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Founder of World Wide Web wants to extend Web to masses

by on16 September 2008


No, it isn’t Al Gore

The person properly credited with inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, announced that he plans to launch a new foundation that will extend the capabilities of the World Wide Web and bring it to all of the world’s peoples. 

Known as The World Wide Web Foundation and scheduled to launch next year, the foundation will, according to Berners-Lee, "advance a Web which is open and free. The foundation will promote democracy, free speech and the freedom of Internet users to access the online content they want.”

Berners-Lee invented the hypertexted Web in 1989, while he was working as a software programmer at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. Berners-Lee wrote the first Web client and set up the first server in 1990, and he also created the HTML and HTTP protocols.

Now a Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he said that he plans to provide Web access to the world’s masses that do not currently have Internet access, which is about 80% of the world’s population. He has two goals for the Web: to advance and create new forms of democracy, and to help improve health care. The World Wide Web Foundation will also focus on Web standards and interoperability as well as on advancing Web science, according to Berners-Lee.

The Web Foundation will receive $5 million in seed money to help its launch from the Knight Foundation, an organization focused on improving journalism in the U.S. Berners-Lee acknowledged that some remote areas of the world have needs that the Web cannot address, such as food, clean water and basic health care. However, he has heard stories of non-English speaking people who have educated themselves using the Web and have made dramatic improvements in their communities with their newly learned skills.

The Web is the world library of today with its vast resources and quantity and variety of information. All it takes is electricity, electronic access and a little knowledge of how to look for the information.

Last modified on 16 September 2008
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