Search for 1st web page takes detour

2013-06-11 11:26
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London - For the European physicists who created the world wide web, preserving its history is as elusive as unlocking the mysteries of how the universe began.

The scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym Cern, are searching for the first web page.

It was at Cern that Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1990 as an unsanctioned project, using a NeXT computer that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs designed in the late 80s during his 12-year exile from the company.

Dan Noyes oversees Cern's website and has taken on the project to uncover the world's first web page. He said that no matter how much data they sort through, researchers may never make a clear-cut discovery of the original web page because of the nature of how data is shared.

"The concept of the earliest web page is kind of strange," Noyes said. "It's not like a book. A book exists through time. Data gets overwritten and looped around. To some extent, it is futile."

Current

In April, Cern restored a 1992 copy of the first-ever website that Berners-Lee created to arrange Cern-related information. It was the earliest copy Cern could find at the time, and Noyes promised then to keep looking.

After National Public Radio did a story on the search, a professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill came forward with a 1991 version.

Paul Jones met Berners-Lee during the British scientist's visit to the US for a conference in 1991, just a year after Berners-Lee invented the web. Jones said Berners-Lee shared the page with the professor, who has transferred it from server to server through the years. A version remains on the internet today at an archive Jones runs, ibiblio.

The page Jones received from Berners-Lee is locked in Jones' NeXT computer, behind a password that has long been forgotten. Forensic computer specialists are trying to extract the information to check time stamps and preserve the original coding used to generate the page.

The web page preserved by Jones is both familiar and quaint. There are no flashy graphics or video clips. Instead, it is a page of text on a white background with 19 hyperlinks. Some of the links, such as ones leading to information about Cern, have been updated and still work. On the other hand, a link to the phone numbers for Cern staffers is dead.

Noyes said he'll keep searching for earlier versions of the page. Noyes said his project still has to sort through plenty of old disks and other data submitted following NPR's story. He suspects there will be a couple of pages to pop up that were created months before the version Jones has.

Approval

The internet itself dates back to 1969, when computer scientists gathered in a lab at the University of California, Los Angeles to exchange data between two bulky computers. In the early days, the internet had e-mail, message boards known as Usenet and online communities such as The WELL.

Berners-Lee was looking for ways to control computers remotely at Cern. His innovation was to combine the internet with another concept that dates to the 1960s: Hypertext, which is a way of presenting information non-sequentially.

Although he never got the project formally approved, his boss suggested he quietly tinker with it anyway. Berners-Lee began writing the software for the web in October 1990, got his browser working by mid-November and added editing features in December. He made the program available at Cern by 25 December.
- AP
Read more on:    cern  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

ONE DAY ONLY – 50% off 1000’s of toys

Get 50% of 1000’s off toys! Offer valid on selected toys. Shop now! T&C’s apply

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.