Tim Berners-Lee, fully Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee

Berners-Lee, fully Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee

English Computer Scientist, Inventor of the World Wide Web in 1989, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium

Author Quotes

Through this concept of linking, the web has grown up significantly in 25 years, from a collection of interlinked static documents to a much richer environment of data, media and user interaction. Millions of developers are using this open web platform to create distributed applications that can run on desktops, phones, tablets, televisions, automobiles, digital billboards, watches? everywhere. Very soon, millions more sensors, appliances and other devices large and small will take the web to new places. The potential excites me and concerns me at the same time -- that makes the web worth our ongoing stewardship. We must build and defend it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.

What we believe, endorse, agree with, and depend on is representable and, increasingly, represented on the Web. We all have to ensure that the society we build with the Web is the sort we intend.

Because the Web is yours. It is a public resource on which you, your business, your community and your government depend. The Web is also vital to democracy, a communications channel that makes possible a continuous worldwide conversation. The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium. It brings principles established in the U.S. Constitution, the British Magna Carta and other important documents into the network age: freedom from being snooped on, filtered, censored and disconnected. [response to why should we care about potential incursions into the open web]

I got into a lot of trouble when somebody called me "The Creator of the World Wide Web". I got an angry call from somebody who said that it was preposterous because I couldn't have written all that stuff.

If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life. . . If a Government can block you going to, for example, the opposition?s political pages, then they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in power.

Intellectual property is an important legal and cultural issue. Society as a whole has complex issues to face here: private ownership vs. open source, and so on.

Letting your data connect to other people's data is a bit about letting go in that sense. It is still not about giving to people data which they don't have a right to. It is about letting it be connected to data from peer sites. It is about letting it be joined to data from other applications.

Sites need to be able to interact in one single, universal space.

The internet explodes when somebody has the creativity to look at a piece of data that's put there for one reason and realise they can connect it with something else.

The trick ... is to make sure that each limited mechanical part of the Web, each application, is within itself composed of simple parts that will never get too powerful.

To a certain extent, we have a duty about the web which is greater than our duty about the brain, because with the brain we just analyze it, he said. But with the web, we actually get to engineer it. We can change it.

Whatever the device you use for getting your information out, it should be the same information.

But querying a database that gets linked so as to query the whole planet is very exciting.

I have built a moat around myself, along with ways over that moat so that people can ask questions.

If different cultures connect with each other, they are less likely to want to shoot each other.

It is about getting excited about connections, rather than nervous

Looking back for a moment, what is the web we celebrate this year? It is not the wires connecting our computers, tablets and televisions. Rather, it is the largest repository for information and knowledge the world has yet seen, and our most powerful communications tool. The web is now a public resource on which people, businesses, communities and governments depend. It is vital to democracy and now more critical to free expression than any other medium. It stores and allows us to share our ideas, music, images and cultures. It is an incredibly intimate reflection of our interests, priorities, disagreements and values. That makes the web worth protecting.

Software companies should take more responsibility for security holes, especially in browsers and e-mail clients. There are some straightforward things the industry should be doing right now to fix things, and I don't know why they haven't been done yet.

The internet ought to be like clay, rather than a sculpture that you observe from a distance.

The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.

Universality has been the key enabler of innovation on the Web and will continue to be so in the future.

What's very important from my point of view is that there is one web Anyone that tries to chop it into two will find that their piece looks very boring.

Celebrity damages private life.

I have several goals for the web of the next quarter century. Through them, I believe we can continue to advance our society and reduce some of the threats posed to and by a system capable of such reach and power.

If HTML and the Web made all the online documents look like one huge book, [the Semantic Web] will make all the data in the world look like one huge database.

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Berners-Lee, fully Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee
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English Computer Scientist, Inventor of the World Wide Web in 1989, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium