Tim Berners-Lee <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 93 15:48:56 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-id: <>
Cc:, Library of the Future <virtual@indycms.bitnet>,, LIBREF <LIBREF-L@kentvm.bitnet>,, MegaByte University <MBU-L@ttuvm1.bitnet>,
        Network Trainers Discussion List <>,, CWIS-L%WUVMD.BITNET@cearn.bitnet,
        Public-Access Computer Systems Forum <PACS-L@uhupvm1.bitnet>,,,

	World-Wide Web Software Put Into Public Domain

A declaration that the basic World-Wide Web software from CERN is in  
the public domain has been signed by H. Weber, CERN's Director for  
Administration and W. Hoogland, Director for Computing.

The declaration, signed on 30 April 1993, makes it clear that this
is not a precedent for CERN software. It states, "CERN's intention
is to further compatibility, common practices, and standards in
networking and computer supported collaboration."

The declaration covers the "libwww" common code library, the line  
mode browser (www) and the W3 server (httpd).

The World-Wide Web (W3) is a global information system with a
easy point-and click interface. It provides access to almost all
existing Internet-based information as well as a whole new world
of data presented to the user as multimedia hypertext.  By a sequence  
of hypertext jumps and text searches, anyone can find his way though  
the mass of information available all over the world.

The High Energy Physics community, of which CERN is a European  
center, already uses W3 extensively.  In all there are more than 70
servers around the world providing data using special W3 protocols,
including such diverse areas as hypertext of US law from the Legal  
Information Institute at Cornell University, to the "Thesaurus  
Linguarum Hiberniae" collection of medaeval Irish manuscripts from  
University College, Cork.

Software for making servers is part of that put into the public  
domain by CERN. The other part is the "client" software which allows
the reader to move seamlessly through this data and also all the  
existing data on servers using existing "FTP", "WAIS", "Gopher", and
network news protocols. There are more than 14 different client  
programs for different computing platforms, written by people from
institues in many countries.  "The existence of a common, public  
domain kernel of software to handle the protocols will ensure
compatibility, and prevent people having to 'reinvent the wheel'",
says CERN's Tim Berners-Lee, W3's creator.

The W3 project is a success story of international collaboration.
The National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) in
Illinois have been a powerful force, producing a popular "Mosaic"
client for workstations, and other contributions have come from many
other universities throughout the world.  In the US, the Web is seen  
as an answer to the Clinton administration's call for a National  
Information Infrastructure. It is growing fast. "Traffic we see on  
our CERN server has more than doubled every four months for the last  
two years", says Berners-Lee, "and of course there is a new server  
every few days".

"With the Web, we are sharing knowledge," says Berners-Lee, "without
discrimination as to who or where in the world you are."  The W3
developers look forward to a time when the Internet, and so the Web,  
will be accessible from homes and high schools anywhere.  As well as  
an opening up of research centers and government, they are looking  
for a sharing of ideas and educational material for all tastes and  



Tim Berners-Lee             
World Wide Web team leader	
CERN, CN Division                     Tel: +41(22)767 3755
1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland           Fax: +41(22)767 7155