The world’s first web page is being rebuilt by a team at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), who aim to preserve the original hardware and software.
Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of CERN delivering the World Wide Web led by Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the team is trying to recreate the world’s first website while retaining the original software and hardware used to launch the internet.
The CERN team hope that rebuilding the website will enable future web users to discover the way the internet has developed since it launched two decades ago.
“I want my children to be able to understand the significance of this point in time: the web is already so ubiquitous – so, well, normal – that one risks failing to see how fundamentally it has changed,” said Dan Noyes, the web manager for the CERN communication group. “We are in a unique moment where we can still switch on the first web server and experience it. We want to document and preserve that.”
When Sir Berners-Lee first invented the World Wide Web it was an attempt to make information accessible to all users, allowing freedom of speech and expression.
“When the first website was born, it was probably quite lonely. And with few people having access to browsers – or to web servers sot that they could in turn publish their own content – it must have taken a visionary leap of faith at the time to see why it was so exciting,” explained Noyes.
“The early WWW team, led by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, had such vision and belief. The fact that they called their technology the World Wide Web hints at the fact they knew they had something special, something big.”
April 30 is the twentieth anniversary of the World Wide Web and Sir Berners-Lee certainly delivered on his dream to create freedom of information.