The World Wide Web is 30 years old today.
Three decades ago — on March 12, 1989, to be exact — British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee submitted his proposal for what would become the World Wide Web to his boss at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
Today, Berners-Lee is considered an internet pioneer. However, the feedback that Berners-Lee received from his boss for the revolutionary idea in 1989 was not quite as exuberant as you might expect.
"Vague, but exciting…" was the simple, and somewhat understated, hand-written reaction scribbled on Berners-Lee's proposal by his boss at CERN at the time, Mike Sendall.
Happily, Sendall approved Berners-Lee's proposal and, a year later, Sendall gave Berners-Lee permission to buy a high-performance NeXT computer (built by Steve Jobs, after he left Apple, and designed for technical and scientific work) that would become the world's first web server.
Berners-Lee had submitted his idea in a paper titled "Information Management: A Proposal," in which he argued for the creation of an information management system he described as "a large hypertext database with typed links." The idea was to offer universal access to use the then-nascent internet, not just to communicate, but to store and access vast troves of online documents and data.