Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
The Internet

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Lauded For Web Efforts 147

crem_d_genes writes "The first Millenium Technology Prize to be given by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation has been awarded to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the 'Father of the Web', for his work in creating the hypertext program that would come to change the way in which scientists, and later the general public would access data over the internet. The rest is history."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Lauded For Web Efforts

Comments Filter:
  • by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:15AM (#8868092) Journal
    This must be some kind of mistake? Al Gore invented the web, because it says so right here: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet" - Al Gore
    • Your quote is out of context []
      • Your quote is out of context []

        This is one reason Snopes sometimes bugs me. It is not an "urban legend" that Gore made a sweeping claim, clearly intended to be interpreted as it was, but carefully crafted to be deniable.

        Gore's devotees, however, were clearly quite discomfited by his claim ...

        This Snopes article is basically an opinion piece, trying to pass as a skeptical debunking piece.

        • Snopes has/had a list of ridiculous quotes attributed to dan quayle stating "most of these are from dan quayle" (no, I'm not defending the blithering quayle). Most? Well, which ones?

          I'm glad I never tried that crap in college paper....
      • by Anonymous Coward


        On March 19, former Vice President Al Gore joined the Board of Directors at Apple Computer. His history of helping advance technology in the areas of education and science is seen as a valuable asset to Apple. While some have acclaimed Gore for his technology initiatives as Vice President, he has also received scorn from others for claiming he "invented the Internet."

        When recently asked about his statement, Gore responded, "I don't know why people don't believe me -- it must b
    • "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet" - Al Gore

      Al Gore did not creat the Internet. He did, however, sleep at a holiday inn express....
      • by pavogel_2000 ( 661373 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @10:23AM (#8868724) Homepage
        I'm one of those people who prefers to give Al Gore the benefit of the doubt. As a member of congress Gore was one of those who voted FOR the continued funding of a variety of initiatives that helped fund the research and development of technologies that make up a fairly significant % of what the layman calls "the internet" today. Further, I don't think anyone can ignore the fact that Al's popularization and use of the term "Information Superhighway" is a *significant part* of what took the web from the province of those of us working in science and technology into the mainstream. Consider: In 1992 (the campaign year the Info Superhighway term was used) to send mail to a friend at *cough* MicroSoft I had to supply!a!fully!qualified!path!to!microsoft!friend (or whatever the syntax was). MS did *not* have a web site. Few people even in the computer industry knew what Mosaic was (I was one of the first in my company of 1200 to download it after someone at OSF showed it to me). Gopher and FTP were the primary means of finding and retrieving resources on the internet. By 1994 we were beginning to count the # of TV commercials that included a pointer to a web site. By 1996 "the web" was a household term. I don't think things would have moved that fast without Al Gore's bringing it to the mainstream, leading to articles in Time, Newsweek, etc. Now -- the real debate -- was it a "good" thing for the web to hit the mainstream like that? Without that accelleration we may not have had the bubble and things could have grown at a more natural pace. Spam might not be as attractive as a vehicle for advertisement and therefore would be less of a problem (there certainly was VERY LITTLE spam between 1985 (the first year I used the net) and 1997 (the first time I saw significant junk in my public mail accounts). Was Al stupid in the way he phrased himself? Yes. Was his intent to claim he "invented" the internet? I don't think so. Was his intent to say he "popularized" the internet? Possibly. Peter+
        • Bang paths [] in 1992? I'm pretty sure that's as nonsensical as the fact that I had to learn a subset of EBCDIC in High School "computer technologies" class. (And I'm still in High School.) TCP/IP and DNS were pretty well implemented by 1992.
    • by T-Kir ( 597145 )

      And don't forget, British Telecom apparently 'invented' hyperlinking way before Sir Tim did... mind BT is a [sarcasm]much loved[/sarcasm] company here in blighty.

      I'm in the process of filing an official complaint for them fecking up my broadband connection for three weeks (even though their "complaints" department might actually be a bin), since they're obviously such "innovators" of technology it takes another company to be able to provide my broadband services... anyway, rant over & just my 0.02

      • Re:BT? (Score:3, Informative)

        And Vannevar Bush really did invent hyperlinking way before British Telecom with the writing / publication of "As We May Think" circa 1945.

        I think Berners-Lee would be the daddy of the web. Bush would be the grand daddy.
      • A little OT, but this reminds me of what one of my professors here calls early innovator problems.

        He was at AT&T research labs, where the primary means of communication is based on phone culture - they communicate everything using telephones, and use their phone as we use e-mail.

        He would say that it got so bad that nobody would check their e-mails for days on end. For people who've been there a long time, its been so well ingrained that they cannot even think of anything else.

        And so, you have these b
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Claim: Vice-President Al Gore claimed that he "invented" the Internet.

      Status: False.

      Origins: No,
      Al Gore did not claim he "invented" the Internet, nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted that way. The derisive "Al Gore said he 'invented' the Internet" put-downs are misleading distortions of something he said (taken out of context) during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition" program on 9 March 1999. When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenge
      • The Internet Society [] also mentions Al Gore in their history timeline. You have to give credit to Al Gore for taking the initiative from a political stand point. The creation of the Internet was a huge project that needed the cooperation of Universities, Businesses and Government. Projects of that scale always need a Politician to champion the cause to get funding and grants. Did Al Gore use an unfortunate choice of words? Yes.
        • This is exactly like Montgomery claiming to have single-handedly beaten back the Germans during the "battle of the bulge" when he said, "it was one of the toughest fights I've had" -- or something along those lines -- in a press conference. Did he actually say, "I single-handedly beat back the Germans?" No. But he failed to mention his "team" in that conference -- he failed to even mention the Americans. It was _the_same_as saying, "I single-handedly beat back the Germans." Ike was none-to-pleased with
    • I don't know if that's funny or sad. The web is a small part of the Internet. And all he said was he "took the initiative" which could mean many things.
      Such as seemed like a good idea to me so I gave them some money to set it up. Which is what I think he was talking about.
      The hyper links / the web was a fairly old idea HTML is really a bastard son of STML which only missed out on hyper links because people did not want to add it to there existing code base. TextMarkupLanguages use 'Bracket' tag'endBrac
    • George W Bush: "The Internet? What's that?"

      Albert W Gore: "I created it"

      John F Kerry: "I voted for it, and I voted against it"

      Pat Buchanan: "If we stop illegal immigration, the spam and pop-up problem will be taken care of".
  • question (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:16AM (#8868098)
    Does Tim Berners-Lee have his own website?
  • by Mwongozi ( 176765 ) <slashthree@davi[ ... g ['dgl' in gap]> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:18AM (#8868107) Homepage
    He won a million euros out of this.
    1. Invent HTML
    2. Wait 13 years
    3. Profit!
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:19AM (#8868121)
    MIT prof Berners-Lee could have cashed in long ago as a web startup and gotten rich, but decided to develop his his dream without commercial taint. This $1.2 million prize, along with a few others he has won, helps compensate this sacrifice.
    • I dunno -- I was thinking the opposite. Rather than giving Berners-Lee yet another line for his resume and some more money to add to what I'm sure is a healthy stack, wouldn't it be more rewarding to do a little digging and find some unheralded individual making a vital contribution now? What has Berners-Lee done lately? (Yes, I know he's done something.)

      It's their money, but these me-too awards always strike me as cheap and pointless.

      By the way, did I hallucinate it or is Slashdot now running banner ads fo

      • By the way, did I hallucinate it or is Slashdot now running banner ads for a human cloning service claiming testimonials from the parents of resurrected children?!?

        The ads are for a movie about a human cloning service - the movie is called "Godsend" and it has Robert DeNiro, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, and Greg Kinnear in it.

      • By the way, did I hallucinate it or is Slashdot now running banner ads for a human cloning service claiming testimonials from the parents of resurrected children?!?

        Face it, they're at least as believable as the Microsoft ones. Microsoft: they have been weighed, they have been measured and they have been found most wanting.


        PS This isn't random Microsoft bashing. I have to evaluated their products. Some are good (a few would be excellent if the security holes were fixed), most are very, very p

    • Would the WWW have bacame so important if it had been commercial? I think not.
  • Fantastic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kedi ( 583806 ) <> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:21AM (#8868130)
    ...Linus Torvalds next ?
    • Re:Fantastic (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't think Linus qualifies for a knighthood, which thankfully means that Billy Gates can't get one either. You have to be a British citizen for that, otherwise they would be giving them to all sorts of American idiots.
      • You have to be a British citizen for that, otherwise they would be giving them to all sorts of American idiots.
        Actually, you don't have to be British to receive a peerage appointment. Canadians have received them (though, in one recent well-publicized case (Conrad Black) the then-prime minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, blocked the appointment, so Black renounced his citizenship).

        Americans, however, are barred, not by British law, but by American law.

        • American government officials are barred, I don't think the rest of us are, and congress can allow exceptions. However, I don't think (but I'm not sure) that under British law non-Commonwealth members are allowed to get the full knighthood with flourishes and title.
          • British law allows the Queen to give the award to anyone she likes, however, you cannot use title 'Sir' unless you are a full British citizen (although you can still append KBE to your name).
        • by paulbd ( 118132 )
          Too bad those laws didn't stop Ronald Reagan from accepting some kind of peerage from her majesty, eh?
        • The Canadian government resolved in 1919 to not allow Canadians to be granted knighthoods and peerages. See Nickle Resolution [] on Wikipedia.
          • ... Actually, that resolution has no actual force in law, it's just a resolution, like "we resolve to steal less money from the voters".

            As it says later, this is just a policy, and one that is only enforced in rare occasions. The "enforcement" consists of asking the granting party (in this cas Britain) to please reconsider.

            If Chretien hadn't intervened because of his personal fued with Black, Black would have been granted his peerage while still a Canadian citizen :-)

      • receive a knighthood, only to use the title 'Sir'. Gates is being knighted [] (this was covered so widely I suspect you may be a troll) along with many other Americans [] including Rudy Giuliani, Steven Spielberg, Bob Hope, Billy Graham, George Mitchell, Norman Schwarzkopf and George Bush senior. Note the inclusion of politicians and that the 1810 consitutional amendment banning American citizens from accepting foreign honours was never ratified (ref: quoted BBC article above).
    • Linus is already financially secure thanks to some gratis shares from a grateful VA (and Red Hat?)
    • Not Linus. May be RMS. He's the one who started the whole damn thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:21AM (#8868131)
    He did make what the "web" is today, the fact that you're reading this now is down to him, he did something which is far easier to do now (though still not!) in a time when this sort of concept couldn't be comprehended.

    Praise the guy.
  • I know you were being funny, but thought I should point that out :)
  • jj (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:23AM (#8868150)
    Does Tim Berners-Lee have his own website?

    No. He doesn't know HTML ;-)
  • IRC (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cyuonut ( 136786 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:23AM (#8868151) Homepage
    IMHO, they should have given the prize to Jarkko Oikarinen for creating IRC and totally screwing up my University studies.
    • Re:IRC (Score:2, Funny)

      by Himring ( 646324 )
      they should have given the prize to Jarkko Oikarinen for creating IRC and totally screwing up my University studies.

      Or sid miers for civilization. That game put me in the hospital....
    • IRC? Well... I went in the military first and got a late start w/ my undergrad work. I started in 1996, right about the time a certain little First Person Shooter called "Quake" was hitting the shelves. IRC definitely didn't help much either, but I must say that Quake stole the show (and the study time, and the class time, and the homework time, etc.).
  • NeXTcube (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:23AM (#8868152) Journal
    The article about his knighthood includes a photo of the computer he used to develop his technique.
    It's quite nice to know that like HTML, NeXTstep is still present as OSX.
    • Re:NeXTcube (Score:3, Informative)

      by WillAdams ( 45638 )
      NeXTstep was not merely an austere aesthetic experience, w/ minimal distractions and a flexible, customizable UI which allowed one to reduce screen clutter to just a single tile (the NeXT logo), and a pixel or two (dragged off main menu and / or the cursor), but synergistic whole the likes of which sadly are not likely to be seen again.

      Panther helps the aesthetics somewhat, but NeXT users still miss / are irritated by (well, I know I am):

      - monolithic main menu bar w/ wasted blank space between the menu
    • So you can stick it on your Linux/ Solaris/ HP-UX/ AIX/ *BSD system.

      For those who write OS X software, you are also writing for GNUStep.

  • by Eccles ( 932 )
    Around the same time TBL came up with HTTO, I was running an e-mail magazine, and wanted an automated way for people to get back issues. I tried rigging something up via finger, with much the same intent as and similar structure to Tim's HTML stuff.

    If I'd known more about hypertext, I could have been the knighted one!

    Excuse me, I'm going to go cry now...
  • silly (Score:2, Interesting)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 )
    i think it is silly to claim that one person is the father of the web. Yet, the BBC loves to claim that it was Lee []. With the number of different technologies that comprise the Internet today it is ignorant to say it has an inventor. Why HTML? and not Gopher? why not the creators of TCP/IP? why not routers? How about the first people to set up the network (who the US media claim invented the web).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @09:52AM (#8868368)
    As a Finn I can't but wonder what the hell is the point in an award like this?

    I mean come on. Every two years we ship one million euros of tax-payers money abroad and get what in return? It's just stupid.

    I can see only one purpose for it: someone high up in the government/academia has a pretty bad case of inferiority complex and comes up with the idea of the prize to alleviate it. "Let's get more attention to us Finns by giving out money. Oh yeah, a great idea. The Swedes are already doing it with the Nobel prize, so let's start our own knock-off award, complete with all the pomp-and-ceremony."

    • As a fellow Finn, couldn't agree with you more.

      This will be a forgotten prize in 2008.

      • Yeah, just like the ridiculous 'Nobel' thingy the swedes and Norwegians have!

        It's impossible to predict how respected a prize like this will become, but let's keep in mind that this one has by far the largest prize sum (of all technology awards in the world).

    • by azaris ( 699901 ) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @10:33AM (#8868820) Journal

      I mean come on. Every two years we ship one million euros of tax-payers money abroad and get what in return? It's just stupid.

      Who says it's tax-payer money? From their website:

      The Finnish Technology Award Foundation is an independent fund established in 2002 by eight Finnish organisations that support technological development and innovation.

      Founding Organizations

      The Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers - TT
      The Finnish Academies of Technology - FACTE
      The Finnish Academy of Technology - TTA
      The Finnish Assosiation of Graduated Engineers - TEK
      The Foundation of Technology - TES
      Foundation of Finnish Inventions
      The Swedish Academy of Engineering in Finland - STV
      Walter Ahlström Foundation

      The usual idea behind foundations is that you have a body that gathers money from donations from corporations are individuals - then uses the interest and profits from investments to fund charitable causes. I don't really see why they would be directly giving away "tax-payer money" as such.

    • Hei, come on guys! As a fellow finn I can say IT'S YOU that have the inferiority complex - not the people who put up the award. So obvious. What the heck does it matter anyway, so to speak, if we have this award? You complain, you have the complex!
  • The web was created to be cross platform and to be able to use different types of browsers. Microsoft has cosistently created browsers and web editors, as well as the internet technology in Word, etc. to favor its own products and OS's. Maybe Tim B-L getting this award will get them to use standards and technology that anyone on any platform, using any browser can access. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
  • Why is this guy a "sir"? For inventing the Web? C'mon. I smell Illuminati.
  • You know, it's a shame that you can't pick a new name when you get knighted (like you can when you're ennobled).

    Otherwise, TBL could have been "Sir Linkalot"...
  • I know that spelling and Slashdot do not go together, but it's right there at the top of the page. It's spelt "Millennium", people!
  • is it the first Millennium Technology Prize?

    spell checker - n. An application within most word processing programs that checks for spelling errors in documents.

    cLive ;-)

    • As the person submitting - and one who made a typo in an earlier submission - both spellings may be used - as in this partial sentence taken from the American Heritage online [] - okay it's not *the* definitive guide to grammar - "...peoples migrated into the area during the first millenium, displacing the earlier San inhabitants. European colonization began in 1889". I agree - the form you present is much more accepted :~) Point taken -
  • Nobody complains about S-expressions (LISP) being bypassed in favor of HTML? Something is wrong. This ain't slashdot.
  • I have read several posts attributing HTML as an invention of TBL.
    This in my opinion is incorrect, the WWW dates back to 1980.
    HTML [] is a derivative of SGML [] which dates back to 1960's and is
    a descendant of IBM's GML. []
    Check this for some more history. []
    Han Tacoma

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.