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Origins of the Web

The humble beginnings of the World Wide Web (or just the Web, as it is commonly known today) are a definite surprise when you consider just how widely known and used the Web has become today. The truth is, less than 10 years ago, a small band of scientists in Switzerland decided to create a network so they could share information with other scientists far away. The first, very early incarnation of the Web was used for journal articles, research, and proposals—highly specialized information that really applied to only a small group of people. Then the U.S. government took an interest, and the first recognizable form of the Web took shape.

Along with this type of progress came a difficult realization: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the computer language designed to create Web pages, was not really Web friendly. Designers and Web page readers wanted color and multimedia, not to mention true control over where text and graphics would appear. So, to make such changes possible, HTML was stretched a little to accommodate wider use of color, more graphics, sound, and video and to harmonize with plug-ins—small add-on utilities that could run animation and neat visual tricks inside a Web page without depending on HTML.


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