The world wide web turns twenty

The Internet has reached its twentieth birthday today, since the first ever webpage was posted online. Written only as a placeholder page by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in HTML, the page has reached its twentieth anniversary today. In order to celebrate the creation of this page by Berners-Lee, it has been mirrored to allow a glimpse into the Internet as it appeared in 1991. It serves as an important reminder for all that the Internet has achieved, as well as all it has done.

Within the space of those twenty years, the Internet evolved to its present state. Online banking, video sharing and gaming were ideas that may never have been envisioned when the world wide web became a reality. The web has played a part in capturing criminals, both in the act and in years afterwards. The web has also helped in some 'regime changes', with citizens making their voice heard to the world on a medium in which everyone is equal, theoretically.

Thanks to services such as Wikipedia and Google, the sum of human knowledge is also much closer than it was only twenty years ago. The web has helped immeasurably with school projects and research, and has managed to connect a large amount of the world together. In the future it could be said that creation of the web was one of the defining moments of the twentieth century, if not the key moment itself.

Technically speaking, the Internet itself has existed for longer than twenty years, but for most people the web, and websites themselves, are the Internet. Services such as the Pine email client pre-dated the creation of the web. Pine itself first appeared in 1989 as a project in the University of Washington. Email itself is older than email services on the web, such as Google Mail, which may come as a rather surprising fact.

In the space of roughly nine years, it was estimated that the Internet had exceeded nine billion webpages. This monumental moment was reached around 2000. Using WorldWideWebSize, the current size of the Internet is roughly around 17.91 billion pages. Considering that it took nine years for the first billion pages to be achieved, and in the space of eleven years afterwards this figure expanded more than seventeen times, it is clear the Internet is only going to grow until something else phases it out or pushes it to extinction. The chances of that are remote, to say the least.

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