Hearing on the "Digital Future of the United States

Testimony of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee
CSAIL Decentralized Information Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Before the
United States House of Representatives
Committee on Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet

Hearing on the "Digital Future of the United States: Part I — The Future of the World Wide Web"

This document on the Web [http://dig.csail.mit.edu/2007/03/01-ushouse-future-of-the-web ] [PDF]

Chairman Markey, Ranking Member Upton, and Members of the Committee. It is my honor to appear before you today to discuss the future of the World Wide Web. I would like to offer some of my experience of having designed the original foundations of the Web, what I've learned from watching it grow, and some of the exciting and challenging developments I see in the future of the Web. Though I was privileged to lead the effort that gave rise to the Web in the mid-1990s, it has long passed the point of being something designed by a single person or even a single organization. It has become a public resource upon which many individuals, communities, companies and governments depend. And, from its beginning, it is a medium that has been created and sustained by the cooperative efforts of people all over the world.

To introduce myself, I should mention that I studied Physics at Oxford, but on graduating discovered the new world of microprocessors and joined the electronics and computer science industry for several years. In 1980, I worked on a contract at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, and wrote for my own benefit a simple program for tracking the various parts of the project using linked note cards. In 1984 I returned to CERN for ten years, during which time I found the need for a universal information system, and developed the World Wide Web as a side project in 1990. In 1994, the need for coordination of the Web became paramount, and I left to come to MIT, which became the first of now three international host institutes for the World Wide Consortium (W3C). I have directed W3C since that time. I hold the 3Com Founders chair at MIT where I pursue research on advanced Web technologies with the MIT Decentralized Information Group. The testimony I offer here today is purely my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Wide Web Consortium or any of its Members. ( more…)

[via Susan Mernit]