anyone.

Although pieces were available before that, this is the date apparently that Tristan Louis relies on in column this weekend on why the date passed so quietly and the future of the Web.
(Image from Shutterstock)

CERN was where Tim Berners-Lee worked when, according to a Wikipedia entry, he published a formal proposal in 1990 to create a project that would build a web of hypertext-linked documents viewed by a browser. He later left to help form the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), where he is now director.

Although work was done on the Web in the previous three years, 1993 was a seminal year thanks to the release of the Mosaic browser, which allowed graphics to be viewed along with text.

Today, it’s hard to think of something that doesn’t connect to the Web – if it doesn’t already (refrigerators and vending machines) there are plans to make it so.

But Louis wonders if after two decades there are forces mounting that may smother the openness of the Web, including the W3C considering whether digital rights management can be added to HTML.



Will the things the W3C is looking at now such as access rights and Encrypted Media Extensions lead to a less open World Wide Web? That’s not impossible, the column argues, because apps are replacing the universal access to information the browser opened up to us, and certain interests want access to those apps more tightly controlled

It’s a thought-provoking piece that should be read.