World Wide Web


world-wide-webThink of the world wide web as the illustrated version of the Internet. It began in the late 1980’s when physicist Dr. Berners-Lee wrote a small computer program for his own personal use. This program allowed pages, within his computer, to be linked together using keywords.

It soon became possible to link documents in different computers, as long as they were connected to the Internet. The document formatting language used to link documents is called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language.)

The Web remained primarily text based until 1992. Two events occurred that year that would forever change the way the Web looked. Marc Andreesen developed a new computer program called the NCSA Mosaic (National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois) and gave it away! The NCSA Mosaic was the first web browser. The browser made it easier to access the different Web sites that had started to appear. Soon Web sites contained more than just text, they also had sound and video files.

These pages, written in the hyper-text markup language, have “links” that allow the user to quickly move from one document to another…even when the documents are stored in different computers.

Web browsers “read” the html text and convert it into a page like the one you are now looking at.


Each web site has an address, or Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The URL contains a set of instructions that are read by the browser.

The beginning of the URL contains the protocol. This is usually “http” (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) or “ftp” (File Transfer Protocol). The second section of the URL reveals the domain. Directories follow the domain. Lastly is the name of the document. (If no document is named the browser will automatically open any document in the directory named “default” or “index.”