World's first website restored

This picture taken on April 30, 2013 in Geneva shows a 1992 copy of the world's first web page. Photo / AFP
This picture taken on April 30, 2013 in Geneva shows a 1992 copy of the world's first web page. Photo / AFP

The world's first web page will be dragged out of cyberspace and restored for Internet browsers as part of a project to celebrate 20 years of the Web.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said it had begun recreating the website that launched that World Wide Web, as well as the hardware that made the groundbreaking technology possible.

The world's first website was about the technology itself, according to CERN, allowing early browsers to learn about the new system and create their own web pages.

The project will allow future generations to understand the origin and importance of the Web and its impact on modern life, CERN web manager Dan Noyes told AFP.

The project was launched to mark the 20th anniversary of CERN making the World Wide Web available to the world for free.

British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, also called W3 or just the Web, at CERN in 1989 to help physicists to share information, but at the time it was just one of several such information retrieval systems using the Internet.

While CERN was not promoting any specific ideology, "we want to preserve that idea of openness and freedom to collect and collaborate," said Noyes.

The first browser, Noyes said, was "actually very sophisticated, with images and features that don't really exist anymore, like being able to edit web pages as well as read them."

"We would like to somehow enable people to try this," he said.

The world's very first web page was meanwhile cruder and dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself. It was hosted on Berners-Lee's NeXT computer.

The CERN team has restored the files using a 1992 copy of the first website, which can be viewed here, but hopes to find earlier copies.

- AAP

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