Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Tim Berners-Lee Confirms The Exact Location Where the Web Was Invented: France (davidgalbraith.org)
120 points by steren on Jan 25, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments

CERN's phone # has a Swiss prefix,

  +41 22 76 761 11
their physical address and entrance are in Switzerland,

  CERN CH-1211
  Genève 23

and their website is a .ch

but the web was invented in France since one building was in France?

As a Swiss citizen I'm not buying it!

It's not only one building!

Most of LHC ring is in France. The second biggest accelerator, the SPS, is almost entirely in France too. The CERN Control Center, where all accelerators are operated, is in the CERN's site of Prevessin, in France. Out of the four main LHC experiments, three are in France...

Still, to simplify we usually say CERN is just in Switzerland.

It's somewhat funny (but also convenient) that we use Swiss electricity plugs, and Swiss cell-phone network coverage all over CERN.

Restaurant 2 is also in France, but they still ask for CHF. And yes, most "coders" are polish and alike (ie. Eastern labourers), not Swiss citizens. The latter would not put up with the work conditions, despite the PR.

"The cost [...] has been evaluated, taking into account realistic labor prices in different countries. The total cost is X (with a western equivalent value of Y)" [where Y>X] src: LHCb calorimeters : Technical Design Report

ISBN: 9290831693 http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/494264

>The latter would not put up with the work conditions

CERN has poor working conditions?

not for westerners.

>As a Swiss citizen I'm not buying it!

Drop the nationalism, the world will become a better place.

But geographically speaking, it seems that it was indeed invented in France.

> I'll bet if you asked every French politician where the web was invented not a single one would know this.

Not only that, but they're willfully destroying it with laws like HADOPI 2, LOPSI 1 and LOPPSI 2 which are entirely like SOPA and PIPA. With DNS filtering, packet inspection, they're essentially building a Great FireWall of France, or rather a digital Ligne Maginot (with basically the same efficiency, consuming resources and missing the target).

We went throught the entire process of trying hard to raise awareness and educate people and politics but lacked the oomph that was shown against SOPA/PIPA, so the laws passed. But more laws are to come so it looks like we French will again need the help of you, citizens of the world.

France really does not hold up to the values of humanism, rights, and freedom we're so proud of.

'France really does not hold up to the values of humanism, rights, and freedom we're so proud of.' Digitally speaking, you're right. But better days will come, as french politicals and execs tend to be more of followers than of trend setters. Very few older people (above GenY) understand the concepts and issues of the open web and the importance to provide it to each citizen on the same level. Meanwhile, France is still making of fool of itself.

This bit from the article is the thing you guys should be focusing on:

"So although, strictly speaking, France is the birthplace of the web it would be fair to say that it happened in building 31 at CERN but not in any particular country! How delightfully appropriate for an invention which breaks down physical borders."

... not argue which country can take the credit (which is absurd as TBL is a person not a country).


A British person.

Pretty cool to see the room. I always liked this photo: "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!" (or you will take down the web) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:First_Web_Server.jpg

The book in that picture is the famous "Inquire Within Upon Everything" that essentially inspired TBL with the idea of the internet system. I have a copy right here, in fact the same edition from what I can tell!

(disc: I'm from that country) Why did you have to highlight the country in the HN title? Even the original article only added that as an afterthought. It's just going to bring those arrogant, chauvinistic assholes out of the woodwork (and I even realize the irony of having taken the bait!).

The Web was invented as part of an international scientific effort, there's no need and usefulness to link it to one flowerpot over another.

> The CERN sites, as an international facility, are officially under neither Swiss nor French jurisdiction. [1]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CERN


PS: My understanding of the thing is that CERN was created to be a project between France and Swiss (although they say european on wikipedia) => the sites were build between the two country and that it doesn't make any sense to say internet was invented by french/swiss in France/Swiss. It's a cooperative project.

I know this is a bit nit picky, but WWW != internet.

And therein is the problem. The lines have blurred and many people think WWW when they hear the word 'Internet'.

Let's face it, the Web is the most visible aspect of the internet. Even email is used by many people through their web browsers.

This whole debate is worthless.

The lines have blurred because the WWW was by far the most important and most visible system/protocol driving development of the internet.

I think it's a bit like internal combustion engines: They existed before cars, but people associate motors with cars, and even companies named themselves after them "Ford Motor Company", GM, etc... They became synonymous.

I wonder what it feels like to change the world.

I wonder how it feels to wake up every day and know that you have, in your lifetime, completely changed the way the world functions and, long after your gone, those changes will be traced back to you.

What an amazing human being.

There are a lot of myths, and myth building. The world already had RPC (control software, in which TBL participated), even hypertext with links. What he got, was a (very expensive) toy capable of graphics, while everybody else had falcos to gaze text (still a mystery how that found its way through CERN management). NextStep had an unused memory slot while handling font properties, so that's where the link got hacked in, almost à la hypercard, dead-simple "programming". It was arguably not very multiplatform.

The web as we know it today owes its success to being an open, multiplatform graphical standard. There were all sorts of similar standards, even graphical, but maybe less open and therefore less multiplatform. Students created with sweat the multiplatform stuff that was then openly given away and improved upon around the "rest" of the world. It was the work of many, built on the ideas of many. It was very much of an organic development, not somebody waking up in the morning changing the world.

But then it wouldn't make such a nice success story, which is essential to branding, for PR.

btw: I am almost convinced, that Robert C. was aware of the beautiful, but forgotten story about a Belgian from '30s, who was swept away in WWII. He really had the ideas nailed about what the internet is today, for which others (in the U.S.A.) took the credit for after WWII (ARPA, V.Bush, memex, IEEE etc.). Actually, the Universal Decimal Classification found in almost every library, or documentation system.

Short story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwRN5m64I7Y

Long story: http://www.archive.org/details/paulotlet

Thank you for this extra information.

It goes without saying that the internet was not a one-man creation. You said it.

having been to this room, it is legally not possible to get to the building without crossing into Switzerland over the border, iirc.

You can enter Meyrin site through gate C - the one in the North, close to St.Genis - during one hour in the morning to facilitate transit.

Oh great nationalism.

Who the hell cares what country, especially when european borders are quite fluid?

Hum ... the guy that wrote this post does not seem to be French or Swiss for that matter. So why talk about nationalism ?

What? The web is from France? Wouldn't that be a good 'argument' for politicians to re-introduce SOPA/PIPA? I mean ... something that came from France can only be bad, right? [like the other stuff considered harmful, like health insurance and stuff]

I thought Al Gore invented the Internet?


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact