Definition of World Wide Web (WWW) in Network Encyclopedia.
What is WWW (World Wide Web)?
World Wide Web, or WWW, is the most popular of Internet services, rapidly changing the way business is done around the world. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines the World Wide Web (WWW, or Web) as “the universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment of human knowledge.”
The WWW began as a project for sharing hypertext information over a network that was developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, a physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland. The Line-Mode Browser was the very first web browser created.
How World Wide Web (WWW) Works
The Web consists of all client and server applications that communicate over the Internet using the client/server protocol Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), as well as the resources that reside on those servers and are accessed by those clients.
These resources are generally referred to as “Web sites” and consist mainly of text files formatted in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and associated image, sound, multimedia, script, and other files.
Each HTML file is called a Web page (or page), and pages in a site are generally linked in a hierarchical fashion, starting with the home or top page, using anchor tags. Web sites are stored on Web servers, which run software that handles the server side of HTTP, such as Internet Information Services (IIS) for Microsoft Windows 2000.
Users access Web sites on the Internet by using client software, typically called a Web browser (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer).
Internet vs World Wide Web
The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used as synonyms. However, the two terms do not mean the same thing. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. In contrast, the World Wide Web is a global collection of documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. Web resources are accessed using HTTP or HTTPS, which are application-level Internet protocols that use the Internet’s transport protocols.
Viewing a web page on the World Wide Web normally begins either by typing the URL of the page into a web browser, or by following a hyperlink to that page or resource. The web browser then initiates a series of background communication messages to fetch and display the requested page. In the 1990s, using a browser to view web pages – and to move from one web page to another through hyperlinks – came to be known as ‘browsing,’ ‘web surfing’ (after channel surfing), or ‘navigating the Web’. Early studies of this new behaviour investigated user patterns in using web browsers. One study, for example, found five user patterns: exploratory surfing, window surfing, evolved surfing, bounded navigation and targeted navigation.
The Line Mode Browser
The line-mode browser, launched in 1991, was the first readily accessible browser for what we now know as the world wide web. It was not, however, the world’s first web browser. The very first web browser was called WorldWideWeb and was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990.
It was the first web browser with a cross-platform codebase so it could be installed on many different kinds of computers. It was a relatively simple piece of software with a very basic interface, bu2t in the early days of the web, it was instrumental in demonstrating the power of this new medium.
You can simulate the very first web browser here.
The first World Wide Web proposal
This document was an attempt to persuade CERN management that a global hypertext system was in CERN’s interests. At this time (March 1989) the only name Tim had for it was “Mesh“. Tim decided on “World Wide Web” when writing the code in 1990. Click the link below to see the original document.
You can see here the first proposal of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.