Slightly off topic, but interesting...
W3C head Berners-Lee to be knighted
By Grant Gross, IDG News Service December 31, 2003
World Wide Web founder to be given second highest rank of order
Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the World Wide Web and director
of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), will be named a Knight
Commander, Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth of the U.K.,
the W3C announced Wednesday.
The rank of Knight Commander is the second highest rank of the Order of
the British Empire. Berners-Lee, 48, a U.K. citizen who lives in the
U.S., is being knighted in recognition of his "services to the global
development of the Internet" through the invention of the World Wide
"This is an honor which applies to the whole Web development community,
and to the inventors and developers of the Internet, whose work made the
Web possible, " Berners-Lee said in a statement. "I accept this as an
endorsement of the spirit of the Web; of building it in a decentralized
way; of making best efforts to keep it open and fair; and of ensuring
its fundamental technologies are available to all for broad use and
innovation, and without having to pay licensing fees."
The London-born Berners-Lee graduated from Oxford University in 1976. As
a student there, he built his first computer using a soldering iron, an
old television and other parts.
In 1980, while Berners-Lee wrote the first program for storing
information using the kind of random associations the brain makes. At
the time, he worked as a consultant software engineer at CERN, often
called the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva. The Enquire
program -- which was never published -- formed the conceptual basis for
the future development of the Web, according to the W3C.
While at CERN in 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, designed
to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a Web
of hypertext documents. That hypertext project would become known as the
World Wide Web. The program, WorldWideWeb, was first made available
within CERN in December 1990, and all of Berners-Lee's code was made
available on the Internet in the summer of 1991, according to
information from the W3C.
In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium, where he
presently serves as director. The W3C coordinates Web development
worldwide, and its goal is to lead the Web to its full potential,
ensuring its stability through rapid evolution and revolutionary
transformations of its usage.
Berners-Lee joins several other U.K. citizens to receive honors from the
Queen, including rock guitarist Eric Clapton, actor Pete Postlethwaite
and author Philip Pullman.