The World Wide Web: the beginning and now

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[ Image, Arpanet Design of 1970 ]

Evident from Nelson's failure to create his transmission network, there is an underlying network structure needed to make such a vision a reality. In the late 1960's the U.S. based Defense Agency Research Projects Administration (DARPA) set forth on a mission to create a communications infrastructure for the United States military. Their main focus was to make this infrastructure so that it could endure a nuclear attack. They would soon call it ARPAnet. This was at a time of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear attack existed. Furthermore, it was a time when much research was being done by visionaries such as J.R. Licklider and Douglas Engelbart, in the field of Human/Computer Interaction.

Engelbart invented the mouse to suit the needs of a graphical user interface, which would serve as a crucial element in the later development of the World Wide Web (Campbell-Kelly & Aspray,266). However, It was J.R. Licklider who was the head of the IPTO (Information Processing Techniques Office), who would initialize the development of ARPAnet. Licklider's reign lasted a mere two years. His successor was Robert Taylor.

Taylor organized a more efficient and dedicated group of scholars to fulfill this network goal, and appointed Larry Roberts as its leader. After learning about the needed packet switching research being done by the National Physical Laboratory in the UK, Roberts was very inspired and his "Network Working Group" began work immediately.


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