World Wide Web, or WWW, is a collection of interlinked hypertext pages that include text, images (audio, videos, animation, and more). These documents can be viewed or navigated through by the user using hyperlinks. In a wider sense, the World Wide Web refers to “the universe of network-accessible data”, which is the embodiment and expression of human knowledge.

History of World Wide Web

WWW was created by Robert Cailliau & Tim Berners Lee in 1990. They were both working at CERN, the European Council for Nuclear Research. Both presented their respective proposals for Hypertext Systems. Later they joined forces and proposed a combined proposal. That proposal included the first mention of “Word Wide Web”. There are many historical precedents for every invention. The World Wide Web is also a product of prehistorical technological development. Memex was created in early 1945. It is a microfilm-based device that stores large amounts of documents and makes it easy to organize those documents. “Hypertext”, which allowed for easy linking and organization, was introduced in 1968. 

DARPA (Défense Advanced Research Project Agency), began a project that linked all research centres to facilitate data exchange. This was later adopted for military intelligence exchange. 1979 saw the inception of SGML, which is a Standard Generalized Mark-up Language. It allows for sharing documents with large government agencies by separating content from the presentation. CERN Laboratory, Tim Berners-Lee created a Networked Hypertext system in 1989. In 1990, a proposal for a networked hypertext system was presented. In this year, the term “World Wide Web” is first used. CERN published the first portable web browser in 1992. The industry was interested in developing internet technology. The web is now so common and so ingrained into our lives, it is nearly impossible to imagine a world without it.

Web Evolution: What and How to?

Each technology has distinct characteristics and features. The web has many features, including data, services, mess up, APIs, and social platforms. These features are continually evolving and improving in different stages. Web evolution is categorized, hyped with fancy marketing terminology like “Web 1.0″, Web 2.0″, Social Web”, Web 3.0″, Web 3.0″, Web 3.0″, Web 3.0″, Web 3.0″, Web Pragmatic Semantic Web”, Webmatic Web, and many others.

Yihong, a Brigham Young University doctoral candidate, explained the development of the Web through an analogy that he used to compare it with human progress in his article, “Evolution of Web”. Yihong Dining said that web pages and webmasters have a relationship similar to children and parents. Webmasters manage and update their websites in the same way that parents raise their children. Human children develop through their normal stages. The web is analogous to its generations: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and so on. With technological advancements, web design has also changed. The initial design was simple, allowing users to see the information through a hypertext read-only system. The user was simply a browser who viewed the information on the internet. 

Gradually images, tables, and web browsers evolved to allow for improved design. With the development of web authoring tools, photo-editing software, and content management software, designers were able to start creating visually appealing website designs. The web design developed in the next phase changed due to improved usability. In this stage, the focus shifts from the website’s content to the users. Web design includes user interaction and social touches. No longer is the user a passive viewer. Users can use feedback, rating, and personalization to drive the web. Gradually, the mature combination of function, form, and content was called Read/Write Web. To make the web more human-like, meaning is added. Semantic web, a web that uses artificial intelligence to read and interpret information by a user agent imitating human behaviour is an example of this type of web.

Web 1.

World Wide Web development is done in stages. The Web 1.0 hype has made the first stage the “Read Only”, or basic, hypertext system. Tim Berners Lee envisioned the web in his original proposal as a Read/Write Model that included HTTP PUT/HTTP DELETE. These methods were rarely used, mainly because they are too secure.

Web 1.0: Characteristics

1. Web 1.0’s webmaster is always involved with managing the content. He also keeps users up-to-date. The majority of hyperlinks to contents are manually assigned and managed by the webmaster.

2. Web 1.0 does no support mass publishing. The webmaster publishes website content and thus does not harness collective intelligence among users.

3. Web 1.0 uses basic HTML Mark-up Language to publish content on the Internet.

4. Web 1.0 pages can’t display machine-readable text. Only humans who can read web pages can understand the content.

5. Web 1.0 has contact information for communication (email, phone number, and fax). For further communication with this contact, information users will need to use an offline environment.

6. Web 1.0 allows web pages to react instinctively to the programmed situation. When the programmed condition has been met, a specific result (or response) is generated. Web 1.0 model cannot recognize remote requests, and it can’t prepare a response to potential requests in advance. Yihong Ding wrote an article on “Evolution of World Wide Web”. He compared World of Web 1.0’s characteristics with the world of a newborn baby.

Newborn Baby – I have parents

Web-1.0 Page Webmasters

Newborn Baby: Look at me, but don’t ask.

Web-1.0 page: Machines do not understand humans.

Newborn Baby – Talk to me if you would like to talk about me

Web-1.0 page : Contact information. (emails, phone numbers, faxes, addresses, etc.)

Newborn Baby – My parents make my friends. I don’t mind at all

Web-1.0 Page

Newborn Baby – Hug me, you smile; hit and I cry (conditional reflex).

Web-1.0 Page. Reactive functions in web pages

The web 1.0 web pages are just babies.

Web 2.

Web 2.0 is an understanding that the internet is the platform. It is also the platform role for the business. And user adds to value is the central role. Web 2.0 is about figuring out how you can make your database and tools better to allow more people to use them.

Web 2.0 is the Internet’s business revolution. It was born from the rise of the internet platform.

Web 2.0 sees the end of the notion of Producer (Webmaster), Consumer (Users), and Producer (Webmaster). Web 2.0 is more about communications and user interactions. Web 2.0 is all based upon participation. Web 2.0’s focus is on participation. “Content is the king” was a quote that was often cited in the early web 1.0 days. In web 2.0, users communicate via blogs, wikis, and other social media websites. Everything is easily and quickly navigable on the web by being tagged. Web 2.0 is also about combining all of it on one page. AJAX allows for tagging with improved usability. Programmers can access API capabilities to combine data feeds with databases to provide cross-reference information. Web 2.0 offers collective intelligence for millions of users.

Web 2.0 is a new version of Web. Users can communicate with other users and not just with the publisher.

Web 2.0 Characteristics

1. Web 2.0 is the 2nd version of Web providing RIA.

2. SOA, or Service Oriented Architecture (or Web 2.0), is the main component. SOA stands for Service Oriented Architecture. The keywords are RSS, feeds, web services, and mash-up. This is how Web2.0 applications expose functionality so that other apps can leverage and incorporate those functionalities to create richer applications.

3. Web 2.0 stands for the Social Web. Web 2.0 application is more likely to interact with the end-user. End users can include both users and participants. End users, due to their social nature, are part of the application’s data. They provide feedback and enable the application to leverage the user’s use.

4. Web 2.0 philosophy and strategy argues that “The Web Is Open” Any user can access and modify the content. Web site content can be edited by anyone who uses it, not just the people who made it.

5. Web 2.0 Data has become the driving force. As users spend more time online, they are also creating content in passive time. Web 2.0 will require some of the top technologies for developing web pages. AJAX supports rich user experience development.

6. Web 2.0 websites include many of the following key technologies.

RSS (Really simple syndication), allows users to syndicate aggregate and set up notifications using feeds.

– Mashups: This allows you to combine different content sources to create new ways of reusing the information via APIs and public interface.

Wikis & Forums that support user-generated material

– Tagging, which allows users to specify and attach human-readable keywords for web resources.

– AJAX – Asynchronous JavaScript (XML) is a web development technique that allows for interactive data exchange behind the scenes, without reloading a webpage.

Yihong Ding in his article “Evolution of World Wide Web”, has analogically compared the World of Web2.0 to the world of a Preschool Kid.

Pre-School Child: I have my parents

Web-2.0 page : Webmasters / Blog owners

Pre-School Kid. Parents teach me knowledge (though sometimes not well organized).

Tagging on the Web-2.0 page

Pre-School Kid

Folksonomy: Web-2.0 Page

Pre-School Kid

Web-2.0 page: Blogging technology

Pre-School Kid

Web-2.0 Page: Social network

Pre-School Kid

Web-2.0 Page, Web widget, and Mashup

Pre-School Kid

Web-2.0 Page. Collective intelligence

Below table distinguishes between Web 1.0 & Web2.0

Web 1.0 – Reading

Web 2.0 is about reading/writing

Web 1.0 focuses primarily on: Publishing

Web 2.0 revolves around: Feedbacks. Reviews. Personalization.

Web 1.0 – Linking Content Using Hyperlinks

Web 2.0 revolves around mashups

Web 1.0 focuses primarily on: Businesses

Web 2.0 revolves around: Community Community

Web 1.0 focuses on: Client-Server

Web 2.0 is all in the name of: Peer-2-Peer

Web 1.0 focuses on : HTML

Web 2.0 is about XML

Web 1.0 is about – Home Pages

Web 2.0 means Blogs and Wikis

Web 1.0 focuses on Portals

Web 2.0 revolves around RSS

Web 1.0 focuses primarily on Taxonomy

Web 2.0 is all About: Tags

Web 1.0 focuses on Owning

Web 2.0 is all about sharing

Web 1.0 is all a matter of Webform

Web 2.0 means Web Application

Web 1.0 focuses on Hardware Cost

Web 2.0 is all about Bandwidth Cost

Web 3.

The web is no longer about linking and tagging information and resources. Semantic Web concept is the attachment of special information to resources. This allows the machine to read and understand the information just as humans.

Timer Berner Lee

“I have an idea for the Web. In which computers can analyse all the data on the Web, the links, the content, and the transactions between people. While a Semantic Web’ should make this possible, it is still in development. When it does emerge, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade and bureaucracy as well as our daily lives, will be handled automatically by machines talking with machines. The ‘intelligent agencies’ that have been envisioned for many years will finally be realized.

Semantic Web was born from his vision for the web as the universal medium of information, data, and knowledge. Web 3.0 (or Semantic Web) is an Executable Stage of Web Development in which dynamic applications provide interactive services that facilitate machine-to-machine interaction. Tim Berner Lee added that

“People keep asking about Web 3.0. You’ll have incredible data access if there’s an overlay of scalable Vector graphics – everything rippling/folding and looking misty – when you have Web 2.0. 

The semantic Web is an extension of the World Wide Web. Web content is expressed in machine-readable text, not in natural language. User agents can then read, process, and interpret the content using artificial Intelligence imitating human behaviour. Semantic Web is a new extension of the web that allows content to be processed autonomously by intelligent software agents.

It is possible to program more than one agent within the contexts of the vertical domain.

For example

“Travel Agent”, who keeps searching for flights according to your criteria and will notify you when it finds the perfect one.

“Personal shopper agent” searches eBay continuously for the exact product to be purchased and delivers it to you after it has found it.

As well, we have the option to hire a “Real Property Agent”, “Personal Advisor Agent”, and many others.

It is as simple as creating a personal agent to talk with the public web services. The agent will then perform repetitive tasks.

Precisely. Web 3.0 = Every human + Each device + Every information

Semantic Web Characteristics

1. In Semantic Web’s database is not centralized, as opposed to database-driven websites.

2. Semantic Web, also known as the Open System, is a place where schema can be changed to suit any data source.

3. Semantic Web demands Meta description languages like Web Ontology Language and Resource Description Framework (RDF). Annotation can take a lot of time and effort.

Web n.0. – A Glimpse at the Future

Let me add element to my previous formula

Web 3.0 = Every human + every device + every information = everything in the context current technology advancement.

Web 3.0 will be everywhere. It is still in its early stages. The current technology advancements make it impossible to see web 3.0 beyond what is possible.

Raymond Kurzweil was the inventor and creator of OCR (Optical Character Reader). He envisioned Web 4.0, a Web OS with intelligent users agents working in parallel to the human mind. The evolution of Web and technology advancements are illustrated in the following figure. Source: Nova Spivack and Radar Networks


The evolution and development of the web have taken place in phases, as discussed in this article. Many technologies and concepts have been introduced in different areas: software, communication. Hardware, marketing, advertisement, content sharing, publicity, and finance.

The World Wide Web has influenced the way we look at things today in a similar way to how it did earlier. I believe that this evolution is ever-evolving and moving towards excellence.


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