Good evening everyone. I come from CERN, the place where we discovered the Higgs boson. You know, the god particle that fills the entire vacuum between matter particles and which gives mass to those who deserve it.
CERN is a place where we try and understand where the universe comes from. And to do that we need technology. This is why we developed the Web. But we also need network infrastructure. And this is why we contributed to the creation of the European Internet.
This is why I am here tonight. This is with huge pride, but also with great humility, because it was a collective undertaking. Kees, Werner, Teus, myself…through us this award also goes to all those in Europe who helped creating the Internet. Just to name a few, Peter Löthberg, Bernard Stockman, [? Geisen?], Peter Villemoes, Dennis Jennings, Olivier Martin, and so many others.
But back to the Web. Many of you probably now that in ’93 CERN put the Web software in the public domain, in ’93. In ’94, when Tim Berners-Lee left CERN to MIT, I took over [for] him. My third job was to release the next version of the Web. So version 3, the famous version 3. But we had learned. We listened. We heard what you reached out—were telling us. And I released version 3 as free software. It was the first time. But look, there had been a year of vacuum, a property vacuum for the Web software, where anyone could have taken it away and denied others to use it freely. But this did not happen. Why? Why did it not happen? Maybe because just the vacuum is not empty. It is full of Higgs bosons. Thank you.
History of the CERN Web Software Public Releases, by François Flückiger and Tim Smith
François Flückiger profile, Internet Hall of Fame 2013