On 3oth April 1993 CERN signed off on the World Wide Web - and the www . A group of scientists including Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau(Mr Cailliau helped draw up one of the early technical proposals for the web and later helped convince the directors at CERN to "give the web away".) gave the internet to the world - for free.
The 'for free' part was important as they saw the web as mainly for academics at that early stage, and if it had been commercialised at that time many would have been put off.
Interviewed ahead of the anniversary ( by the BBC )Sir Tim is still optimistic about where the web will go in the future he even says that the world wide web is "still in its infancy" and he predicted that the web's ability to engender collaboration could one day see the web being used to help manage the planet.
Sir Tim believes the future of Semantic Web holds immense potential for how machines will collaborate in the coming days. In an interview with an Indian publication, he shared his views as:"It is evolving at the moment. The data Web is in small stages, but it is a reality, for instance there is a Web of data about all kinds of things, like there is a Web of data about proteins, it is in very early stages. When it comes to publicly accessible data, there is an explosion of data Web in the life sciences community. When you look about data for proteins and genes, and cell biology and biological pathways, lots of companies are very excited. We have a healthcare and life sciences interest group at the Consortium, which is coordinating lot of interest out there."( c Wikepedia)
Collaboration amongst educationalists in projects such as The Horizon Project and many others has just begun to make inroads into mainstream educational thinking who knows where we will be in another 15 years?
Things have moved a huge way forward - from my first dabbling in the www with a Compaq PC and Compuserve on dial up in 1994-5 when having an email adddress was fine, however nobody else I knew actually had one!!! so nobody to send messages to! Also waiting for over 30 mins for a single small bmp image to load from a website ( there weren't many around in 1995 either!). To now when with wireless on a small linux driven notebook I can be speaking to friends around the world in under a minute with full webcam and web searching at the same time..... who knows what 15 years from now will be like ( I for one will be coming up to retirement and joining officially the 'Sliver surfers!' watch out for the most connected group of OAP's the world has known - cyber grandad :-)
HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY to WWW.