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Agile Computing: Article

Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?

From Ada, Countess of Lovelace to Jamie Zawinski

Tim Berners-Lee

Brief Description: "Father of the World Wide Web" and expectant father of the Semantic Web

Further Details:

In his book Weaving the Web, Berners-Lee tried to answer questions that had been thrown at him again and again ever since - Questions such as "What were you thinking when you invented it?" through "So what do you think of it now?" to "Where is this all going to take us?"

He didn't anticipate, even in 1999 when the book was published, that technologies like HTML, HTTP, and XML would take him just four years later to a knighthood and then to a $1.2 million award from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, known informally as the "Finnish Nobel Prize."

"The original idea of the Web," Berners-Lee has always said, "was that it should be a collaborative space where you can communicate through sharing information. The idea was that by writing something together, and as people worked on it, they could iron out misunderstanding."

In 1994, he founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) a not-for-profit forum that aims to lead the Web to its full potential. He became Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 2000 when knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and returned to the UK to take up a professorship at the University of Southampton.

"All sorts of things, too long for me to list here, are still out there waiting to be done." Berners-Lee said in his acceptance speech to the Finnish Technology Award Foundation. "There are so many new things to make, limited only by our imagination. And I think it's important for anybody who's going through school or college wondering what to do, to remember that now."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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