|World Wide Web (WWW), system of resources that enable computer users to view and interact with a variety of information, including magazine archives, public- and university-library resources, current world and business news, and software programs. The WWW can be accessed by a computer connected to an internet, an interconnection of computer networks or through the public Internet, the global consortium of interconnected computer networks.|
WWW resources are organized to allow users to move easily from one resource to another. Users generally navigate through the WWW using an application known as a WWW browser client. The browser presents formatted text, images, sound, or other objects, such as hyperlinks, in the form of a WWW page on a computer screen. The user can click on a hyperlink with the cursor to navigate to other WWW pages on the same source computer, or server, or on any other WWW server on the network. The WWW links exist across the global Internet to form a large-scale, distributed, multimedia knowledge base that relates words, phrases, images, or other information. Smaller-scale implementations may occur on enterprise internets.
WWW pages are formatted using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and information is transferred among computers on the WWW using a set of rules known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Other features may be added to web pages with special programs, such as Java, a programming language that is independent of a computer's operating system, developed by Sun Microsystems. Java-enabled web browsers use applets that run within the context of HTML-formatted documents. With applets it is possible to add animation and greater interactively to web pages.
The World Wide Web was developed in 1989 by English computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee to enable information to be shared among internationally dispersed teams of researchers at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (formerly known by the acronym CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland. It subsequently became a platform for related software development, and the numbers of linked computers and users grew rapidly to support a variety of endeavors, including a large business marketplace. Its further development is guided by the WWW Consortium based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.