Prepared for the **"Distributed Computing - a historical perspective"**
Academic Training series
1. The birth of the Web
2. The first 10 years
3. The non-intended side-effects
4. The Solid project
### Tim Berners-Lee's proposals to the CERN management
* Full papers now in the CERN Document Server - CDS.
* Check [these from 1989](https://cds.cern.ch/record/369245)
* Also [this from 1990 with R.Cailliau](https://cds.cern.ch/record/2639699)
* Their covers are also displayed at the entrace of the CERN Computer Centre.
* At the time they were re-written and re-submitted more than once, due to the lab's reluctance to allow what appeared as irrelevant to physics' computing.
### The IT Dept was then called "Data & Documents Division"
So, the _Documents_ part was given importance.
This is why discussion on data and document formats was so present.
### First demonstrations of the code
[CERN 1992 Annual report](https://cds.cern.ch/record/1952512/files/34-37.pdf)
## World Wide Web - What happened
* The Web was invented at CERN by [Sir Tim Berners-Lee (TimBL)](https://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/) in 1989.
* He defined it as a **free, open, networked Internet application**.
* The Web produced an uprecedented change to human civilisation.
* 33 years later, the original purpose of the Web "access to knowledge, free for all and respecting each one" is being violated by commercial, political, military, criminal abuse.
### Historical email example
TimBL's comment on [this paper on Document Interchange Possibilities at CERN](https://indico.cern.ch/event/1052076/attachments/2409105/4146323/Dimou-and-colleagues-CERN-Document-Interchange-Possibilities-Paper-1993.pdf)
**NB!** We were at the time when FTP - File Transfer Protocol was still rated higher than the Web on Internet traffic.
### All hand-made
www-announce: "|/usr/lib/sendmail -odi -oi -f firstname.lastname@example.org www-announce-members"
As [described in the Email talk](https://indico.cern.ch/event/1052076/attachments/2409109/4180177/Dimou-AT-Email-CERN-20220512.pdf) all was handled by sendmail regular expressions, including the first mailing list about the Web. Configuration from within Tim Berners-Lee local filesystem on the DEC Ultrix host.
## The first ten years - The CERN Web Office
* ran TimBL's httpd - followed by the Apache web server with virtual hosting, on Unix platforms.
* negotiated a free-of-charge Netscape browser support contract.
* investigated Web-based calendars.
* recommended HyperNews for collaborative work.
* evaluated Web Authoring tools.
* Defended [Amaya](https://www.w3.org/Amaya/) to author Web content and slides.
### Web apps developed in the CERN Web Office
* _pinaweb_ (Personal Intelligent Newspaper Agent) (a user profile of preferred Web links by student Heidi Schuster).
* _TORCH_ (naTural language prOcessor for web seaRCHing) by student Darek Kogut [more here](https://cds.cern.ch/record/403604/files/CERN-IT-99-003.pdf)
### Essence of the Web Office work
* http://info.cern.ch was the first ever website.
* ```https://weboffice.cern.ch/```, now restored as https://cern.ch/weboffice was the CERN site for Web support.
* The team was small - [mostly this and for a short time](https://weboffice.web.cern.ch/WebOffice/People/).
* Many products were evaluated - Focus was on Web-accessible, non-proprietary applications.
* We were encouraging _Virtual Web servers_, defined in Apache and were storing content in AFS - [Andrew File System](https://indico.cern.ch/event/126258/).
* The CERN Phonebook on the Web was a good proof of success.
* A collection of Questions and Answers developed by B.Pollermann was used for _many_ years.
### Key events - I
**1982 Compact Disc (Sony & Philips)
1983 DNS - Domain Name system invention (Paul Mockapetris)
1984 Apple Macintosh
1985 Microsoft Windows 1.0 Operating system - Free Software Foundation by Richard Stallman
1986 First laptops
1987 ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (Bellcore)
1988 Morris worm - first large-scale denial of service on the Internet
1989 [Web proposal](http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html) (TimBL) - Berlin wall falls on Nov. 9th - The Large Electron–Positron (LEP) Collider enters operation at CERN**
### Key events - II
**1990 TimBL allowed to work on a NeXT computer - Nicola Pellow (she/her) starts writing the Line Mode Web browser
1991 Web release at CERN - Paul Kunz brings up the SLAC Web server - The Web stops being a European phenomenon
1992 More than 1M Internet hosts Some Web browsers by CERN and the Viola browser by Univ. of California and the Midas browser by SLAC.
1993 CERN public statement on the Web software entering the Public Domain**
### Key events - III
**1993 Birth of NCSA Mosaic - TimBL at Fermilab
1994 Birth of Netscape - First Web conference in May at CERN - End of Web development at CERN - Foundation of the Web Consortium at MIT by TimBL and INRIA by [J.-F.Abramatic](https://icannwiki.org/Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois_Abramatic) for the European branch
1995 Netscape Communications Corporation enters the stock market - Web traffic exceeds FTP traffic
1997 Robert Cailliau estimates 650.000 Web sites worldwide - IBM's DeepBlue defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov
1999 Intense patching to avoid the Millennium Bug**
### The end of the world as we knew it
Source [1998 Article "The World Wide Web and High Energy Physics" by Bebo White](https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.882070)
### Key events - IV
**2001 First Apple iPod - The "9/11" events in the USA
2003 Skype foundation by N.Zennstroem & J.Friis
2006 [Web Science Trust](http://webscience.org/) foundation - Registration of the wikileaks.org domain
2011 "Printemps arabe"
2013 [Aaron Swartz](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz) suicide following US federal charges of fraud**
"Terena celebrating 20 years" brochure and various articles by TimBL, R.Cailliau, B.White, M.Riordan and more, e.g. see [N.Cremel's CNL article](https://ref.web.cern.ch/ref/CERN/CNL/2001/001/www-history/) and many others linked from [this event](https://indico.cern.ch/event/1052076/)
### Society change
* 2011-04-06 Public event in Geneva on *L'avenir du Web. Un outil pour le développement?* - A free-format discussion between TimBL and Gordon Brown ex-UK Prime Minister. Discussion on dominant languages on the Web and the role of WikiLeaks were publicly possible at the time.
* 2010 Facebook–Cambridge Analytica personal data begins - The scandal is disclosed in 2018.
2016 TimBL announced [the Solid project](https://solidproject.org/origin)
* 2021 [Original Web code auctioned as a crypto asset](https://cerncourier.com/a/web-code-auctioned-as-crypto-asset/)
### Political correctness
...was a not-yet-invented term. Publicity from the _MacWorld_ magazine of **March 1999** in the next slide.
In fact, we _did_ recommend Dreamweaver because it was W3C standards' compliant.
... not because of this:
### The Solid project
* TimBL announced the Solid project (Social Linked Data) in 2016, aiming to give people control over their data.
* The project adds standards never put into the original web specification.
* They define how the Web content owners can give _consent_ on who may have access to their data.
* Consent can be given per folder E.g. OK for my friend Joe to see my photos, not OK to see my medical exams.
Visit this [presentation on Solid by Ruben Verborgh](https://rubenverborgh.github.io/WebFundamentals/decentralization/#choice)
Check our [Solid evaluation document index](http://solid.cern.ch)
* The Email and the Web were the most successful network applications of the 1980s-1990s.
* The Internet and the Web changed the face of the world.
* Every invention can have negative side-effects. Is this human nature? Does it come with power?
"_There can be no serious doubt that, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, an era in world history ended and a new one began._"
Eric Hobsbawm - british historian
### Why talk about the past
1. We have to know **WHY** we did what we did and **HOW** we did it.
2. This helps selecting future choices that work.
3. Required Prerequisites:
* Agreement on _what_ works, i.e. via _proof_ & common _values_.
* Willingness to accept a certain _work culture_ and _ethic_. Example: backwards compatibility and decision-making by consensus.
4. We have to avoid the ["Pensée unique"](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pens%C3%A9e_unique), which is dangerous. Control & abuse is what happens when no one notices.
**I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...
All those ... moments ... will be lost ... in time.**
from Blade Runner - Ridley Scott 1982 movie