What is web
The internet got its first boost with the invention of the web and its hyperlinks by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) in 1990, and a second boost with the invention of the first browser Mosaic in 1993. The internet could now be used by anyone, and not only by computer literate people. There were 100 million internet users in December 1997, with one million new users per month, and 300 million internet users in December 2000. In summer 2000, the number of non-English-speaking users reached the number of English-speaking users, with a percentage of 50-50. According to Netcraft, an internet services company, the number of websites went from one million (April 1997) to 10 million (February 2000), 20 million (September 2000), 30 million (July 2001), 40 million (April 2003), 50 million (May 2004), 60 million (March 2005), 70 million (August 2005), 80 million (April 2006), 90 million (August 2006) and 100 million (November 2006).
The World Wide Web -that became the Web or web- was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989-90. In 1998, he stated: “The dream behind the web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information. Its universality is essential: the fact that a hypertext link can point to anything, be it personal, local or global, be it draft or highly polished. There was a second part of the dream, too, dependent on the web being so generally used that it became a realistic mirror (or in fact the primary embodiment) of the ways in which we work and play and socialize. That was that once the state of our interactions was on line, we could then use computers to help us analyze it, make sense of what we are doing, where we individually fit in, and how we can better work together.” (excerpt from: The World Wide Web: A very short personal history, May 1998.)
Christiane Jadelot, researcher at INaLF-Nancy (INaLF: National Institute of the French Language) wrote: “I began to really use the internet in 1994, with a browser called Mosaic. I found it a very useful way of improving my knowledge of computers, linguistics, literature… everything. I was finding the best and the worst, but as a discerning user, I had to sort it all out and make choices. I particularly liked the software for e-mail, file transfers and dial-up connections. At that time I had problems with a programme called Paradox and character sets that I couldn’t use. I tried my luck and threw out a question in a specialist news group. I got answers from all over the world. Everyone seemed to want to solve my problem!” (July 1998)
The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) was founded in October 1994 to develop interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software and tools) for the web, as a forum for information, commerce, communication and collective understanding. The W3C develops common protocols to lead the evolution of the web, for example the specifications of HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and XML (eXtensible Markup Language). HTML is used for publishing hypertext on the web. XML was originally designed as a tool for large-scale electronic publishing. It now plays an increasingly important role in the exchange of a wide variety of data on the web and elsewhere.
According to the network tracking firm Netcraft, there were 100 million websites on November 1st, 2006. Previous milestones in the survey were reached in April 1997 (1 million sites), February 2000 (10 million), September 2000 (20 million), July 2001 (30 million), April 2003 (40 million), May 2004 (50 million), March 2005 (60 million), August 2005 (70 million), April 2006 (80 million ) and August 2006 (90 million).