Making the Web meaningful: A history of Web semantics

While working at CERN as a contract programmer in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal to his boss Mike Sendall for an information system that would help organize information distributed across the multinational laboratory without requiring researchers to agree on a standard technology or information model (Berners-Lee, 1999). This system evolved into what we today call the World Wide Web (WWW). Today, the WWW is understood as an information space where documents, or Web pages, can be referenced and linked to from other documents using hypertext links. However, the system Berners-Lee described in his proposal aimed to do more than link documents; it aimed to link data, or specific nodes on Web pages. To illustrate the system in the proposal, Berners-Lee described a complex information system diagramed with a series of nodes and arrows. Nodes represent people, software models, groups

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