Interview with OpenStand Advocate Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Turns 25

Posted on November 5th, 2014

From the beginning, the Internet was built on a set of open development principles, that are now recognized as the OpenStand Principles. As the Internet turns 25 this year, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, sat down to reflect back on the first days of its existence. In the below video, he discusses how far web information has come, and how much more ground there is left to cover.

Video highlights:

  • From an early age, Berners-Lee understood the difference between looking at systems from both a microscopic level and a macroscopic level. This difference played a critical role in the development of the Internet. He not only took into consideration how the it would function, by sending information from one computer to another, but how the entire system would scale and interconnect.
  • Growing up, Berners-Lee’s parents were involved in the growth of computer programming and told him that what you do with a computer is only limited by your imagination. Berners-Lee highlighted this as the challenge for today: To keep imagining and creating. The challenge didn’t end with the creation of the Internet; it has only just begun. The framework built by Berners-Lee laid the foundation for layers and layers of applications and use cases.
  • The early creators of the Internet were not out to turn the work into a dedicated career. They programmed out of their garages and basements in their spare time because they believed in the mission and the product. Berners-Lee said that if patents had been involved in the building of the Internet, nothing would have gotten accomplished because the innovators would have not have had open access to what their peers were working on, and therefore, would not have been able to build off of it. The Internet was built on the idea that access to information should be royalty free and open — and should remain that way.
  • Berners-Lee shares his thoughts about access to the Internet and notes that information is being discussed on a global scale in countries whose governments censor information. Berners-Lee remarks that ending censorship will not be an overnight process, but he can see progress that has been made to remove barriers to information exchange, as governments realize that access to information for all can greatly benefit their economy.

OpenStand is honored to carry the open development torch from Tim Berners-Lee, as well as with the W3C as an Affirming Partner of the OpenStand Principles. The Internet has seen exponential growth in the past 25 years and, as it is kept open, can only continue to grow for the benefit of humanity.

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