Intro to WWW

Internet - millions of interconnected computers whose users can communicate and share information.
Click here to download the Internet. :o)

Network - computers linked together.

Before 1989, connecting to the Internet was quite different than it is today. You had to know what computer  had the information you wanted and you had to know how to connect to that computer in order to get the information. You had to master an array of terms, acronyms, and commands before you could navigate the Internet. What was needed was a tool to make it easy to find and access computers on the Internet.

Hear Al Gore say, "...during my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet..." at the link below.

Hear a clip from Al Gore - AlGore.mov - Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition" program on March 9, 1999 (Transcript)

The needed tool was the World Wide Web (WWW). In 1989, Timothy Berners-Lee and other researchers at CERN nuclear research facility near Geneva, Switzerland, laid the foundation of the WWW. Their idea was to create a system that made it easy for researchers to locate and share information in a way that required minimal training and support.

They developed a system of hypertext documents making it easy to navigate from one location to another.

Hypertext document - is an electronic file that contains elements that you can select, usually by clicking a mouse, to open another document. By default, most browsers display hypertext links as blue, underlined text which causes the mouse to change to a hand when it points to a hyperlink. Click the link to load the page.

When we read a book, we read one page after another in a linear progression. With hypertext, you jump from page to page in the order that best suits your needs. Today, Windows help files are formatted as hypertext.

You click on a link to jump to a different topic, phrase or keyword. On the Web today, you can click on links that contain graphics, video clips, sound clips, and even programs that you can run.

As we will learn in this class, it is easy to create web pages without extensive knowledge of computer systems and networking. The growth of the Web's online population in recent years has been phenomenal.

Internet Statistics: http://www.mit.edu/people/mkgray/net/