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CERN Celebrates 20 Years of an Open Web (and Rebuilds 1st Web Page) 82

An anonymous reader writes "Twenty years ago CERN published a statement that made the World Wide Web ('W3,' or simply 'the web') technology available on a royalty-free basis. By making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish." Reader Rambo Tribble adds that CERN "is recreating the very first web page to ever exist. Included in the effort are plans to use the original hardware, as well as software, that gave birth to our beloved WWW."
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CERN Celebrates 20 Years of an Open Web (and Rebuilds 1st Web Page)

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  • Would have approved.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      He'd probably be conflicted. This 'WWW' stuff is a bunch of pointy-headed eurocommie academic bullshit designed for distributing things like scientific papers and porn; but the network it runs on top of is good, solid, ARPA-designed, National Defense research designed to keep the communications up even when Ivan drops the bomb.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Of course not. The world-wide web has no obvious defense application, it isn't an obvious benefit to the welfare of the public, and it merely duplicates the work of people like Ted Nelson in the 1960s [], or industry-funded efforts like Apple's Hypercard []. It's a waste of taxpayer dollars. Grant denied.

  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @10:53AM (#43590731) Homepage
    slashdotted in a matter of seconds

    plans to use the original hardware, as well as software,

    • by Anonymous Coward

      slashdotted in a matter of seconds

      plans to use the original hardware, as well as software,

      Hacked in 3 2 1 ....

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:02AM (#43590861) Journal

        Are there actually any exploits available for NEXTstep on 68030?

        I don't doubt that vulnerabilities exist; but that's a platform that, er, makes Amiga look like a contender...

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yes, you are right that there were vulnerabilities. I remember that one of the more fun ones was based on filesystem operators that existed in Display Postscript used for the Window Server. They were fully enabled by default in earlier versions of NextStep. This allowed you to do cool things like opening files on a remote computer by sending a malicious Postscript file, which was happily interpreted and displayed by the receiving machine's program (both a cool feature and, in this case, a tragic

  • by hduff ( 570443 ) <> on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @10:53AM (#43590737) Homepage Journal

    The first porn site restored . . .

    Surely, this is archived somewhere.

    • It just wasn't the same on an amber monitor.
    • Re:Next Project (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:19AM (#43591043)

      The first porn site restored . . .

      Surely, this is archived somewhere.

      The first porn site would far pre-date this -- there were plenty of "story" porn sites running on Gopher servers, FTP sites, BBS sites running via telnet, newsgroups.

      The Internet was full of porn for a very long time before HTTP came around.

    • According to wikipedia:

      One of the early Gopher/FTP sites was at tudelft and was called the Digital Archive on the 17th Floor (List of websites founded before 1995). This small image archive contained some low quality scanned pornographic images that were initially available to anyone anonymously, but the site soon became restricted to Netherlands only access.

      Unfortunately the link [] is dead. And even searching for the archive using database, the earliest I could find was December 2, 1998. The porn was already deleted.
      If anyone saved that picture archive, please notice that what you have is data is a landmark in human history(Just like that Playboy picture used in computer graphics). Quoting Dr. Jones: This archive belongs in a museum!

  • Al Gore.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:01AM (#43590843)

    Worked at CERN?

    I never would have guessed that.

  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:02AM (#43590855)

    In a way, we can say that Steve Jobs invented the Web!

    Take THAT, Al Gore!

    P.S.: I don't know anyone named Tim Berners-Lee.

    • It's well worth reading his book: []

      I hope they have better luck w/ their NeXT Cube than I have w/ mine --- still haven't found the time to work out why it quit booting.... though I may have to put some effort into that if I don't find a better alternative to Macromedia FreeHand than going back to Altsys Virtuoso.

  • by whizbang77045 ( 1342005 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:09AM (#43590939)
    Should we thank them, or go looking for some tar and feathers?
    • If it seems at all likely cause a revival of pointless frames, unnecessary GIFs (expanded to fully utilize broadband connections) flashing text, and MIDI music, then I say we should burn them at the stake right now.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Should we thank them, or go looking for some tar and feathers?

      I don't recognize this feathers command.

      • You need to install [] it first...

        • by robsku ( 1381635 )

          I know that the genius idea on Unix is to have a large number of small applications that do one job and do it well - so unlike with zip/arj/rar we get to choose our archiving and compressing software independently of each others, or even combine them with something totally different for reason that the authors of these programs couldn't even have thought when they made the tools, but still... ...why would anyone combine tar with feather(s?)? :P

  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:15AM (#43590995)

    "Wow!! Those blink tags are going to be so useful!"

  • The server at is taking too long to respond. ----- The internet is millions of times larger now than it was back then & I'm thinking that hosting it on the original hardware was a mistake... If they really still want to use the old hardware, couldn't they at least put a fast proxy server in front of that old 68030?
    • by gewalker ( 57809 )

      Well, I can't get to it myself either, but I am pretty sure it just returns "Hello, World."

      • by gewalker ( 57809 )

        After a number of attempts, I was able to get the home page, it looks like this (links are dummied)

        World Wide Web

        The WorldWideWeb (W3) is a wide-area hypermedia [] information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.

        Everything there is online about W3 is linked directly or indirectly to this document, including an executive summary [] of the project, Mailing lists [] , Policy [] , November's W3 news [] , Frequently Asked Questions [].

        What's out there? []
        Pointers to the world's onlin

  • Journalists (Score:4, Interesting)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:25AM (#43591099)

    How long until ignorant journalists start claiming the Internet is 20 years old today?

    • As I post this, minus 4.5 hours. The local (AEST) 6am broadcast was heralding 20 years of the Internet (then clarifying to be the Web, which everyone knows is the same thing ). But I was thinking - I'm sure I was seeing http URLs (not that we as students necessarily recognised them as much as we do now) in early 1993, and they weren't for CERN but for an early online, full-colour comic whose name escapes me.
  • Any bets that it will get slashdotted when it goes live? This assumes CERN will make it accessible to the 'net in general.


  • by tocsy ( 2489832 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:33AM (#43591183)
  • They need to time the response time to mimic what it would over a 2800 baud modem too!
  • Misleading summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Included in the effort are plans to use the original hardware, as well as software, that gave birth to our beloved WWW.

    Well, yes, they are preserving the hardware, the software, and the content. But they are doing all three separately; the box has been repaired, the HD has been imaged onto a CD, and the pages have been archived and are being re-hosted at the original URL.

    They are not going to use the original NeXT box to host those pages.

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @01:09PM (#43592263)
    The web didnt really take off in the USA until he developed two decent browswers- Mosaic and Netscape. I used Mosaic in 1993.
    • There, fixed that subject line for you.

      Learn your history. Eric Bina [] co-authored Mosaic along with Mr. Andreesen, and I'll bet there were other team members at the NCSA who made non-trivial contributions to the project. At Netscape I doubt he did any development at all. Marc's fame came from being a well-known dot-com businessman, not for single-handedly developing the graphical web browser.

  • When I saw the first browser online, I can't remember it's name but the description
    mentioned seeing a pictures from a distant location. I just assumed it was a new
    terminal program and didn't need to save the few seconds viewing downloaded pix.
    The fact there were only one or two places it worked on; a struggling terminal program.

    Needless to say I passed on it, running my first browser a year later on Win95.

    • Probably Netscape, I was at uni when HTTP was invented. Most people, including the lecturer's were not interested, at best people thought it might somehow be useful for professional publishers, none of us had any inkling of how fast it would grow and spread. I think the reason for this is that geeks already knew how to move files around and they saw it as just one of many ways to move and display files, obviously they could only do it with a special file in an unfamiliar format (HTTP). The basic reaction fr
    • by robsku ( 1381635 )

      I think the first browser I saw was Mosaic in library - I didn't know anything about web except that there was supposed to be hypertext links and images mixed in text on webpages. I didn't know where to go - but there was a huge address book, an "internet phonebook" if you will with subject categories.

      I don't think the librarian knew what the book was about or about the computer and software either. There was only standard installation of Windows 3.? with only the Mosaic, if I remember correctly, to use for

  • First web page?

    No disclaimer!

    No privacy statement!

    Probably no multiple languages, violating some European law.

    I can't believe people survived without the wisdom of our masters!

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin