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< Contents ERCIM News No. 59, October 2004

Tim Berners-Lee Knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was dubbed a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture in London on Friday, 16 July 2004. The rank of Knight Commander is the second most senior rank of the Order of the British Empire, one of the Orders of Chivalry.

Tim Berners-Lee (photo: Le Fevre Communications) "I am humbled by this great honor," stated Sir Timothy. "The Web came about through an ongoing collaboration with my fellow inventors and developers worldwide. Everyone in the Internet community should be recognized by this honor."

He continued, "The Web must remain a universal medium, open to all and not biasing the information it conveys. As the technology becomes ever more powerful and available, using more kinds of devices, I hope we learn how to use it as a medium for working together, and resolving misunderstandings on every scale."

While working in 1980 as a consultant software engineer at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, Sir Timothy wrote his own private program for storing information using the kind of random associations the brain makes. The 'Enquire' program, which was never published, formed the conceptual basis for his future development of the Web. Subsequently he proposed a global hypertext project at CERN in 1989, and by December 1990, the program 'WorldWideWeb' became the first successful demonstration of Web clients and servers working over the Internet. All of his code was made available free on the Internet at large in the summer of 1991.

Sir Timothy wrote the book "Weaving The Web" (HarperCollins, 1999) which describes the Web's birth and evolution.