Web Turns 25, Seems Popular

Logo for The Web at 25

The world wide web has officially lasted 25 consecutive years, which means it’s catching up to its parent, the Internet, which itself is bearing down on 45. That’s an important distinction. The Internet is not the web, it is the foundation on which the web was born.

In honor of the web’s quarter century bringing us all manner of useful and useless information via the lowly hyperlink, the World Wide Web Consortium (the standards body behind HTML and CSS, among other standards) and the World Wide Web Foundation have teamed up to create the site webat25.org.

The site includes a link to Tim Berners-Lee’s 1989 proposal for the web, news on upcoming events, and plenty of factoids. In addition, there is a Twitter account (@Web25) that has been collecting peoples’ memories of the early days of the web with the hashtag #web25. There is even a Storify collecting many of the tweets (which I have embedded below).

Update (Dec-15-2017): Storify is going away, and the WayBack Machine does not handle Storify’s paging, so I printed the entire thing to a PDF. It’s not ideal, but at least it preserves the links.

Some other sites talking about the web’s anniversary:

For good measure, I’ve included Tim Berners’Lee’s video talking a bit about where the web will continue to go:

If you want to pretend that you are enjoying the early days of the web again, head on over to the evolt.org browser archive, which I started building in 1994 (two years after my first foray onto the web), to download the earliest releases of Netscape Navigator or browsers you’ve never heard of. You can also wander over to the W3C Web History Community Group, where some folks have started to gather early documents.

You can also head over to CERN’s World Wide Web project site, dating back to 1993 and the first time HTML documentation was made generally available.

Some other historical bits I have covered on my blog:

And now that embedded Storify I threatened earlier:


Somebody posed the following question to Tim Berners-Lee in the AMA:

What was one of the things you never thought the internet would be used for, but has actually become one of the main reasons people use the internet?

Tim Berners-Lee’s answer:


It’s taken 25 years, but the reign of cats on the web is complete.

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